- Total Projects: 201
Of MSAADA’s already completed project load in India totaling about 178,000 m2 (or close to 2 million square feet!), educational projects have been the primary project type.
MSAADA has served in India since the mid-1980s, when we first provided services on what eventually became a very large school project for the Arcot Lutheran Church (ALC). Over the course of about 15 years, we redesigned and rebuilt 90 schools, serving a total of about 40,000 students. Although the schools are owned and operated by a Lutheran Church in Tamil Nadu, about 90% of the students are Hindus. Most serve only day students, but some are boarding schools.
Additionally, MSAADA’s services on the project ended up including also two new Teachers’ Training Institutes. It was valuable to the project that beyond just the construction, there was an educational component, which initially included plans for providing books and other supplies in the classrooms plus giving in-service training to the teachers. In the end, the project expanded to also include adult education program for the parents and others in the towns and villages where the schools are located, as well as a health program for the students and the communities.
In his book, “Design & Dignity”, MSAADA’s founder, Poul Bertelsen, ends a chapter about the ALC School project as follows:
“It is fitting, then to end this chapter with a short piece I wrote when I was asked to formulate a brief statement about what the ALC School Project has meant to me personally:
‘Can you explain what MSAADA is all about, using one project as an example?’ is a question I am frequently asked. A project where 40,000 students got new facilities and adequate classroom supplies, plus teachers are now better prepared to teach, is the example I often use! For what better way [is there] to demonstrate the value of… providing life-enhancing services for our global neighbors, than by smiling happy children and their teachers in 1,000 new classrooms in India?’”
The large ALC School Project was soon followed by other projects for MSAADA in India, so that we to date have seen 201 projects completed there, with the latest being a large expansion to a Community College (also for the ALC).
Other completed educational projects in India also include 23 multi-purpose “Cyclone Shelters” in Orissa built on stilts in a flood delta. The buildings are designed so they can accomodate the entire villages’ populations during a flood but also function as primary schools at times with no flooding. Another project of note is the initial buildings at a Lutheran college in Bihar for tribal persons which, with 4,000 students already, had no physical facilities yet of their own until MSAADA designed and implemented about 6,800 m2 (about 73,400 square feet) as a first phase of a planned full college campus.
Finally, equally significant is the extension and improvement of a girls’ school having about 2,000 boarding and day students, including a primary school, secondary school, and higher secondary school, as well as a Teachers’ Training Institute.
Other MSAADA project in India include some medical projects, many churches and chapels, some public administration building and community centers, as well as even some water projects and other miscellaneous projects. Additionally, we have completed number of housing projects, including rebuilding of houses for 71 families who were tsunami victims in Tamil Nadu back in the early part of the 21st century.
While the majority of MSAADA’s projects in India have been located in the state of Tamil Nadu, we have also served in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.