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Mar 26, 2019

Balsena Annual Day, Adolescent girls and boys program

Facilitator demonstrating safety through role play
Facilitator demonstrating safety through role play

          We work with adolescent boys and girls of age 11 to 16. Activities with the adolescent group create increased understanding about their own gender, the physical, mental and emotional changes during puberty and better interpersonal relationship with the other gender. Apart from the monthly sessions in every area and schools where we work, we have an annual samelan (convention) separately for girls and boys. In the month of December, 2018 we had this event for adolescent boys and girls program consecutively. The theme was on personal safety. Children understood about what to do when they are abused, how to make a safe decision, whom to go for help, how to say “no” with a strong conviction and to create and maintain a strong personal boundary. More than 200 Boys and 300 Girls from different communities and schools participated in this program. 

           Apart from the regular weekly sessions, One day trainings on the theme of "Understanding Waste" were held on 5th and 6th January, 2019.122 children participated in these trainings. They learnt about what is waste, how it harms the environment, about waste segregation, 4Rs: Refuse. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Many children pledged to create as less waste as possible and to Reuse. 

           Shaishav is part of "Child Rights Collective Gujarat" network. Now Balsena has become one of the founding members of collective of all the children's collective in Gujarat, "Gujarat Balmanch." On 4th, 5th, and 6th January, children from all the different collectives came together to be part of this Balmanch. This Balmanch had a presence of representatives from different political parties who are preparing manifesto for the next election. 2 children from Balsena also participated in this workshop. Children discussed about the current status on child rights related issues in their respective areas and the things they would like to improve on. They then prepared a document comprising all the issues and possible solutions, and presented that to the representatives from different political parties. This will be used by the political parties while preparing the election manifesto. Balmanch provides a platform for children to be part of larger democratic process of India by involving them in identifying local issues and escalating them to state and national level.

            Each year Balsena children along with Shaishav staff celebrates Balsena Annual day. The objective behind this annual day is to celebrate Balsena' birth anniversary which is on 12th January and also to create an opportunity to children to mingle and befriend children from the other areas and schools. This year it was 16th year of Balsena since its inception in the year 2003 and we celebrated Annual day on 20th January. We have different themes in each year and this year theme was "Let's play Gandhi Gandhi." We had our theme on “Gandhiji” since this year is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. With the objective to take inspiration from Gandhiji’s life we had more than 650 Children participated in Annual program. Instead of talking about Gandhi, children participated in different games and activities, and through reflecting on these experiences, they have learnt values of Gandhi. They were also shown clips from the movie “Gandhi”. Some of the older children and Tarunsena (Youth Collective) members performed a play based on few anecdotes on Gandhiji's life. Children also reflected and wrote some of the values of Gandhiji that they practice in their life and wrote "I am also Gandhi because   ." 

             On 24th January, 2019 children celebrated National Girl Child Day and International Day of Education. Through different activities boys and girls understood about Gender discrimination and why education is important for all. Towards the end of the session, girls pledged that they would continue their studies, and boys pledged that if their parents refuse to send their sister to school, they would help their sisters in convincing their parents.

Rally done by children during Balsena Annual Day
Rally done by children during Balsena Annual Day
Poster made by children on Girl Child Education
Poster made by children on Girl Child Education
Annual Adolescent program for boys
Annual Adolescent program for boys
Feb 21, 2019

Final Report

Children at Aaranyak project
Children at Aaranyak project

Dear Global Giving Team and Donors

Greetings from Shaishav

Thank you so much for donating to our Project “Children-The Change Maker” 23112 on Global Giving. With your support we were able to reach out to more than 3000 children directly and many more children indirectly.

We are currently closing this project in Global Giving platform since we received a grant that would support this project. All the weekly sessions at the area and school focused on child rights and life skills will be continued as before with the support from the grant.

Here is the brief summary of the activities conducted since January 2016 through this project

We worked in 35 community areas and 15 schools reaching out directly to 3000 children during this period. These children in turn shared their learning with many more children and adults.

We conducted weekly sessions at the door steps of children, where Shaishav’s facilitator visit the point and conducted activities related to Child Rights and Life skills. Child Rights come under 4 major categories Right to Survival, Protection, Participation and Development. Creating awareness among children about child rights and making them do child right audit were some of the major activities done in this period. Child safety audit focuses on the children’s “right to protection”. It starts with the Child Safety walk where children identify spaces in their community that are dangerous to them. This is followed by making mapping the spaces, analyzing them as a group and followed by making an action plan. Children will finally implement the action plan and document the whole process. The process puts children in test and improves skills like problem solving and critical thinking at the same time improving their self-confidence and self-esteem.

Life skills include Self Awareness, Interpersonal relations, Communication, Problem solving, Creativity, Critical thinking, Decision making, Empathy, Coping with stress, and Coping with emotions. Different cooperative games followed by reflections were used to harness these skills. One such cooperative game is “silent counting” where children count successive numbers let’s say 1 to 20 but no two children should say the number at the same time. Also, each child is supposed to tell only one number. This is a team game, where everyone in the group need to be involved and teaches many values like patience, listening to each other and cooperation in the process. In many of the weekly sessions, children become active participants by leading the activities and discussions. Children led sessions like swayampak, where children decide what they want to eat together, decide how much money need to be raised, who will procure the ingredients, and who will cooking and cleaning were done which would bring team work into action. Swayampak will in turn teach a lot of values especially gender sensitivity. Because, in the communities where Shaishav works, only girls are asked to do house hold chores. During Swayampak, both boys and girls work together leaving out any form of inhibitions. Swayampak also breaks the caste and religion barriers which are prevalent in our communities when they share the food and eat together. Children also imbibe leadership and management skills in the process.

On 27th April, 2018 Shaishav has achieved a new milestone of 25 year of journey alongside children. This gave an opportunity for Shaishav core team to pause and reflect on the 25 years of journey and future plans of Shaishav. Discussions on future plans led to taking the final decision on initiating an ambitious project Aaranyak in the tribal areas of South Gujarat.

Brief summary of our new project:

Aaranyak (means people living in forest) is an open learning space for children and youth inaugurated on 23rd December, 2018 in Dediapada block, Narmada district, Gujarat. Narmada district is identified as one of the two most “Backward” or “Aspirational” districts of Gujarat as per the reports by The National Institution for Transforming India (Niti Aayog). Tribal comprises majority of population in this district.

With more than 25 years of working alongside children, on child rights and education, Shaishav gained tremendous experience in understanding children and how they learn.

Considering the need of the region and education being the tool to change, Shaishav started this ambitious project Aaranyak, which is an open learning space where children decide what they want to learn, how they want to learn, who will guide them etc.

Some key programs include

Lokshala: Community Education Center where children from multiple grades study together on the principles of multi-level, multi-grade learning.

One day Trainings: These trainings focus on Child Rights and Life skills.

Adolescent program: This program focuses on making adolescent boys and girls aware on the physical, mental and emotional changes happening within them and also to build their capacity in all these fronts.

Wenlido: A Personal safety age appropriate training to girls/women focused on feministic perspective.

Leadership camps: Committee leaders from each Children Collective/Group will receive training that enhances their leadership skills to lead sessions and meetings with their peers.

Balmelas: Balmelas (children fair) will be organized to make children understand multiple concepts through innovative teaching in participatory manner.

Computer and English Training: Provide Computer and English training to children and youth of the area with special focus on girls which can improve their employability capacities and also boost their self-confidence.

Since this is a new project, we didn’t receive any grant so far that would support this project. As each one of you made contribution to our previous project and made it a successful one, we request all of you to support us similarly to make these marginalized tribal children educate and take charge of their lives.

You can read more about the project here

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/an-alternative-learning-space-for-rural-children/

Warm Regards

Shaishav

Learning about child rights through games
Learning about child rights through games
Activity of Passing body through a paper
Activity of Passing body through a paper
Feb 15, 2019

Residential camp and Balsena Annual Day

Rally during the Annual Day
Rally during the Annual Day

          November 13th to 16th, 2018 was celebrated as "Child Rights Week" in all the communities where Shaishav works. Rallies, Poster making, Pamphlet distribution, Exhibition on Child Rights were done in public places of Bhavnagar to increase the awareness on Child Rights and Protection among masses. With the guidance from Shaishav staff, Children were leading in many of these activities.         

          In the month of December 2018, there was a residential camp on the theme of Leadership. For 2 days children were actively engaged in the reflective sessions focused on quality of leader, understanding team dynamics, importance of working in a team. All the activities for the session were purely experiential in nature. Other than the fact that activities were lot of fun, they have put children in test about what team really means. Children had a great experience doing these activities and shared their learnings towards the end. 

          On January 20th, 2019 Shaishav facilitated Balsena Annual Day which is the major event for Shaishav. On the account of Mahatma Gandhi's150th birth year, Shaishav staff chose the theme "Chaalne Ramiye Gandhi Gandhi" for the event. Preparation for the event started almost a month ago and staff went through an intensive training of 3 days before the event. More than 40 Students from Lokbarti college came as a volunteer for the event. 

          On the day of event, more than 650 children activitely participated in the various activites of the event. Day started with a long rally on the roads and holding the quotes of Gandhiji. It was followed by hoisting Balsena (children collective) and Tarunsena (youth collective) flag. Guest of honor "Yashbhai Mehta" attended the event and inspired everyone with his words. Later, Cooperative games like counting with hands, blind square walk, passing ball, nav bindu etc were facilitated followed by reflecting on how we can relate the learnings to Gandhi's life. Children shared lot of interesting incidents from Gandhi's life related to the activities. This was followed by reading anecdotes from a book "Gandhi Ane Navi Pedhi" written by Father Valles. There was also a session on "I am also Gandhi" where children shared their personal experiences of doing good to the society. Towards the end, we had sammelan (convention) where Balsena President did a presentation on the different activities conducted in that year. Couple of theatre plays inspired from Gandhi's life were performed by Tarunsena and Shaishav staff. Children and Staff left the event with much joy and inspiration from Gandhiji.  

Theatre Play by Tarunsena member
Theatre Play by Tarunsena member
Children participating in Residential camp
Children participating in Residential camp

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