In 2005, Clary Castrission and Karyn Avery, two uni students from Sydney Australia, took a holiday to India that would change their lives forever.
Upon witnessing firsthand the devastating impact of extreme poverty affecting so many children, Clary and Karyn's life took a complete departure from the career trajectories they were on.
Clary and Karyn believed that education would change the lives of these children, and open up opportunities to change and shape their own futures. They naively figured that they only needed $40K to build a school for a community outside Bangalore. Five years and $400,000 later, the Banyan School opened its doors to its first children. Had it not been for 40K's work, the 350 children who are now at the school would still be spending their days in a nearby quarry with their parents.
“We never changed the name 40K because it represents something that we never want to lose sight of: the naivety, creativity, drive and power of youth.”
- Clary Castrission OAM
In October 2010, 40K together with our project partner, The Lovedale Foundation officially opened the Banyan school providing education to severely underprivileged kids from the local villages and nearby granite quarry of Bangalore. Since the school opened, Lovedale has done a phenomenal job in building the school from the inside out.
“If you want to be involved in international poverty reduction, don’t do it from a high-rise in New York or Geneva.Get over to the developing world and get your hands dirty.”
- Professor Sam Blay
The Banyan School is a clear demonstration of 40K's ability to commit to and deliver a project successfully in the Indian environment.
The Banyan School was just the beginning for us.
In moving forward, we wanted to be more cost effective and if we want to extend our reach to thousands more kids, then building schools was not going to be the answer.