Promoting peace/non-violence in Gandhi's teachings

by National Indo-American Museum
Promoting peace/non-violence in Gandhi's teachings

We would like to start by thanking you for your continued support for the National Indo-American Museum’s Gandhi Peace Program. The last quarter has been riddled with challenges requiring us to reshape our program and make it accessible to kids in Chicago. As such, we have transitioned the program, if temporarily, to online classes to continue our mission in bringing Gandhi’s message of peace and non-violence to children across Chicago. However, for in-person sessions, we are waiting for Chicago Public Schools to resume classes and allow vendors re-entry into the school system.

Our highlight for the last quarter has been the celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 151st birth anniversary on 2nd October 2020. We were approached by the honorable Consulate General of India in Chicago to collaborate with their special programming that celebrated the contributions of Gandhi. We prepared a YouTube video to reach out to Indians and Americans alike in telling Gandhi’s unique struggle and inspiring story. The video was a success and earned us positive feedback which I’m quoting from Consul General Mr. Ranjit Singh himself, “We appreciate that it involved a great amount of hard work. The program was widely appreciated by viewers. Mr. Jitesh Jaggi and others who were involved in the work did a wonderful job.” In the video, we talked about Gandhiji’s childhood, his realization of the oppression of the British Raj, and his personal experiences leading to the birth of the non-violence movement.

NIAM’s lead instructor for the Gandhi Peace Program, Jitesh Jaggi, has also conducted livestreaming sessions on our Facebook page. This has allowed us to continue the program and spread the message of peace even during the COVID 19 epidemic. Our livestream video has been viewed more than 800 times and has allowed us to reach children beyond Chicago. We are also exploring avenues to train the CPS teachers with our curriculum so they could impart Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings to their students while we await CPS to allow third-party vendors to resume in-class sessions.

In the coming months we will be looking at avenues to raise an additional funding of $10,000 to facilitate our online program. As such, we count on GlobalGiving’s renewed support to get our student outreach program on the ground. We are also in touch with our partnering organization, Communities in Schools (CIS) to get our program in the hands of Chicago Public School students by acting as a link between NIAM and CPS. We will keep you posted as we tread through these uncertain times and streamline our offering to students who need it the most. Thank you.

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We would like to start by thanking you for your continued support for the National Indo-American Museum’s Gandhi Peace Program. The last quarter has been riddled with challenges requiring us to reshape our program and make it accessible to kids in Chicago. As such, we have transitioned the program, if temporarily, to online classes to continue our mission of bringing Gandhi’s message of peace and non-violence to children across Chicago.

Our highlight for the last quarter has been the celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 151st birth anniversary on 2nd October 2020. We were approached by the honorable Consulate General of India in Chicago to collaborate with their special programming that celebrated the contributions of Gandhi. We prepared a YouTube video to reach out to all Americans in telling Gandhi’s unique struggle and inspiring story. The video was a success and earned us positive feedback which I’m quoting from Consul General Mr. Ranjit Singh himself, “We appreciate that it involved a great amount of hard work. The program was widely appreciated by viewers. Mr. Jitesh Jaggi and others who were involved in the work did a wonderful job.” In the video, we talked about Gandhiji’s childhood, his realization of the oppression of the British Raj, and his personal experiences leading to the birth of the non-violence movement.

NIAM’s lead instructor for the Gandhi Peace Program, Jitesh Jaggi, has also conducted live streaming sessions on our Facebook page. This has allowed us to continue the program and spread the message of peace even during the COVID 19 epidemic. After several internal revisions, we have adapted the curriculum to fit the requirements of virtual programming. In May 2020 we tested it out on our online audience with great results. Our live stream video has been viewed more than 800 times and has allowed us to reach children beyond Chicago. We have therefore decided to continue online programming in an ancillary form even after social distancing measures are lifted.

In June 2020 we finetuned the program further by expanding our art exercise component in an effort to make the program interactive. We were delighted by the audience's response in the form of comments and art submissions by our young viewers. We recognize the importance of non-violence education especially at a time when the country is grappling with protests against racism and inequality. Our instructors have stressed on connecting the history of peaceful demonstrations from Gandhi’s Salt March to Martin Luther King’s Million Man March and sit-ins.

In the coming months we will look at testing different mediums like Zoom. We are also in touch with our partnering organization, Communities in Schools (CIS) to get our program in the hands of Chicago Public School students by acting as a link between NIAM and CPS. We will keep you posted as we tread through these uncertain times and streamline our offering to students who need it the most. Thank you.

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Second Quarter Report for Gandhi Peace Program- GlobalGiving

June 03, 2020

 

We would like to start by thanking you for your continued support for the National Indo-American Museum’s Gandhi Peace Program. The last quarter has been riddled with challenges requiring us to reshape our program and make it accessible to kids in Chicago. We were invited by eleven schools to take classes until Chicago Public Schools were closed due to the pandemic. As such, we have transitioned the program, if temporarily, to online classes to continue our mission in bringing Gandhi’s message of peace and non-violence to children across Chicago.

NIAM’s lead instructor for the Gandhi Peace Program, Jitesh Jaggi, has been conducting livestreaming sessions on our Facebook page. This has allowed us to continue the program and spread the message of peace even during the COVID 19 epidemic. After several internal revisions, we have adapted the curriculum to fit the requirements of virtual programming. In May 2020 we tested it out on our online audience with great results. Our livestream video has been viewed more than 800 times and has allowed us to reach children beyond Chicago. We have therefore decided to continue online programming in an ancillary form even after social distancing measures are lifted.

In June 2020 we finetuned the program further by expanding our art exercise component in an effort to make the program interactive. We were delighted by the audience response in the form of comments and art submissions by our young viewers. We recognize the importance of non-violence education especially at a time when the country is grappled with protests against racism and inequality. Our instructors have stressed on connecting the history of peaceful demonstrations from Gandhi’s Salt March to Martin Luther King’s Million Man march and sit-ins. We will continue to demonstrate and advocate for peaceful alternatives to our younger generation of followers as they make their voices heard.

For the next quarter, we plan to conduct monthly sessions online, possibly testing different mediums like Zoom, Facebook, YouTube etc. We are also in touch with our partnering organization, Communities in Schools (CIS) to get our program in the hands of Chicago Public School students by acting as a link between NIAM and CPS. We will keep you posted as we tread through these uncertain times and streamline our offering to students who need it the most. Thank you.

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Ethan's Day
Ethan's Day

Gandhi Peace Program Report - December, 2019
By Jitesh Jaggi - Office Manager and Program Coordinator 

Due to some difficulties he's facing, 8-year-old Ethan sees the school counselor every day to report on how his day has been going and how he's coping with it. Last month, he attended one of the classes where we delivered the Gandhi Peace Program. The day after our class, he reported this to his counselor: "I had a calm night after (listening to) the Gandhi story" and described his feelings as warm and happy- see image 1 attached.

When our lead teacher- Jitesh Jaggi returned to the school the next day to deliver another set of classes, the students from Ethan’s class saw him and quickly put together a letter of gratitude where they thanked him and the National Indo American Museum (NIAM) for the fun and learning experience. They picked Ethan as their class representative and sent him to Jitesh with the letter neatly folded in an envelope. It has some heart-warming comments like: "Thank you for teaching me different things I never knew" and also includes a comment from the class teacher saying "Class 201 has never been so calm and quiet"- see image 2 attached.

These are just a couple of anecdotes that we have cherished from successfully delivering the Gandhi Peace Program to 32 classes, directly impacting more than 800 students in the Chicago Public School system in the past five months. We mention "successfully" here based on the feedback from class teachers, school coordinators, and students.

NIAM has received inquiries from eleven more schools to bring the Gandhi Peace Program to their students over the next three months- most of them located on the West and South sides of Chicago- areas that are struggling with violence in the neighborhoods. The program is sowing the seeds of peaceful resistance and non-violence in neighborhoods that need them the most, through interactive and mindful exercises like meditation, storytelling, and art. We are eager to continue sharing our values-based yet practical approach to young minds in Chicago and hope for your continued support in spreading Mahatma Gandhi’s message of non-violence and bringing peace to those communities that have been impacted by violence.

Student's Thank You Letter
Student's Thank You Letter
Art Exercise
Art Exercise
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Gandhi Peace Project Instructors
Gandhi Peace Project Instructors

Gandhi Peace Project Report

December 8, 2019

 

The National Indo-American Museum is incredibly grateful to the Global Giving Foundation and to our donors for supporting the Gandhi Peace Project, a program provided by NIAM designed to teach Chicago’s school children about Gandhi’s peace and nonviolence practices. The goal of the Gandhi Peace Project is to encourage young minds to learn through a holistic experience using stories, discussion, demos, creative art and simulations, thereby ensuring a truly sustainable learning.

The Gandhi Peace Project is going in full swing! On October 1, 2019, the National Indo-American Museum launched the inaugural session of the Gandhi Peace Project at Holy Ministry School in Chicago, Illinois, where we worked 24 students all in 3rd grade. Our instructor began the presentation by telling the students Gandhi’s story using posters with historical images of Gandhi to help illustrate his life. To help bring Gandhi to life, our staff chose a student who he transformed into Gandhi by wrapping a dhoti around the student and letting the student wear a pair of spectacles and stand with a walking stick similar to how Gandhi is depicted in his many iconic images. The students then engaged in a meditation exercise based on Kriya Yoga, which was Gandhi’s preferred method of peaceful practice and meditation. This form of meditation is focused on energy of the spine, and our instructor taught the students to focus on their breathing by inhaling for three seconds, holding their breath for four seconds, and exhaling for five seconds. This meditation session, which began and ended with a gong sound, brought an amazing level of tranquility and focus to the classroom. The students then channeled their newly discovered focus into a worksheet where they chose one of Gandhi’s famous quotes, as provided by our instructor, wrote a statement as to how the quote resonated with them, and engaged in a drawing exercise that illustrated their own interpretation of peace. Our instructor closed the session with a lively discussion with the students that gave the students a more complete understanding of both Gandhi and the impact of Indian Americans on their community.

In the month of November, NIAM presented another thirteen sessions of the Gandhi Peace Project at Randolph Elementary School and Eberhart Elementary School, both in Chicago, Illinois, and worked with nearly 330 children in 2nd through 4th grades between the two schools. We are currently scheduling additional sessions with another 6 elementary schools in Chicago, and we are working closely with Communities in Schools to add additional schools to our calendar. We are truly proud of the impact the Gandhi Peace Project is having in our elementary schools!

Additionally, we have received a wonderful response from the community towards this project. Our staff has trained a total of eight instructors who are now poised and ready to present the Gandhi Peace Project in the classrooms, and we have another approximately ten other individuals who are in various stages of their training. By training a large number of teachers, NIAM will be well equipped to staff the Gandhi Peace Project as this program continues to grow.

Finally, NIAM was very proud to be honored by the honorable Sudhakar Dalela, the Consulate General of India in Chicago, for our implementation of the Gandhi Peace Project. On October 17, 2019, Mr. Dalela hosted a special reception for NIAM in celebration and recognition of the Gandhi Peace Project. NIAM thanks Mr. Dalela and his staff for their support.

We cannot thank you enough for your support towards the Gandhi Peace Project!

A Student's Thoughts on Meditation
A Student's Thoughts on Meditation
A Student's Drawing of Mahatma Gandhi
A Student's Drawing of Mahatma Gandhi
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Organization Information

National Indo-American Museum

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website:
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Project Leader:
Aarathi Singh
Chicago, IL United States
$11,541 raised of $15,000 goal
 
87 donations
$3,459 to go
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