“The Cuckoo Movement for Children” is an informal group of friends and volunteers who has been working with rural children of Tamil Nadu since 2004. They have established libraries and nurseries in villages across the state, organizing plenty of creative activities. They also partner with local schools to introduce the kids to traditional folk arts, music, martial arts, theatre, organic farming, engaging them in exciting discussions on socio-political and environmental issues, organizing movie projections, etc.
Over the years, the dream of the Cuckoo movement members to establish an alternative school dedicated to rural children has grown bigger and bigger. And it is about to come true!
They purchased collectively seven acres of land at the foothills of the Jawadhu Hills, Vellore District, Tamil Nadu. A beautiful place close to nature, at the border of the forest where lesser privileged children will be able to get access to free education.
They need your help to build the first structure on the site! Entirely made of earth, with a minimal use of cement and chemicals, the building will serve as a camp site to train children. It will also be a resource centre for Organic farming, alternate education, alternate medicine and alternate politics.
To know more, read beautiful stories written by people who have already volunteered:
What will you learn?
The 2 stories building is entirely made of adobes (raw earth bricks) and earth mortar. You will discover all the steps to build an earthen structure made of arches and domes (Brick masonry, Construction of arches, Making of domes with the free spanning technique (no centering / formwork) ) Lime based plaster for water proofing. Your role will be to assist the masons by preparing earth mortar, bricks, plaster mix, etc.
Accommodation & Food
Very basic accommodation will be provided on the site.
In a few words : You will be very close to nature surrounded by a mind blowing landscape
All 3 meals will be provided to the participants.
What to bring?
Be ready to get dirty!
Carry a good hat and a water bottle that you can fill on site.
You should also bring bed-sheets for the night / blankets.
Cuckoo Forest School,
GPS (exact location) : 12.279661, 78.642571
Between the 10th of August and the 13th of September 2015
for a period of a week or more
It is of course free: kids get a school, you get to learn!
However, the budget of the cuckoo movement being extremely limited, we ask you to consider giving a small contribution for the food and if you feel like, for the rest of the project.
All accounts will be transparently shared.
Example of contribution : 150 Rs / day
Varun Thautam (architect)
Made In Earth Collective
Pic by Kaveer Rai