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Girls school in India created by Santa Barbara nonprofit damaged in cyclone

Girls school with local connection damaged by cyclone
PACE Learning Center
Jayanta Chatterji

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Cyclone Amphan damaged the grounds of a girls school in India that was started by a Santa Barbara nonprofit and Rotary member.

PACE Universal in Santa Barbara raised money to build the PACE Learning Center school near Kolkata.

Director Derek Moore said PACE stands for Promise of Assurance for Children Everywhere.

It was started by humanitarian Deepa Biswas of Solvang.

"In 2003, the organization established Pace Learning Center in a village 35 kilometers outside Kolkata in India to stop the human trafficking of girls and to upgrade such a community through education and the empowerment of girls and women."

Biswas shared photos of the damaged school grounds on Facebook.

She visited the school and its 250 students for two weeks in January with Moore and others before it was closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the closure, PACE management and staff provided food rations to the girls.

On May 20, the strongest storm to ever hit eastern India hit the area.

"Along with the village, PACE Learning Center suffered extensive damage, worse yet most of girls lost their homes. These girls and their families now need our help, even small donations can help make sure these girls continue to get what they need to survive and march forward to a brighter future."

Donations may be made at or by sending a check to PACE Universal 1 North Calle Cesar Chavez, Suite 102, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 or contact

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Tracy Lehr

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