How it all began ...

Sona Murmu in Ghosaldanga
In 1984 Martin Kämpchen met a Santal boy, Sona Murmu, who had just completed his school education, in Ghosaldanga. A friendship developed between them, which eventually gave birth to a common desire to put into practice their ideals and ideas of village development.

In the course of time Martin Kämpchen and Sona Murmu introduced and built up various programmes in Ghosaldanga, such as medical care, the extra tuition and pedagogical support of school children, a kindergarten, an annual tree-planting project with the strict surveillance of these young plants, aquaculture, agricultural projects and a weaving mill for women.

Boro Baski in Bishnubati
Following this model, Boro Baski - the first boy of his village who had completed his school education - commenced development work in Bishnubati at the same time as he was studying at college.

In order to promote the schooling of Santal children, two evening schools for elementary and secondary education were established, together with two kindergartens with the provision of meals for the schoolchildren.

The founding of "Sanghas"
In order to provide the organization of village development work in the two villages with a legal framework, the Ghosaldanga Adibasi Seva Sangha (GASS) was formed in 1989, followed by the Bishnubati Adibasi Marshal Sangha (BAMS) in 1997.

The foundation in 1996 of an independent Santal elementary school, the Rolf-Schoembs-Vidyashram (RSV) - named after the German astrophysicist Rolf Schoems, who had in his will left Martin Kämpchen a considerable sum of money for development aid - was a milestone in the village project.

As a day school providing school dinner, the Rolf-Schoembs-Vidyashram
 was to take into account the linguistic and socio-cultural problems which Santal children experienced when attending state schools.