Thursday, 18 April 2013

Language is no barrier….It’s the Spirit that matters…

We started our third 10-day art camp under the 1000 Crane Project today at the International Institute of Information Technology in Bangalore.

The main institute block of IIITB

We have children from our support school project Mark Fernandes Memorial High School in Calangute, North Goa, who travelled with Sophie, Lina and Abhishegh by bus to reach this morning. Initially there was to 6 students from the school, two dropped out for reasons that make us feel we need to educate the parents more than the children!
The children from Bangalore are from a trust called Sparsha. It runs shelters for destitute and abandoned children on the outskirts of Bangalore.
It’s a great bunch and also a challenging bunch. This is the first time that we have two groups coming in where the common language between them is English – but, the irony is that English is not their first language either.

The first half of the day went in settling down in the hostels of the IIITB campus.

The Womens Block - we all have single rooms here, but we are sharing it :) 

The Boys Hostel - they have been given a common large room, as the no of men are more on campus !

We began our camp by a tour around the institute. Shubhashree, the lab incharge and administration staff of the institute took the children and us for a tour.

The Reception of the institute
The Institute Building and its Green Design
Subhashree with the children in the Main Classroom of the institute used for special programs
The children with Subhashree admiring the modern corridors of the institute
We took the children to Fields of View one of the Incubators on campus to show them the possibilities of a future enterprise and how a college supports even such ventures
IIITB is one of the most modern technology institutes of India. But, one of the most open minded institutes as well. When we set out to aspire bringing the 1000 Crane Project to Bangalore, we approached institutes like IIM etc which have high acclaim in the Indian education world, but the response was very shallow or nothing at all. But, when we wrote to IIITB, we had the most prompt response. And the facilities provided to the children are of the highest standard.

After the tour, the volunteers, Sophie, Lina and Abhishegh began with some basic exercises “To Get To Know Each Other” , using one of our favorite party games, we challenged the children to dance, sing, enact, make sounds, basically get comfortable through fun.

We then distributed the ART BAGS – its always like the best Christmas present for them as they least expect it J  We then had them paint the bags for each other.

The evening session was the best of all – A Football Workshop with volunteers from DREAM A DREAM Foundation – Manjunath and Revanna – through basic football and life skill exercises they challenged the children eventually to break free from the language barrier and work as a team to save their ship from sinking!

If we look at the group we have – when it comes to the kids, the languages known by the Bangalore group is Kannada and basic English, the kids from Goa know Hindi, basic English and Konkani with little Kannada – the volunteers – Sophie and Lina are German with English knowledge…Abhishegh is a Malayali with fluency in English and can survive with his Hindi and Kannada skills…and myself who is happy if its all English or Hindi but put in a tight situation I can speak Kannada and Marathi…..But, even though there are no proper overlaps – we achieved a great many tasks today, with the final creation of the pyramid which went to prove that all that matters is Spirit, language is just a tool.


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