AN AWARD-WINNING Sheffield teacher has given up a top job to set up a school for disadvantaged children in India.
Amanda Smith, aged 38, has been appointed vice-principle of a new charity school called Paradise Village, which is being built in the Andhra Pradesh region of India.
The former Tapton School teacher said: “I have never been to India before and, yes, I am scared. I don’t really know what to expect other than that it will be very different. “Obviously, I will have my work cut out because I go to India with very little knowledge of Indian education and therefore I will need to learn a lot.”
The school and village are the brainchild of Dr Koneru Prasad, founder of the UK-based charity Health and Education for All.
Since its formation 19 years ago, HEAL has lifted hundreds of orphans and needy children out of India’s poverty trap by providing shelter, medical care, food, and education.
The aim is to build a self-sustaining village community where 1,000 impoverished children can be nurtured and educated.
A 25-acre site has been acquired and cleared and Paradise Village is expected to open its doors next June.
Amanda taught for 10 years at Tapton and in July won an Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in a city-wide competition.
She said: “It was a massive move and a huge decision to leave a very good job, but suddenly it seemed to be the right thing to do. I had the experience, I had the ability, I just needed the courage to go through with it.”