The Chennai Nook project

The Chennai Nook Project – Summary

IGCS teamed up in a new collaborative project with Bangalore-based non-profit organisation Project DEFY and the German-based association Initiative für Neue Bildung e.V. to create a “Nook” self-designed learning centre near Chennai. Nooks are ‘schools without teachers’ equipped with tools, technology, electronics, recycled materials and a broad variety of resources that learners can utilise to design and pursue their own learning journeys, based on individual needs and interests.

The Chennai Nook will be located in Katchipedu, a periurban village 40 km west of Chennai, adjacent to the popular Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Site. Due to a lack of access to quality education and a spiral of marginalisation and social stigmatisation that the local population faces, a large part of the Katchipedu residents rely on odd jobs or exploitative day labour. For the village youth, in particular, prospects are very limited. This leads to ever-more social conflicts and issues. The Nook project, initially funded by Hans Hermann Voss-Stiftung over a three-year period to commence in January 2022, sets out to change this scenario. The partners envision the Nook to become a catalyst for change and provide Katchipedu’s youth with the platform, resources, skills and knowledge they need to take charge of their own lives. It will play a pivotal role in supporting and nurturing the ambitions of the youth and thereby contribute to a more sustainable transformation of the Katchipedu community at large. By building on IGCS’s Periurban Initiative and the ongoing Peri-Cene Project about Chennai’s periurbanization processes, the Chennai Nook incorporates an action research component to integrate sustainability with the learning process and learners-led projects such as community gardening, or repair and recycling.

Contact: Dr. Christoph Woiwode, woiwode@igcs-chennai.org