Thursday, 7 July 2011

On the Job

As time passes in India and we become more subjected to the uniqueness of this culture, I am beginning to realize the immense responsibility that the interns of our project are going to have. We are given a challenge unlike any other project that I have seen here. Our managers, Raghav Bagai and Adhiraj Singh, continually express their excitement and love for the project we are about to take on. They have very high expectations for us, as our goal is doubted by many other people of India. They have told us that people don't believe we can make the change that we seek, I have also encountered a few people from India in Canada who didn't have any sort of faith in what we are doing. The idea here is that things have been the same for so long and no one can see the impact that local NGOs make or that people like ourselves make, so nothing can produce a large enough change. The garbage will keep piling up and the people will continue to beg for money, the children will stay hungry in their rags and the elderly will pass away on street corners. But we have faith. Many people making little differences day after day, convincing others to do the same can only equal a larger impact.
Project UDAAN
Our project expands over 6 weeks, in this time we will be taking sessions with 40 underpriviledged children from a place called Nizamuddin. The children of this school are subjected to violence involving children from other schools who target them, as well as drug abuse at the age of only 11, 12 or 13. They have been working with a local NGO for about a year so the potential is there but their troubled backgrounds and lack of many necessities lowers their confidence, their self-worth, and their overall view of the opportunities and situation in society. We are stepping in to empower these children. We want them to realize their strengths and provide them with hope and confidence in their skills and potentials. Everyday from Monday to Friday for 6 weeks we will meet with the children after thier schooling to firstly get to know them and become a source of reliance and friendship. After establishing relationships with the children we will focus on topics to be covered during each session. The topics will include civic sense, education, confidence, problem solving etc.
Growing up in Canada we were constantly shown the fundamentals of acting appropriately in society, we were strengthened by our elders and provided with confidence and skills to use for the rest of our lives. We were given structure and support. Children are the most influential people.
A big challenge for us is the fact that they have very poor english. We'll be using translators to help us show the children the topics we will be covering. In order to keep the children engaged and involved we will be using interactive and visual ways of teaching. This may include a skit about civic sense, such as a blind man walking across the street who needs help and the children will need to come in and act out what to do. Or we may show them a situation involving confrontation and the problem being solved and they should pick out what is going wrong or what they should do instead.
Each day we must focus completely on the children and getting to know the best way to produce this change. Six weeks is a short time and people doubt that at the end there will be a noticeable or any kind of change. There will be interns staying here to follow up on the lives on the children. We believe it is possible, and in the long run these children can act as examples to spread the effect to others. Failure is not an option.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Jackie! That's intense! You can do it! And I believe you are making a difference, even if it might seem small to others. It is very inspiring what you are doing, keep at it! You are so brave... and I'll say it again - I love how you write!! Good luck with your teaching and I am constantly sending you love! I often think throughout the day "I wonder what Jackie is doing..." this gives me a very good idea. Good for you!

    Lots and lots of LOVE from Canada!!!