Little Lilies Crèche lies in the heart of the village of Pallangi, about 10km from the town of Kodaikanal, and it now supports 50 children, aged 2-5. It was opened after considerable hard work by students from the International School of Geneva in 2002. Students converted an abandoned shed into a school building in the course of one week of project work, and they named the crèche after the lilies growing on the property.
Ecolint students have returned each year to work at Little Lilies and have invested work and funds in maintaining and renovating of the building and site. From 2002 to 2010, Ecolint project work in Little Lilies included painting the interior walls with educational murals, adding a tin roof classroom, a bathhouse and relaying the roof tiles. In time, a new kitchen was built, releasing more classroom space and the number of crèche children increased to 50. The playground has also been transformed to include a strong boundary wall, a stage for performances and a vegetable garden
As a rental property, Little Liles was under constant threat of eviction or rent increase. In 2010, Ecolint students donated funds to secure the purchase of the site of Little Lilies. Between 2013 and 2016, Ecolint collaborated with other donors to replace the old building with a newly constructed brick building, with three furnished classrooms, a separate kitchen and bathrooms. The Ecolint team is not the only donor to support Little Lilies. The annual running costs of the crèche are supported by Help Kids India, funding partners of the Betsy Elizabeth Trust.
The Ecolint team also provides for the health of Little Lilies children to ensure access to basic healthcare through their crèche nurse, first-aid medication, and a weekly doctor’s visit for sick children. As well, the students spends time purchasing crèche supplies during their project week, to provide the crèche with blankets, floor mats and kitchenware, as well as clothes and shoes for the children each year.
Another Ecolint initiative is to provide the 5 year old children who are about to graduate with a learning kit, comprising a small back-pack with notebooks, pens and the supplies they need for a positive start in primary school.