May 26, 2020

Optimism through a pandemic!

Engaging our children during tough times
Engaging our children during tough times

The coronavirus pandemic has rattled the world and suddenly our routines have come to a pause. While adults find ways to engage themselves during this lockdown such as working from home, assignments, chores, workout, Netflix, etc., it is a challenge for children to stay indoors (in this case, 17 days) and keep them engaged especially without friends.

Amidst the chaos, our volunteers found a way to adapt and engage the children from shelter homes to a fun-filled virtual event  - Nakashtra Online, a festival of recognizing talents through arts and activities conducted via Zoom or Hangouts app. 53 children from seven centres in Pune participated across events such as storytelling, elocution, recitation, singing, etc which took place for 4.5 hours. The operations team guided the children and helped in setting up the app and managed the entire session of Zoom on the day of the event. The winning homes are Sumati, Sneh Foundation, SSS Wadgaonsheri, Matruchaya Dighi, and Arise.

The team supported with efforts such as event rules book, judging criteria and promotional messages, and posters for getting volunteers as well as raising funds.

We have now been conducting Nakshatra online every week on a larger scale where 200 children from 65 shelter homes participated across 10 cities such as Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Trichy, Nagaland, Manipur, Assam with the help and engagement of 50 volunteers.

The feedback received from the stakeholders was that this gave an opportunity for everyone to sit through and watch the performances, unlike at an on-ground Nakshatra where the teams split up and are occupied amongst the assigned teams.

“The concept was astounding, and a huge shout out goes to all the volunteers and team for proactively communicating and coordinating till D-Day. We hope to pave more such opportunities on a wider scope engaging more children, volunteers, and shelter homes. This event is a blessing in disguise for the kids to overcome the stress of the lockdown, our children really enjoyed this. They did not have any stage of fear or crowd fear and participated in the event with more confidence. We look forward to taking part in the other events also but expecting communication in advance.” - Sarala, Centre Management (Arun Rainbow Home, Chetpet)

"In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity" — Sun Tsu

Volunteers from across India coming together
Volunteers from across India coming together
Feb 10, 2020

Skill Declaration to the Parents & the Community

Celebrating 'learning' with the community
Celebrating 'learning' with the community

A child’s mind is not a container to be filled but rather a fire to be kindled!

Low-income communities have minimally educated, or uneducated parents dreaming of their sons and daughters to study well and turn their life around. However, with the reality being different the learning levels of the students studying in private and government schools are abysmally low. Equity should not be just about access but also the quality i.e. using targeted strategies to ensure that the best quality of education.Hence, Bhumi’s transformational education at slum communities programme is run through the week by community volunteers from the same community at 25 centres in Chennai, with the focus on providing basic literacy and numeracy skills (in Mathematics, English, and Tamil) for the children with individual attention centered around the children’s learning level through activities.

To create awareness amongst parents about their child’s growth in academics and skills, and to appreciate the progress, Bhumi conducted a Skill Declaration Event for 380 children of grades 3 – 8 who participated in the presence of their parents, community, tutors and other stakeholders.

Parents and stakeholders randomly picked children from the group to read a sentence in Tamil or English or solve a mathematics problem. The children declared their skills in front of the audience by answering what they had learned from the programme delivered by the tutors.

The progress of children from the beginning of the year towards mid-year skill declaration showcases that the project is progressing towards the objective and that the delivery methodology is child-centered.

Bhumi has got the support from the community members who understand and believe that every child coming to Bhumi’s learning centres get the opportunity to learn, grow and discover their talents. We hope to pursue this to catalyze the children of today to become the change agents of their own community in the future.

Observed improvement in skill levels
Observed improvement in skill levels
Involving parents in the skill declaration
Involving parents in the skill declaration
Demonstrating the skills learned
Demonstrating the skills learned

Links:

Dec 2, 2019

Inspiring Change: The story of Satadeep

An inspired and inspirational Satadeep
An inspired and inspirational Satadeep

“Ask nothing; want nothing in return. Give what you have to give; it will come back to you” – Swami Vivekananda

From Illiteracy to E-Literacy!

To ignite young minds to the endless possibilities of the computer, make children functionally e-literate, and help lay the foundation for a better career, Bhumi takes the computer to underprivileged children. One such beneficiary turned volunteer is Satadeep from Kolkata.

“Inspiring Change” - Story of Satadeep from Kolkata

Kindness and hope might not be the traits that you'd come across every day but we at Bhumi strive to help children realise their dreams and receive education to build dynamic young leaders of tomorrow.

His Background

One such inspirational story is that of Satadeep's who hails from a humble financial background, but things went haywire when he lost his father in class 2. Due to financial constraints, he joined of the homes, Saujatya Centre where he exceptionally performed with self-learning skills and Bhumi's support.

Bhumi started Computer classes in Saujatya Centre in 2016 when Satadeep was in class 10. He remained as sincere as ever and scored 85% to make everyone proud. With Bhumi’s training in computers, Satadeep got very interested and started spending more time on the subject. He is now skilled enough to develop apps and knows to code too.

In 2019, he appeared for his class 12 boards and secured 78%. He was so grateful to Bhumi that he pledged to give back to the community whatever he had received and more. It is a dream come true and brings tears of joy in Satadeep's volunteer teacher’s eyes.

His Volunteering Journey

What’s most humbling about Satadeep is the fact that he attended Bhumi’s orientation program in Kolkata in April this year to start volunteering. He now teaches computer every weekend at the same center Saujatya Home for Boys. 

When asked why he chose to volunteer, he says “My mentors at Ramakrishna Mission told me that kindness was beyond everything – so I want to spread this message by volunteering with Bhumi.” 

Satadeep holds a special place in his heart for one of our Bhumi volunteers Abhiroop Bhattacharya, who not only mentored him during his Bhumi classes but was constantly in touch with him about his progress in life and kept guiding him to achieve more. Satadeep says “I am here because I want to be like Abhiroop Da”

“Bhumi believes that every underprivileged child deserves a quality education. We have transformed this conviction into a volunteering opportunity for India’s youth, launching a snowball effect of talent nurturing talent on the path to an educated, poverty-free India” - Dr. Prahalathan (Co-Founder, Bhumi)

Children like Satadeep in the making at Bhumi
Children like Satadeep in the making at Bhumi
 
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