Speech Given by The President Maria Elena Cuomo at The Mambakkam (India) Inauguration Ceremony – 20.06.2019

Your Excellency, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters,
Ladies & Gentlemen,
& Dear Teachers, Children, Parents and Friends,

Today we are celebrating the official inauguration of Amala Annai Higher Secondary School and I am celebrating my 20th birthday with India.

This is a very special occasion for me, for the Foundation, for the Environment and for the future of many generations of students. 

A VERY SPECIAL DAY FOR ME, as I can recall as if it was yesterday, this little church by the beach in Kovalam. I was different, India was different, the World was different. It was our first experience with my late husband Alfredo, who is surely proud of our achievements.

I wish, at that stage to thank the Catholic Church without whom Kovalam project would never had existed. I feel blessed, and thank all of you, for this invaluable experience. 

A VERY SPECIAL DAY FOR THE CUOMO FOUNDATION, as we have, since the last 20 years been present in Tamil Nadu. We have not only built schools, but also created scholarships, that have enabled students to carry on with further academic studies in colleges and universities. But before reaching university, you need to access basic education, which can be considered as a human right. This is why the foundation has built so many schools, which all of you know in : Kovalam, Sendivakkam, KG Kandigai, Chennai and ultimately   in Mambakkam. 

A special school for a special world. As I said previously the world has changed tremendously over the last 20 years. 

Education is the most important mission of the Foundation, as such, we believe that learning to respect our environment, learning to respect the world, our world, your world, is part of the Education. 

THIS ECO FRIENDLY GREEN SCHOOL with the recognition of the prestigious IGBC, demonstrates our implication and our action.

This will remain and should be seen, not as a trendy behavior, but as a philosophy and a new way of life. 

Amala Anna school is there to remind all of us and especially the younger generations that they must be concerned and pro active to protect the planet from major events such as those witnessed by climate changes.

India should be at the forefront, as it is a huge country, with a very dense population, and a fast development rate.

As this fast development rate requires a lot of energy, you should in the same time be aware of the dangers of polluting water and crops, impairing the quality of air, consuming too much energy.

The first school in Tamil Nadu such as this one, conveys an educational message for all of us.

We as the Foundation are proud to be part of this noble achievement.

From access to basic learning, to completion of secondary studies and finally allowing some to reach university, it seemed that we had reached our aim.

But we felt we had to move one step further, by getting involved into a green school and by doing so to open the way for others.

We hope our students from the youngest to the oldest, will be conscious of their rights, but more importantly of their duties, as knowledge and respect go well together.

Thanks you so much for allowing the foundation to be part of it, and thank you for allowing me to be part in this quest of knowledge. 

May God bless you all !