When we were relocated to New Canaan, we as volunteers from Showground felt like there was no need for the children to stay at home. We went from tent to tent and asked the parents to allow their children to go to the field, because we had no other place to be with the children. Instead of staying in the open field, we went to sit under the tree. That is where we started our learning, under the tree in New Canaan. After a while we got tents that we could use for our classes. We continued our learning even if it was quite difficult sometimes.
Different organisations and visitors started coming to the camp. I had no idea what they wanted. One of the visitors was called Madam Hellen from St Ann's. She came and interviewed us. After a few days we got a call from college that we could start our training. I had no idea what Montessori was. I just heard the word Montessori with the late sister Angela. I remember when we arrived at the college, she called us and she said she wanted to meet with the people from Corner of Hope. We were just wondering, who are those people? We looked around. Then she explained that we were selected to be trained and that we had a donor who would provide for our studies. This is when we realised that we were Corner of Hope.
We started our training and at the same time we were also teaching the children. It was not an easy situation. We had no classes, no toilets, no water and no uniforms for the children. We were still using tents as classes, but those tents were not secure. We used to carry all the materials that we had made during our training to school and arranged them every morning. We used pieces of carton and rice bags as kneeling mats. When it was windy, sunny or rainy, we were suffering a lot. The wind would break our materials and when it was raining there was no place to kneel as the ground was wet.
When the late sister Angela brought in other visitors, we got to know Madame Lynne and Madame Dipika. We thought they were just visitors, but they were great, and important people for us. The construction of classes and toilets started, we got access to water, daily meals were introduced, and unique tie-and-dye uniforms were made for the students. The school became like a real school. Now, our school is wonderful and beautiful and the people admire it. The training of teachers is going on and everything is good.
Corner of Hope has helped me as a person through many things. I had no house but now I have one. Through Montessori I have learned things in life, like associating with children and the community. I am not like the way I started. If I look back it seems like I am in another world. Corner of Hope broke the rock which was there.