Balsena children working on leadership activities
Shaishav participants whom were active members and council members, a total of 42 children, were invited to our leadership camp. The camp had two major themes. First, a discussion about the importance of Balsena and how it strengthens its participants was held. This was help promote solidarity in the collective and inspire children to its mission of ending child labor and demand basic rights to education and protection. Next, the structure of the collective was reviewed. Children learned about how inclusion was a central tenet of Balsena and crucial to the success of it. Activities that acted out scenarios where collective decision making, and participation were needed to for a positive outcome. After this overnight camp, the leadership camp participants were asked to apply their training. For four days at Shaishav headquarters, camp participants lead workshops for 3 days with Balsena collectives from different neighborhoods.
During Navratri and Diwali, Balsena celebrated with 5 celebrations in different locations. During Diwali, a children’s fair with rangoli, paper crafts with greeting cards, and decorating diyas was planned. Balsena’s active members lead children through the activities.
In November, Wenlido training was given to around 180 girls. For 3 hours, an introduction training is given for girls aged 11-16 years old. Girls are given scenarios to work through and judged on their decision making skills. Prior to the beginning of the training, the girls are asked about situations that they may have felt unsafe in or when they think Wenlido may apply to. This helped shape the Wenlido so that it helped our children deal with situations specific to their neighborhood. The training was highly successful, in fact, one of our Balsena members recounted an episode which happened after the training.
Sangita: “I learnt about Wenlido- Personal Safety Training from Balsena. Once I was going home from school after taking 10th board receipt. I was with one of my friends. The road we took was deserted, only once in awhile people took that road. While we were on the road, two boys on Honda bike came, and asked for our number, we didn’t respond. They came back, and asked us if we wanted to come with them. We couldn’t keep quiet now, we told “Do you want Police’s number?” They said they had, and went. They came back again, and asked us, where we lived, my friend didn’t say anything, So I started. I started saying things loudly, after seeing me, my friend also started. Many people now gathered around, and we left from there, safely. I was very proud of myself that time.”
Mid-November, Shaishav members became busy with festivities and rallies for Child Right’s Week from the 14-20th. Children started off the week with rallies at the bus station, train station, and schools calling for an end to child labor and their right to education. Other activities were organized with ChildLine, the national help hotline. Around 10,100 pamplets explaining the hotline were distributed to children and parents. 350 ChildLine stickers along with 30 banners were put up around Bhavnagar. Activities were also planned for differently abled children, such as paper crafts and group games.
In addition to Child Right’s week and holiday celebrations, at two locations, the Balsena children went for an exposure visit. One was the RTO (Regional Transport Office), to understand the traffic rules and why it is important to have a license, and learned to procedures to obtain a license. The second group visited a garden as a celebration after exams.
Within Lokshala, our learning improvement program which is run at 2 different locations for children from 1st through 7th standard, 180 children are participating. We do quality education awareness programs, learning workshops, cultural activities, drama, and music. We also hold PTA meetings so that children’s progress is noted by the parents.
Moving into December, Shaishav looks forward to hosting several Wenlido training sessions throughout the month.
Diya decorating for Diwali
Putting up ChildLine Posters
Right to Education and Protection Rally
Parent Teacher Meeting for Lokshala ChildrenAttachments: