Raksha Special Needs School
Raksha is a charity-funded school for students, 4-24 years old, providing education and development needs for people with activity and mental limitations. Although reasonable government and private initiatives exist to support employment of people with disabilities in India, the unemployment rate in the group is rising.
In light of the findings above and following a request from our partner school we began to deliver interactive classes aimed at developing abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable the students to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.
The classes are based on a comprehensive curriculum provided by Raksha and developed by GVI. The curriculum seeks to engage and empower students in developing their strengths in social skills, communication, body language, self-confidence, CV building, interview technique and finally being successful in the workplace.
Each unit is designed to take around 3-5 one-hour sessions, which are delivered by a team of volunteers working together with native speaking staff members from Raksha. This is fantastic for two reasons as it helps to bridge any language barriers while engaging the staff members and social workers in a new style of teaching.
In September, the initial team began with a unit of lessons which focused on the skills needed to be confident in traveling independently to a restaurant or cafe, ordering the correct food items, paying successfully and getting the correct change. Over two weeks the team worked on building up the pupils understanding and usage of ‘Golden Words’ like Please and Thank you, using menus to order food, making complaints and confidence with money management.
While initially some of the 8 pupils seemed relatively confident with the tasks at hand it quickly became clear that accuracy, confidence in new situations and independence was lacking. Over the course of the unit the pupils built their understanding and completed the course by going, with us, to a local ice-cream parlor to test their skills.
The feedback that GVI had from the staff team at Raksha has been overwhelmingly positive regarding the performance of specific pupils and our team as a whole. Rex, a social worker for Raksha who has worked closely with the volunteers said:
“The level of the pupils improving hugely, I honestly don’t have the right words to describe the changes I’ve seen in the pupils. The students respond so well and engage in the program really well.”
“I never expected to see this kind of thing from Vishal, it’s amazing work that GVI are doing in Life Skills.”
In addition to the pupils’ enjoyment and high engagement levels, what is important is that these classes help them to feel more prepared and confident for their daily lives, leading them where possible to happy roles in secure employment.
Thank you for your continued support of this project!
The lesson planning team!