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May 23, 2018

Holi Festival, A20 conference and Vacation Camps

A20 Global Summit on Child Advocacy
A20 Global Summit on Child Advocacy

For Holi,during the end of February and beginning of March, children celebrated with a Dry Holi. In recognition of water’s scarcity and eliminate its waste, Dry Holi uses avoids the use of pichkaris, which are like water guns. Instead, the children painted on newspapers and were given small amounts of safe colored powders to smear on each other.

From March 17th through the 26th, Parulben attended the Global Social Leadership Summit on Child Advocacy in Beijing, China. Sponsored by the Alibaba group, this invitation only event brought together leaders in child rights from 20 countries to exchange ideas and recognize their achievements. Parulben gave a well recieved presentation on Shaishav's child participatory methods, its programs, and what our Child Rights Training and Resource Center offers.

The event was organized by Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Center. The Center was established in 1999 and received special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council in 2011. It is the most influential child protection organization in China. Only one person from each country was selected for this summit and Parulben was India's representative at this prestigious event. Congratulations to Shaishav and Parulben on this great achievement!

Vacation camp is underway from May 8th through the 20th and this year's focus is environmental preservation and life skills.  Plastic bottle were recycled into banks, wall hangings, and various containers to use in the kitchen.  Other activities involved using origami to build paper houses, greeting cards, and various paper animals and objects.  The children especially enjoyed using their creativity to build complex origami houses.  Some even created two story homes with stairs, pools and backyards!  A Hindi version of the famous Pixar film "Rio", the children really enjoyed it and took home the film's message on letting animals be free.  Finally, the children also toured the Bhavnagar auditorium next door.  The staff was kind enough to provide a tour of the stage, sound system and galleries in the building. 

In other very special news ,Shaishav celebrated its 25th anniversary with cake and Balsena children on April 27th!  Instead of blowing out candles on a cake, the children and staff chose to light a diya to signify their neverending hope that all children have a safe and happy childhood.  

Here is what Parul, Shaishav's co-founder had to say about the special occasion: 

"Happy to inform all of you that today we completed 25 years of Yatra in Search of Childhood through Shaishav! Yes, Shaishav completed 25 years today! Such a transforming, fulfilling, satisfactory, joyful time with most beautiful energy of the world called Children! I pray and wish to continue to work for rest of life and in future lives if there is. Only one pain is that while we see lots of changes at personal level, at the societal level, the children's situation is becoming worst then ever! Promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep!"

Upcoming in the end of the month will be the annual board meeting at which Shaishav is excited to share this year's acheivements, challenges and future plans. 

Visiting Bhavnagar Auditorium
Visiting Bhavnagar Auditorium
Building Origami Houses
Building Origami Houses
Holi Activities
Holi Activities
Shaishav's Anniversary Celebration
Shaishav's Anniversary Celebration
Apr 3, 2018

A20 Summit and Celebrating with Color!

Using Clay to Learn the Alphabet
Using Clay to Learn the Alphabet

In Lokshala, children have begun a new English curriculum designed by Bhoomi College student, Manoj in December. Guided by AIF Fellow, Maitreyi, the children enjoy writing the alphabet and sounding out words. Special techniques are used to increase retain of vocabulary and to make sure that children able to apply phonics to sound out words rather than memorize the words.

Maitreyi has also worked with the Lokshala facilitators to develop ways to engage other senses rather than just sight and hearing to engage children in academic subjects such as Math and English. Children who are just learning to write the alphabet and numbers are given a piece of Play Doh and asked to mold the colorful cool pliable clay into the different characters. Having the opportunity to play like this while learning has left the children looking forward to Lokshala more than ever!

For Holi, children celebrated with a Dry Holi. In recognition of water’s scarcity and eliminate its waste, Dry Holi uses avoids the use of pichkaris, which are like water guns. Instead, the children painted on newspapers and were given small amounts of safe colored powders to smear on each other.

Currently, planning for the summer camp is going on. Exposure visits, hands on activities, and interactives games are planned to impart lessons on leadership, teamwork and child rights. Shaishav's team does door-to-door outreach to spread the word about this exciting event and encourage more children to attend.

From March 17th through the 26th, Parulben attended the Global Social Leadership Summit on Child Advocacy in Beijing, China. Sponsored by the Alibaba group, this invitation only event brought together leaders in child rights from 20 countries to exchange ideas and recognize their achievements. Parulben gave a well recieved presentation on Shaishav's child participatory methods, its programs, and what our Child Rights Training and Resource Center offers.

The event was organized by Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Center. The Center was established in 1999 and received special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council in 2011. It is the most influential child protection organization in China. Only one person from each country was selected for this summit and Parulben was India's representative at this prestigious event. Congratulations to Shaishav and Parulben on this great achievement!

Holi Celebration
Holi Celebration
Parulben Receiving A20 Award For Child Rights
Parulben Receiving A20 Award For Child Rights
A20 Global Summit Attendees
A20 Global Summit Attendees
Feb 27, 2018

Color and Celebrations!

Balsena Annual Event Opening Ceremony
Balsena Annual Event Opening Ceremony

In December, Kishor Mandal (event for adolescent boys) and Kishori Mandal (event for adolescent girls) were held. 109 girls attended Kishori Mandal and 93 boys attended Kishor Mandal. This year’s theme was decision making, goal setting, and leadership. Some activities were strategic and required critical thinking and presenting arguments. Others were more energetic and encouraging team members to cheer each other into completing an exercise.

One activity involved body image where groups of children were each given a bar of soap and asked to create a pitch to sell the product. Ultimately, the activity was to get children thinking about how advertisements change how they perceive their own self-image.  For the girls, Rakshaben Bhatt, a high school english teacher and historical photographer, presented a powerpoint of photos she took in Ladakh. The girls were very curious and enamored by the beautiful landscapes.  For the boys, Sanjaybhai Desai, trustee of Bhavnagar Blood Bank, past trustee of Shaishav and current principal of Visuddhanand High School talked about how to be a leader.  The children listened to stories about the honored guests’ lives, accomplishments, and challenges.  They were also encouraged to give feedback on each activity so that Shaishav could adjust future program to their interests. 

January started off with the Annual Balsena Event.  275 children from 12 different points were taken to a local school for fun, food, and activities with the Shaishav bus.  Participatory activities were planned that would allow the children to fully engage in discussions about important values such as leadership, problem solving and decision making.  The children watched the film Poorna, which is about a 12 year old girl from Telegana whom climbed Mt. Everest.  It is a story about willpower, and courage triumphing over personal fears and limitations.  The film was well received and they still talk about fondly nearly a month later! 

Several activities were setup in different classroom throughout the day. In a leadership activity, children were split in to groups where all but one child wore a blindfold, the child that wasn’t wearing blindfold needed to guide the group through an obstacle course setup in the room.  Prior to tying the blindfolds, a few minutes were given for the children to strategize about how the leader will accomplish this.  The leaders were only allowed to use non-verbal cues, meaning gestures like tapping or gently pushing.  Each group had unique ways of communicating with their leaders and the activity was well received.

Decision-making and the importance of time was new topic that was introduced at this year's event.  The kids were asked to think about how much time the spent on several activities during their daily life.  For instance, how much time did they spend watching tv?  They were asked to cut a length of ribbon that was in proportion to how much time they estimated…as honestly as they could!  The activity was meant to get kids thinking about how they spent their time and what activities they could do instead.

At the end of the day, the Balsena President and Vice President gave a presentation on the highlights of the years and accomplishments of Balsena members.

In Lokshala, children have begun a new English curriculum designed by Bhoomi College student, Manoj in December. Guided by AIF Fellow, Maitreyi, the children enjoy writing the alphabet and sounding out words. Special techniques are used to increase retain of vocabulary and to make sure that children able to apply phonics to sound out words rather than memorize the words.

Maitreyi has also worked with the Lokshala facilitators to develop ways to engage other senses such as touch rather than just sight and hearing to engage children in academic subjects such as Math and English. Children who are just learning to write the alphabet and numbers are given a piece of Play Doh and asked to mold the colorful cool pliable clay into the different characters. Having the opportunity to play like this while learning has left the children looking forward to Lokshala more than ever!

For Holi, children celebrated with a Dry Holi. In recognition of water’s scarcity and eliminate its waste, Dry Holi uses avoids the use of pichkaris, which are like water guns. Instead, the children painted on newspapers and were given small amounts of safe colored powders to smear on each other.

Lokshala, Learning Through Touch
Lokshala, Learning Through Touch
Body Image Exercise During Kishor Mandal
Body Image Exercise During Kishor Mandal
Holi Celebration
Holi Celebration
 
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