Sunday, April 23, 2006

Volunteer initiatives for the coming months

Hi All!

Summer vacations are on, schools are closed and perhaps some of us feel that this is a lull period for DSF but you may be in for a surprise! The vacation is the time we use for all our preparations and background activities to get set for the next academic year.

Here is an update on our ongoing activities that urgently need volunteer involvement in the coming weeks. Most of these are very creative and ingenious options without any particular time and place constraints. If any of these sound interesting to you, please mail me
or leave a comment on this post if we already have your mail ID, to help get in touch with the other co-ordinators

1. NBD ++ - Our Note Book Drive is all set to go. We require help for co-ordination of collection of funds and distribution of books. Contact - Vinay

2. Weekend summer camps held at Ulsoor, Airport Rd. and RT Nagar schools. Contact Vinay for Ulsoor, Akash for Airport Road and Sunand for RT Nagar Schools.

3. English Vocabulary Module was piloted at the Malleswaram School last year. To implement it on a larger scale next year, module needs to be refined further - volunteer help required. Creative, innovative minds invited. Contact - Megha

4. Pygmalion Content Development - We are exploring / experimenting with the idea of using short films as part of this package to improve English and convey important messages to children through this medium. Need volunteers to help with the various aspects of film-making. Contact - Abhishek.

5. The Math drill test papers for standard 5, 6 and 7. Help required to design tests and content for the Maths sessions. Contact - Dinesh

6 . The Civic and Environmental awareness - skits and content needs to be developed. Contact - Avinash

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Shallege hogonna banni

Chinara Angalla, Challghatta school, 58 kids, 6 babies, 2 teachers, 3 volunteers.
Tests, games, and painting.

Shallege hogonna banni

Surya yellindha huttuvanu
Chandamama hege Naguvanu
Gida, Praani matthu Pakshigalu
Guddagalla bagge kaliyona banni
Bhoomi, Aakasha Nadhigallu
Saagara bagge kaliyona banni
Shaalege Hogona Banni

Oduttha Aaduttha Kaliyona banni
Noduttha Keluttha Kaliyona banni
Bareyuttha Odhuttha Kaliyona banni
Haaduttha Kuniyuttha Kaliyona banni
Bega Banni, Bega Banni
Raja, Muthu, Rathna, Mani
Shaalege Hogona Banni

Hossa padhagallu, Hossa bhaashegallu
Hossa kavanagallu, Hossa kathegallu
Hossa deshagalla bagge kaliyona Banni
Jaggatannu gellona banni
Bega Banni, Bega Banni
Raja, Muthu, Rathna, Mani
Shaalege Hogona Banni

Yella Aatadhalli Paatagallu
Yella Paatadalli Hossa Aatagallu
Sankhyegalla pavaada nodonna banni
Vignyanadalli maja maadonna banni
Habba Habbagalla vishaya tiliyona banni
Sihi Sihi maathugalu aadonna banni
Shaalege Hogona Banni

Kanassanu nanusu maadonna banni
Mane manege Harsha tharona banni
Yellarigu Karedu yellonna banni
Bega Banni, Bega Banni
Raja, Muthu, Rathna, Mani
Shaalege Hogona Banni

Not me...
This was Rohit, who woke me up at 6 in the morning...and recited this....I did go back to sleep.
But, hopefully others wont, and this would get more volunteers.

Kalisokke hogonna banni
Raja, Muthu, Rathna, Mani
Nimagaagi kaadhidhare
Bega banni, Bega banni
Kalisokke hogonna banni

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Chinnara Angala

The nicities stop with the name: Chinnara Angala (Children's playground)

Its a world one hardly notices. Make shift huts. Families. Both father & mother work. Work in constructing those appartments coming up all around Bangalore. Kids at home. Playing in their own Chinnara angala.

A play in a devilish field. Wasted childhood. No learning. Child labour. Soon a construction worker. Marriage. Kids. The devilish field again.

Solutions ??

I guess you can tackle the problem at various levels - macro, mini, micro - Lots of people already on the job. Yet, the construction worker kids remain in those devilish fields, the Devil very happy.

One solution is to educate the children. Give them a good education. An education that will be second to none. Well, does that sound too optimistic ? Lets settle for atleast basic literacy for ALL the kids. And, for lot more take them to 5th std, then 7th std and then yes, 10th std. And, then vocational/skill based training(ITI's , Diplomas). And, for those who really want to study furthur. Lets give them the opportunity that you and I had.

We at Dream School Foundation share this dream. Quality Education for everybody. We work to strengthen the govt. schools. These schools reach out to the under-previleged.

The education department has this programme called Chinnara Angala. 60 days during summer vacations. The primary school teachers focus their attention on the construction worker kids, school dropouts, and kids who have never been to school. The 60 day course, full time, Mon to Sat, 9:30 to 3:30 with support interms of meals & snacks helps in getting the child back to school. And, soon many are part of the regular school.

The Chalghatta school (right behind the B'lore airport) is running one such programme. And, volunteers from DSF assist it. We plan to have a lot of fun based learning. Lots of outdoor games are planned. With activities like painting, clay models, etc etc

Today, the programme started with around 20 kids. Many of these kids brought their baby brother/sister along. Later, we went on a drive to talk to parents, and get more children. Another 25 enrolled. The Chalgatta school HM Mary, along with teachers Lalitha & Bhuvenashwari went from hut to hut. A few regular school kids joined us in the march.

The construction worker kids are either Kannada speaking people from Raichur/Gulbarga or Telugu speaking crowd. We saw a few from Orissa too.

So, knowing Kannada/Telugu would be fantastic, but the lack of it shouldn't stop you. Our experience shows that the enthu of the volunteer makes all the difference.

Interested ?
Dash a mail to our DSF co-ordinator Maitreyee, or to Santosh or me.
Join us any saturday 10:30am onwards until June 14th 06.

You are needed to move the devil out of the Chinnara Angalla.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Summer Camp at the Malleshwaram School...

The classes and exams for this academic year are completed. The mid-day meals have stopped. So do our children still want to come to school? Not surprisingly ( for DSF), YES! And they bring along a whole lot of enthusiasm and excitement with them.

The numbers dwindled occasionally but the zeal remained on a steady high!

Members of the Saranga Trust and Volunteers of the Dream School Foundation successfully ran a Week's summer camp in the Malleshwaram School, which culminated in a colourful display of activities and art today. Here's a brief summary -

The Work :

Activities were designed to engage the kids for 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours from Monday (3rd Apr) to Sunday (9th Apr). Interspersed with games, snacks and prayers, a break-up of each day's activity in the week that passed, are below :

Day 1: Mask Making, Games
Day 2: Badges with name embossing with Crayons and Colour, Poetry and Drama practice
Day 3: Leaf painting, Poetry and Drama practice
Day 4: Clay modeling, Paper-bag making, Poetry and Drama practice
Day 5: Vegetable painting with Paper-bag making, Poetry and Drama practice
Day 6: Mask Making, Poetry and Drama practice, Oil Painting, Games
Day 7: Science workshop, Games, Drama and Poetry recitation perfomances, Prizes and rewards.

[Click on the picture to enlarge]

The Children:

While initially, there were about 20 children who regularly came to the camp, the numbers moved up to 30 - 35 towards the last two days. As Mrs. Hema pointed out, these kids, we believe, are very close to nature. Being simple comes naturally to them. They enjoy the simplicity of the art and activity with minimal expenditure and resources. They completely loved the free flowing, simple poetry, which revolved around nature, animals and people, taught to them from the books of the very famous Kannada poet, Sri. G.P Rajarathnam.

Pooja also points out that all age groups of children enjoyed playing with the colours. Girls and boys, alike, were pushing their artistic abilities to perfection, by demanding of her specific colours and combinations. The younger kids, quickly picked up clay modeling and displayed great talent.

While discipline has always been a problem, without the use of a stick in this school, among all the shouting and commanding silence, there were moments of spiritual silence and prayer.

Kids of the Urdu school also participated in the courtyard-activity with equal amounts of curiosity and eagerness to learn.

Alex of the 2nd Standard, Murali, Lakshmi, Deepa, Oviya and Vijay Kumar of higher standards were rewarded for their work, regularity and discipline during the week.

[Click on the picture to enlarge]

The People:

Mrs. Hema Srinivasan and Mrs. Shyla have lead this camp to see a successful completion. Their commitment to make the learning in this school enjoyable is beyond just the summer camp and has been evident in commanding the support of the teachers for a quite a while now. Our association with them, as Hema madam points out, is an example of how we can truly work together to get involved in the various facets of improving the school. People in the Saranga Network are from the neighborhood of this school and are participating in the schools betterment. This is possibly an example of true "Community mobilization". And to have educationalists, like them, is very promising.

Pooja registers the happiness on most children's' faces, the excitement they showed and just how quickly 2 and 1/2 hrs everyday would just pass by.

Together, the people involved, have demonstrated how two like minded NGOs can work in unison in a school with the philanthrophic intention of it's betterment being the only goal.

[Click on the picture to enlarge]

A Very Special Teacher:

Mrs. Prabha Sheshagiri, is a High School Teacher in Himamshu school. She gracefully spared her time today for our school as an associate of the Saranga Trust. She is running a very successful Balak Science club at home for almost 15 years and so she is well recognised even in the Nehru planetarium's science camps. She has been their camp facilitator for many years now. And Balak Science club is a partner of Saranga Trust.

[Click on the picture to enlarge]

As volunteers in classrooms we cannot ignore the amount of indiscipline that exists among any given group of children. But the magician, that Mrs. Prabha is ( although she insists that it was science and not magic), she captivated the audience for a whole hour by performing Science experiments. The children were at their best behavior, watching and thinking as each of her experiments unfolded. She was encouraging with her questions and the children were quick-witted with their answers. The explanations, that followed ensured a clear understanding among all of them. The children themselves re-played the experiments for their friends. A "Pied piper" of sorts... She even had us, volunteers charmed :)

The experience has helped us acknowledge, again, the fact that our children have a whole lot of latent talent, that we should take responsibility to groom and guide.

Thanks for the inspiration coming through from everyone involved,