Friday, 19 April 2013

YES ! It is all about an ACT, a MOVE, a DREAM, a GAME, a TOY that fulfills life and brings JOY

Day 2 began with excited and curious looks in all the children. We could already see some bonding happening amongst the kids which was a good sign.

Ragavendra from Sparsha Trust, Bangalore, Ramzan and Mahesh from Mark Fernandes Memorial High School, Goa, having their morning chat.

We started with the YES – Youth Empowerment Seminar which Art of Living practitioners are going to conduct for the children for the next 6 days. The first 2 days are introductory sessions of 3 hour each and the next 4 days shall be 2 hour sessions. The objective of this seminar is to bring about awareness of self, community and environment. The practitioners Sanchita, Kiran and Manu really made what could probably be a very heavy program into a fun and games workshop, where they got the children really engaged and awake for the day apart from creating challenges where they had to start to interact more with each other.
They ended today’s session with a some somber but essential exercises completing the exercise of understand the 4 essential sources of energy – FOOD, SLEEP, BREATH and PEACEFUL LIVING or MEDITATIVE LIVING.

A game of Tom & Jerry, where you need to know your partner and then introduce him/her to the group

Ramzan introducing Darshan

Kiran inside the circle motivating the group to speak up

Surya Namaskar to bring the body to balance and calm the mind 

Sanchita having a good laugh with the boys on a joke they made in an exercise

Its all about balancing your body, mind and soul with a SMILE

By the time this session ended it was noon and lunch time, the children had mixed feelings about the morning, as it was all fun till the games were happening but many were not happy to stay silent and quite because of the immense excitement that they have.
The afternoon was a BLAST – Shabari Rao and Maitri who conduct movement workshops with children across various ages apart from being Shabari being a trainer and Maitri a psychologist. They had been briefed by us about the project and its theme on WATER earlier, so it was really lovely that they came prepared with exercises which related to the subject.

Shabari making all the right moves to motivate the girls 

SWISH! SWISH! SWISH! Maitri with the boys making sounds of a waterfall

Kumar enjoying the PIST! PIST! PIST! of a shower

Pooja going GRRRR! GRRRR! GRRRR! due to cold water

Ragavendra enjoying his time in his water filled bath-tub

It was really really nice how they managed to encourage and motivate every child to create, think, concentrate and participate in each exercise, which ranged from actions, sounds, words, enacting, role playing and also teamwork.
The group working on some situations

Its all about spontaneous expression

Shabari and Maitri also come for the next 2 days as their workshops need a minimum of 8 hours to come close to their objectives through the workshop.
The action packed day did not end yet for the kids. The children were all cordially invited by the Director of IIITB – Professor Sadagopan to his office. He was happy to meet them all, getting an introduction from every child and then he asked a few questions to the group.

Prof.Sadagopan meeting the kids and welcoming them personally to IIITB

Mahesh to the Director of IIITB - "Sir, I am happy to meet you"

All hands go up when asked who wants to study at IIITB in the future

Our team with Prof Sadagopan - Director IIITB, Mr Ramachandran - Administration Officer, Prof Prasanna

The children were awestruck because they did not ever think a BIG MAN like him would be interested in meeting them. And of course when the kids were asked how many of them would like to come to study at IIITB, we had half the group raise their hands. But, truly, once again we have not had such great hospitality or attention anywhere till now.
Our evening plans of beginning with the introduction of the topic of the camp had to be skipped because we were introduced to a student of the institute who is working on a game project called Inverse Chess.

Deepa, Ashwini and Jyoti figuring out their next move
Anuj passionately and patiently explaining the rules of the game 

The boys trying their hand at Inverse Chess - Manjunath, Ragavendra and Kumar

The kids were all taken to the BOARD ROOM of the institute where Anuj, the student explained the games and some kids who had never played chess in their lives got an opportunity play the game. We all know how Chess can be addictive… and so only because Anuj’s computer hung we ended the session else we were worried the kids would stay their all night.
The finale of the evening was a short talk on ROBOTICS by Shubhashree. Subhashree explained in very basic layman’s terms to the children about engineering, computers embedded systems and then introduced the kids to LEGO ROBO. The fascination in the kids was nothing less than if they were in Disneyland.

Subhashree introducing LEGO ROBO to the group

The children trying to control the sensitive robot

They came out learning that computers have their own languages and the alphabets in the computer language are numerical 0 and 1.
Highlight of the day – it was Aruna, one of the kids from Sparsha Trust’s birthday. All day the girl was quite shy to let us know what she wanted to do, but, we wanted a littled celebration, so we got her a cake and surprised her after dinner.

Happy Birthday Aruna !!! 

It already feels like a family…and it is amazing as all day we did not see one child not SMILING.
Sophie was told by one girl from the group – “I have been to other camps and programs, but this is the BEST of all” 

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