Zoe Kennedy-Hughes graduated from Sussex University in 2012 reading Geography and Development Studies. While studying Zoe also worked for a women’s rehabilitation home and also set up her own society helping non-attending youths in the local area. She also worked with a local food cooperative distributing locally sourced vegetables and grains. Following a brief period of working in a summer school for international students in Brighton, she came to Hyderabad to volunteer for Tom Holloway’s organsation, Holloways, which founded Zoe’s understanding of the specific needs within the community of Yellammabanda.
After the volunteering scheme came to an end, she decided to stay and has now been working with Hyderapals, Holloways and various schools for nearly two years. She works with Hyderapals to better establish MSF/Patashala in order to reach higher standards and provide a good quality of education that would not otherwise be available to children in such circumstances.
Her love of the school stems from the fact it helps people on many levels. She sees it as a community project helping to distribute knowledge to families, empowering local women such as the teachers who work there, as well as benefiting the students who come to the school.
Matthew was inspired to become a trustee after visting the MS Foundation School in the summer of 2010. He was struck by the huge difference a school situated in a slum area can make to the wellbeing, abilities and life prospects of some of the poorest children in the World. Despite the dynamism of the Indian economy, millions are left behind. Only by affording children such as those attending the MS Foundation school their right to an education can they have any chance of catching up.
Matthew studied law at Oxford University and qualified as a solicitor before becoming a barrister. He now practises commercial chancery law at Serle Court chambers in London. As well as his work with Hyderapals he is a committee member of PILARs, a charitable scheme providing pro bono insolvency advice to those facing bankruptcy.
Rachel became involved with the school in 2006 when she took a trip to Hyderabad to visit Tom Holloway. Since then Rachel has had the fire in her belly to help in a small way to right the wrong of the huge disparity between the wealth of India and the reality of living in the slums of one of the richest countries on earth. Since 2006 Rachel has been involved through fundraising and supporting the work of the MS Foundation that is done at ground roots level. Rachel has been and taught at the school a number of times. The huge gulf between the wealth of India and the way in which the money is disseminated down to those who actually need it is a huge sadness that Rachel campaigns to right, through her small way she hopes to help.
Rachel is Facilities Manager at Fountain Television Studios, the largest independent television studios in the UK. Having gained a first in music from Chichester she continues the music by teaching cello, piano and singing as well as singing at St Martin-in-the-fields. She has been the Chair of the Brent Culture Sport and Learning forum which promotes accessibility of sports, art and culture and is currently chairing one of the government apprenticeship trailblazer groups in TV production and Media.
Sundeep’s involvement with Hyderapals started after her husband, Peter Knight completed a photographic assignment for the Patashala School in 2013. The images from the visit were awe inspiring and captured the hope and optimism of children who revelled in being children even if only during the school day.
Sundeep is a strong supporter of women’s empowerment and would like to be part of a change that seeks to address the inequalities that exist in India. She believes that education is an important vehicle for social change and social mobility. To date, Sundeep has been involved in fundraising for the charity and providing educational advice.
Having specialised in autistic spectrum disorder and teaching in special educational provision, Sundeep transferred to mainstream teaching in secondary education in 2010 and is Head of Psychology and Health and Social Care at Bishopshalt School in Hillingdon, UK. She holds a first in BSc Psychology from Brunel and an MSc in Analysis and Intervention in Learning Disabilities from Kent.
I am native of Hyderabad, after schooling went to Osmania University Womens College Hyderabad did degree in Botany & Zoology, got married 1963 and we went to UK in 1966. Had three children, and lived in Cumbria for 27years. Active fundraiser for the West Cumbria Lions club international for 12 years.Following a computer training course I worked with Cumbria training company for two years then for Community health council for 3 years, the Rewo chemical company, and in various places as supply computer operator. Later on retired to Cyprus 1997 June.
Every year we visit India for three months. I was introduced to Ms Foundation school and sponsoring scheme in 2010 December and realised this was a wonderful chance to help local children. I was impressed by Tom’s dedication, Principal Lavanya and all the teachers. I love children. Whenever I go to India I visit school regularly & do all I can to help.
Tom has been an I T Engineer throughout his career, the last 25 years being spent with IBM. In 1986 on secondment to the UK National Council for Educational Technology, with help from BT and British Gas, he founded The Chatback Trust – http://commitmentsengland.org/ – which put the first schools on the Internet, specifically for speech-impaired children. His last IBM assignment was to set up the IBM Support Centre for People with Disabilities (now relabelled AbilityNet.org.uk ).
Shortly after retirement he visited India and was asked to help the newly formed MS Foundation to start a school for a migrant community on the outskirts of Hyderabad. He now spends as many months as possible living in Hyderabad where he makes fund-raising videos and websites for charities and Non-government Organisations. He is active in the University of the Third Age, and runs the WorldU3A service as Secretary/General. Further information from http://holloways.org
Raj is a NHS Hospital doctor in Scotland. He spent part of his childhood in India and has memories of playing on the streets of Kukatpalli close to the MS Foundation school. It was a real coincidence when family friend Jenny mentioned she was involved with a school ‘somewhere in Hyderabad!’ Raj would love to spend more time in Hyderabad but is pleased to be able to offer help as Webmaster.
Laura Johnson is a doctoral researcher at the Institute of Education, University of London. She specialises in global citizenship education and critical pedagogy. Laura has previously worked as a civil servant and as a Citizenship and Law teacher in London secondary schools and holds Masters degrees in Comparative Education and in Educational and Social Research. She has been pleased to support MS Foundation School and Hyderapals in an advisory capacity. Further information from http://lauraajohnson.weebly.com/
After graduating from Bangor University Jenny worked for the British Council, trained as a teacher, and taught in Finland, Nigeria and for many years in the Scottish Borders. She was co-founder and secretary of the Borders Amnesty International Group.
Early in her retirement she became aware of Tom Holloway’s work on behalf of the MS Foundation School and joined his sponsoring scheme. In December 2010 she had the chance to visit Hyderabad and to spend time with the children and teachers in their classrooms. She found it both reassuring and very inspiring to witness the dedication of Lavanya the Head Teacher, and of Tom and his team of colleagues, all working in very difficult circumstances to do their best to provide opportunity for the children and other members of this desperately poor community.