We are delighted to share a blog written by TEAM ASAP – All Seniors Assistance Progam, students at M.CT.M Chidambaram Chettyar International School who are delivering a Global Goals project for the 2018-19 Global Goals Competition.
Their project is among over 800 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community.
We really enjoyed the entire experience from thinking of a project, to planning, to actually working on it.
When we signed up for the GSL Program it gave us an opportunity to look around us and think about our community. To identity a topic we asked around and did some research on all the problems that our community faces , and we came up with a long list right from gender-inequality, poor education to GMO.
OUR LIGHT BULB MOMENT :
We spent two or three sessions discussing all the problems at length, but we were looking for something that we could personally and independently create a solution for.
One of the ideas we had, was to care for people at old-age homes, and this lead to the discussion about how that it was not only the people at old age homes that need help, a team mate talked about an elderly couple who lived by themselves and struggled with chores in their everyday life. Soon we realised that we all knew either an older aunt ,or an uncle or an acquaintance who would benefit from using online options if only they knew how.
BUILDING OUR PLAN :
Excited by our idea, we came up with many solutions, from creating special apps to going door-todoor teaching people how to use their computers and phones.
Finally, a solution that we all felt would work best was to conduct workshops on how to use a smart phone,
PLAN IN MOTION :
To achieve our goal, we were lucky to find an NGO that helps senior citizens lead active lives through various programs and social support services.
We presented our idea to them and they were happy to allow us to use their centres across the city to conduct classes.
We made posters and also used their database to advertise our workshops.
WHAT WE LEARNT :
While spending time teaching them we found that they not only benefited from our the help but also enjoyed our company.
SKILL WE DEVELOPED :
Adyanth : HUMILITY – This exercise made me feel that there are new things to learn no matter what your age is AND you should be able to learn from anyone
Keshav : EMPATHY – We were able to understand how difficult it was for them in their everyday life, and we were happy to see how we helped them.
Samiha : PATIENCE – We had to learn to be patient and explain the same thing multiple times.
Aditi : CREATIVITY – We had to think about different ways (1) to teach Senior citizens in a way to make it easy for them (2) we also wanted to be as creative as possible to present our project too !
Aarna : CONFIDENCE – We gained confidence by presenting in front of groups of strangers
CHALLENGES AND HOW WE OVERCAME THEM :
Aarna : LANGUAGE BARRIER / TRANSLATORS or VISUALS – Some of us though we understand Tamil were unable to speak fluently, so for the elaborate explanations we either asked our mothers to translate or made the steps more visual.
Aditi – UNDERSTAND CONCEPTS / PATIIENCE : At times there were some concepts that they had difficulties with, so with a lot of patience we needed to go over them a few times.
Samiha : FORGETTING / TUTORIALS and QUIZZES : There were times when they would forget the flow or where a particular button was . To solve this we created video Tutorial for them to go back and look at and also created small fun quizzes and games to test them at the end of every session
Keshav : COMPETITION / SMALL GROUPS or ONE-TO-ONE TEACHING : A few months after we started our workshops another corporate organisation also did one for the same group of people . We were very happy when the Senior Citizens gave us feedback, saying that they preferred our sessions as we had a combination of presentations and individual teaching where we specifically taught them the areas where they had trouble, while the corporate organisation only had one generic presentation .
Adyanth : INCREASE THE REACH / CALL OUT TO STUDENTS : From the interactions we had with the people in our workshops we realised that they were really benefiting from learning how to use their own smart phones efficiently. We wanted to reach more Senior Citizens and help them make life easier , but we were only 5 children with limited time. After a lot of thinking we came up with the idea of calling out to other students to join us in teaching any elderly people who they come across with tutorials we have created.
The Next Chapter
While doing our project we realised that we could only reach a certain number of senior citizens
And this led to our NEXT IDEA : To expand our reach we needed more students.
To call out to other students we created some promotional messages and videos to help them understand and connect with the idea. We also created short tutorials and notes that are available online for students to use while teaching.
We then organised a few meetings with schools and also used social media to spread out our invitation to children to to join us in teaching any elderly people who they come across.
We also call out to all our readers to spend some quality time teaching grand-parents and other Seniors in your community on how to use smart phones.
Search for Team ASAP GSL on YouTube to find our videos
Like us you will also enjoy the experience and may even learn some qualities from them and realise that learning goes both ways.
The 2018-19 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2019. If you belong to one of the 700+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.