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Jan 28, 2019

Aaranyak: Inauguration, Balmelas, and workshop

Children during Inauguration
Children during Inauguration

MONTHS: OCTOBER TO DECEMBER

During this quarter we mainly focused on team training, networking and building relationships with children. 

Life Beyond Development: One of the important value for Aaranyak is environmental sustainability. We had a 3 days workshop with Shaishav team members on this topic in the month of October. We explored stories behind development phenomenon, and how it impacts our environment, people and health. We learnt about stories of water, mobile, t-shirt, waste, etc. We used different mediums like movies, games, discussions, field visit to create the understanding.  We had a participation of 11 members from our team.

IDEC: International Democratic Education Conference was held at Bangalore on 15th-21st November. Democratic schools from all over the world came, and gave presentation about their space. One member from Aaranyak team also participated in this conference.  Different people shared about how to connect nature in education through activities and stories, importance of free play in education, connecting local issues and people in education. The belief that children can learn by themselves and only need a space and exposure became more firm.

Meeting with Sewa Rural: Sewa Rural is an organization which is actively working with tribal communities of Bharuch and Narmada district from last 37 years, and their focus is on health, development and livelihood. Sewa Rural is also our potential partner organization for Aaranyak. We had several meetings with the team of the organization to get a better understanding about the local communities and challenges of the local area. They also supported us in choosing the base in Pomlapada village of the Daidiapada block. They also helped us to connect with some local leaders, youth and former local staff of SEWA Rural who may provide us the information, situations and need of the local area.

Inauguration and Balmela: On 13th December, 2018 we formally inaugurated our new initiative, Aaranyak in Pomlapada village, in the presence of village children and leaders, and school principals. We also had trustees and members of Sewa Rural on the Inaugural day. The land owner Mr. Sam Sheth was also present and he expressed his happiness that this place is being useful for such good activities. On 13th and 14th December, we organized 2 Balmelas in schools nearby. In Samarpada school which is a Kendravarti Shala (Pay Centre School), we did Balmela on topics like Human body and various systems of the body, cooperative games, making scientific toys, paper craft, etc. with a participation of 145 children. The second Balmela was held in Samarpada Ashramshala with 150 children on the same topics. We got a very good response from children during the Balmelas. We observed children showing keen interest to understand the concepts behind the activities and also shown increased enthusiasm during the outdoor activities. 

  

Balmela on Human body
Balmela on Human body
Life Beyond Development Workshop
Life Beyond Development Workshop
Dec 26, 2018

Visit to Norway and UK, Child Rights Week Celebration

"Passing water" game during the outdoor camp
"Passing water" game during the outdoor camp

            Shaishav started a new Community Education Center Lokshala in the Lakhaji Nagar of Bhavnagar in the month of September, 2018. This makes 3 Lokshala Centers in total. We also had 2 Residential camps for "Active" and "Council" members of Balsena Children Collective in this month. Council members had it on the theme of "Roles and Responsibilities" since the Council was newly formed in the Balsena Election. Active members had camp on the theme “Leadership”. Many cooperative games were played to inculcate leadership skill. To conduct outdoor activities we went to Kuda beach which is 30 km from Bhavnagar. 

            ParulSheth, Founder and Executive Director of Shaishav attended the Global summit from 16th to 18th October, 2018 organized by Laureus Sport for Good at INSEPin Paris. More than 200 delegates of 40+ countries participated in the Summit. During the event, ParulSheth gave a presentation on “Wenlido” which is the personal safety training offered to girls and women by Shaishav. 

            Parul Sheth also received invitation from friends and well-wishers from Norway and UK during this time. She had formal meetings and conversations about Shaishav's programmes and new initiative Aaranyak- A Rural Alternative Learning Space with many of them. Apart from this, She also visited number of International Organizations AFID (Accounting For International Development), Global Giving UK, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Laureus Sport for Good, Ashoka UK, Comic Relief, and Child to Child Trust and shared about Shaishav. 

            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. 

            One of the Success Story we came across in this period was of Bhavik (12 yr old). Bhavik was a notorious boy who was made captain of team during the Kho-kho game. After a point of time during the game, he realized no one was listening to him and how frustrated he is feeling as a captain. This made him realize that, one should listen to each other to work as a team. During reflection session after the game, Bhavik brought this point of listening to each other and emphasized on the negative effects of not doing it. This realization in Bhavik, slowly brought changes in him. Now, we can see Bhavik who listens to others and maintain healthy friendship. 

Laureus Global Summit
Laureus Global Summit
Presentation on Shaishav's Programmes
Presentation on Shaishav's Programmes
Child Rights Week Celebration
Child Rights Week Celebration
Nov 26, 2018

Balmelas Trainings and Kishor Kishori mandals

Kids displaying their "Paper fan" models
Kids displaying their "Paper fan" models

              August month had number of Balmelas under the theme of "Fun with Science". Children made small toys to understand the concept of sound, Animal and Science toys were made with paper, and paper craft was done to the understang the idea of "Motion picture". Children have shown great enthusiasm while making the toys and shared their learnings at the end of the Balmela. We have done 4 Balmelas with a participation of 191 boys and 153 girls in the month of August. 

             Kishor(Boys) and Kishori (Girls) Mandal activities are mainly for adolescent children to understand the Physical, Mental and Emotional changes happening within them and build their capacity. The curriculum has a definite progression of starting with activities that are very comfortable to do to more sensitive topics. The initial activities were “Introduction to Music” where children need to introduce themselves as soon as the music stops and "Protective shield” in which children will share positive quality of another person. These activities are meant to know eachother at a deeper level and foster peer bonding. On an average, 197 boys and 191 girls participated in 61 activities.

             October month had lot of Balmelas under the themes of "Geography" and "Environment". One of the activity during the Balmela was Gujarat jodo (Joining Gujarat) which is map activity where children first need to place different regions of Gujarat in correct place in the map, identify different districts of Gujarat, and finally colour them. This activity enhances mapping skills and teaching methodology includes cutting, pasting and coloring which makes the activity very interesting to children. 

                We also had one-day trainings to younger boys and girls in this month. The theme was focussed on "Self Awareness" which was further broken down into "Bodily awareness", "Self and Social image", and "Understanding our emotions". Activities were conducted involving some theatre techniques and having circle discussions towards the end. Children were completely involved since these activities involve a lot of physical actions and discussions become very productive since they had to share the experience they went through. 

Activity during the residential camp
Activity during the residential camp
Facilitators' capacity building training
Facilitators' capacity building training
 
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