Do you believe that access to sports is a child's right?
Here at GVI, we believe that playing sports is a right all children should have. As such, we have put your donation to use in sports education. Recent donations have been used to fund a local sports coach’s - Surender Sir. The school could not afford to pay the salary of the sports coach and now we can get the children to be learning the importance of physical exercises and movement, healthy living and learn skills related to sports such as teamworking, communications, and listening and speaking also.
Donations have also been used for the sports equipment. The kids get so excited when we gave them all the new equipment. The school is always lacking footballs, volleyballs, cricket bats and badminton rackets . With your donation, the school is now better equipped and kids can now practise their favourite games and stay active.
The boys have formed a football team and we are hoping that after the summer is over in the new term we can have an Auxilium cricket team and start some interschool tournaments. The girls are also getting more involved with sports with badminton rackets and skipping ropes.
Hopefully in the long term we hope to make the students to active, be more confident, practise sports and participate in competitions, all of which is important for their development and growth.
There are also a lot of talented children who need the right guidance and given the equipment they will come up to be big sportsmen/women someday.
For more information, please feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
As it turns out, change requires brilliant ideas, dedication, hope and many, many hands. SDPY and GVI have combined forces to produce an enthusiasm for learning that has become contagious, slowly swelling our timid tuition students into spontaneous crowds of independent songs lead by our song leaders, teachings stopping volunteers to chat about life and halls teeming with outstretched hands and remember names. Over the last month, GVI has made a concerted effort to take the time to say thank you, thank you to our students for upholding the standards of leadership and practice we expect (and helping us keep our own standards high), thank you to our teachers for sharing their student and their classrooms, and to thanking the administration for trusting us to gather larger and larger amounts of students to play and learn independently. This month we all practiced our new vocabulary, “thank you.”
Sports Day was the ultimate day of thankfulness. Six volunteer, decked out head to toe in supportive colours, crowded the sidelines and cheered all day for our nine hundred and fifty some students. From the fist bumps we received from the commissioner of police during opening ceremonies, to the impromptu Malayalam lessons as we cheered on our respective teams, and the teachers constant checks to see if we had submitted our names for the upcoming events, we really were a part of the whole.
Although there are ways to quantify how many kids we pack into tuition, or the number of words our student’s vocabularies have grown by, there is no way to compact the sense of community and trust we have into a number or a word. Sports Day was all about sitting down in the dust and smiling, with no plans for what the conversation was going to practice, except to share and experience and listen to one another. There was no test needed, so rules laid out, we all just fit naturally into the excitment and pride from our school and our students.
One of the main long term goals of the project in Kerala is to ensure that kids do not drop out of school as this is a huge problem in the state of Kerala. Through your support and donations, we have been able to sponsor 50 students by paying for their school fees! You can see some the photos of the children your funds helped sponsor. Through donations, we are able to keep the project going but more importantly help poor children and the community we are working with financially. As many of the parents are daily wage earners (i.e. fishermen, coolies, or autorikshaw drivers), the families often have to borrow money from loan sharks to pay for school fees and end up in a cycle where they are in debt always. Some of the parents also have terminal injuries or illnesses that do not allow them to work and hence there might be no income coming in.The donations thus reduce the burden from both the families who having a hard time paying fees and also the kids who are expected to get top grades all the time by their families.
Part of volunteering and being a community partner is recognizing realities we would like to help change, but it takes heart, dedication and perseverance to see that change through. Operation ARTify is an ongoing initiative among our sites to increase visual and creative influences in our schools though a variety of mediums and outlets. The long-term goal of Operation ARTify is to model the ease with which art and creativity can be incorporated into lessons, and to highlight the benefits to students in both their classroom performance, and development of independent and creative thoughts. The three month goal of the project was to teach an art lesson in class (check) and to paint one mural at SDPY (triple check!)
The murals we have painted this month are far more than just beautiful decorations, and lasting tools for learning and imagination. More importantly, they represent the hours of dedication and hard work volunteers have given to create the sense of community we have with our school partners. At each site, it is clear the murals are not as much about décor, as they are about GVI thanking the community and kids for welcoming us into their lives, and allowing us a part in the education and growth of these amazing kids.
Last week our school principle said when she talks with us all of the stress leaves her body. She said she and the teachers are tired and when they see us believing in the kids and trying new ways of teaching, despite the mild riots which may happen, it gives her energy to keep believing in them. Everyday has not been smooth or gone according to plan, sometimes we have uncertain steps and complete missteps, but what is import is that we keep looking to the kids. They came and supported our new tuition program even though it meant more school work and less nap time, they brought their friends, took leadership roles even when it was not all fun and games. They stuck by us, so you can bet we are going to stick by them.
In June of 2011 GVI Kerala was given the opportunity to take on a huge task. 23 kids from the North East of India, a small tribal state called Manipur, arrived on the doorstop of the boys and girls homes that we work at. Over the last 12 months GVI Kerala had been the sole source of education for these kids. Everyday these kids would come to class ready to learn, keen to absorb anything that was thrown their way. It took a good three to four months before these kids started to come out of their shells, but when they did there was no stopping them. What these kids had endured has been nothing short of terrible, details are always sketchy but it has been a very difficult couple of years for all of these kids. The thing is that you would never know; they were so happy just to be at school, to feel a part of something, they would never complain about anything and never put themselves first, a lesson we can all learn from!
Now this period in their own and GVI Kerala’s lives is over, the kids have all been sent home by the Manipur government to be reunited with their families and to go to school in their local areas, an amazing achievement that has taken more than 12 months to happen.
It was such a great pleasure to be able to look back on all the work the volunteers had put into these kids and the education that they received. On the request of the Manipur government, we were to hand in a report on the work that we had done with these kids. This was quite special, not only because it signified the end of an amazing period, but that the work that we have been doing with these kids is being taken seriously, and that what we have achieved will be taken into account, all of the time and effort, the hundreds of hours of teaching that GVI has provided for these kids is not lost. It has been an incredible 12 months, these kids came into this program and literately turned it on its head, and we love them for it. The lessons that we have learnt about ourselves and what is achievable has changed, and a new vision of where to go next is now the focus, from the experience that we have had with these kids we are prepared and forever grateful to them for it.
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