Sep 17, 2018

Creating safe spaces for children in urban slums

Children's growth in Mathematics
Children's growth in Mathematics

Children growing up in slums experience a childhood with massive social problems associated with urban poverty. The learning levels of the students studying in across private and government schools are abysmally low which reduces the chance of the students crossing the important milestones of class 10 and 12 at merit. Personal safety, positive influences, exposure to opportunities, role models to inspire good values and choices and access to learning resources are some of the many factors that goes missing in the growing up years of children, especially in slum communities.

These make communities vulnerable, and the lack of a community’s investment in the child’s holistic development (mental, physical, intellectual and spiritual) could only intensify these societal challenges.

Bhumi’s community centre aims to provide:

  • A safe, positive and healthy environment in after school centres
  • Academic support to ensure Tamil and English literacy and Mathematical skills are honed age appropriately
  • A trigger to social consciousness for the young minds
  • A platform to discover and explore one’s individual talents

In the academic year 2017 – 2018, over 800 children honed holistic education in Chennai.

In Mathematics, students progressed from 40% during beginning year assessments to 65% in the year end assessments across grades 3 - 8. In Tamil, students progressed from 22% during beginning year assessments to 30% in the end year assessments across grades 3 to 8 in various skills such as letters, words, sentences, story reading & comprehension and writing.

In conclusion, Bhumi’s learning centres give the opportunity to learn, grow and discover their talents and aim to create such an impact where the children of today become the change agents of their own community in the future.

Children's growth in Tamil
Children's growth in Tamil
Workbooks based on children's needs
Workbooks based on children's needs
Hands-on activities to improve retention
Hands-on activities to improve retention
Celebrating Independence Day, Teacher's Day & more
Celebrating Independence Day, Teacher's Day & more
Jun 19, 2018

Transforming the classroom environment through life skills - Impact report

Impact assessment for all classrooms in Chennai
Impact assessment for all classrooms in Chennai

We at Bhumi strive towards providing holistic education and sustainable livelihoods for all. With over 12 years’ experience in handling classes at shelter homes, we have recently forayed into urban slum communities and low-income schools; for we believe education must prepare a child to become a well-rounded adult by tuning to each child’s unique needs and skills, and and influencing emotional, cognitive, social, and physical spheres.

In 2017-18, over 1,500 children honed essential life skills along with 57 teachers in Chennai and Uthiramerur. It is observed that across these 53 classrooms, there is a 48.98% increase in the children’s ability to interact with others, 66.91% increase in solving problems, 65.05% increase in taking initiative, and 63.38% in managing conflicts and 50.90% increase in understanding and following instructions. We believe that continuing this effort in the classrooms for one more year will only strengthen this foundation, and help children transition into individuals sensitive to their needs and those around.

Teacher development programme is a major component of the programme. The workshops equip teachers to acknowledge and develop inter-personal relationships, self awareness, empathy, coping with emotions or stress, critical thinking, decision making and more. It also promotes personal development through focused conversations, facilitated and driven by trained professionals.

A facilitator’s testimonial narrates the impact of the programme. “I was apprehensive when I attended the first workshop and wasn’t sure if the children would be involved. After several classes of life skills, when children were asked to thank the one person who has been their pillar of strength, many children came forward to recount and share their memories and gratitude. My moment of pride and joy however was when a physically challenged child, who is withdrawn and mostly quiet otherwise, shared his story voluntarily. I was touched to see this transformation.”

Why Life Skills:
Life skills are essential abilities that enable an individual to deal effectively with demands and challenges encountered in everyday life. Bhumi’s school transformation programme in partnership with the Learning Curve Life skills Foundation, aims at integrating socio-emotional development into the school’s schedule, thus transforming a classroom into a collaborative, fearless space for children to foster in. Positive social and emotional skills can impact how children function at home, school and in the community. For a child, this includes:

  • Being in control of his/her own feelings and behaviours
  • Possessing the ability to understand the feelings of others
  • Getting along with other children
  • Building meaningful relationships with adults

Overall, the school transformation programme has raised the edifice of an ideal classroom environment in which everyone has an opportunity to learn and improve.

May 3, 2018

A year that culminated in a festival of experiential learning

Ignite fest 2017-18
Ignite fest 2017-18

There is no one perfect way to make formal-education more effective and interesting. Bhumi volunteers have made sure that our children appreciate what they learn, through their practical teaching methods and radical education fests. A pole-star in Bhumi’s Ignite education programme is the Ignite Fest, an annual inter-shelter home education fest conducted in Chennai. 

At Ignite Fest, hundreds of children from different shelter homes and lower economic schools participate to display competence they have gained through the subjects taught by our volunteers. Children demonstrate project related models, conduct experiments and attend workshops, and thus get a unique opportunity to learn, compete and grow. It serves as a platform to ignite the potential within.

This academic year, the Fest was organised at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Chennai, and over 950 children took part; some displaying interesting projects made by themselves in teams, guided by volunteers. More than 260 Bhumi volunteers helped in organising and conducting the event. The stage has inspired children to bring out their otherwise passive potential. Apart from the project expo, there were technical games and workshops for children. In all, the day proved to be an ensemble of talents, an inspiration to participants and the guests.

Children participated in interesting games that showcased their thinking and learning capability. Stalls were set up for Mathematics, giving a magical experience with numbers for children. Games were conducted to analyse how well the kids have grasped the concepts taught to them and how easily they are able to apply the same in solving real-world problems. Workshops on Paint and Power Point were organised, where many interested children got benefitted. Scintillating science projects done by our kids were exhibited. Children were also introduced to 'Klee art', inspired by Paul Klee to explore color theory. Children in teams, guided by volunteers, constructed their own mini, operational robots.

Children were well appreciated by guests who had come in to observe and participate, and thus, ended a beautiful, memorable year on a high!

Ignite fest 2017-18
Ignite fest 2017-18
Ignite fest 2017-18 Stall
Ignite fest 2017-18 Stall
Ignite fest 2017-18
Ignite fest 2017-18
Ignite fest 2017-18
Ignite fest 2017-18
Ignite fest 2017-18
Ignite fest 2017-18
 
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