We are delighted to share a blog written by Siya Sharma, a student at Pathways School Noida who is part of a team 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.
In India the quality of education is relatively poor for the underprivileged community. Despite having a lot of potential, they are unable to get equal opportunities. To us the quality education means which develop sustainable livelihood and empower children to become economically productive and enhance their well-being.
Though the learning outcomes may vary but basic education should include some standard of literacy, numeracy, general science and life skills. We believe quality education is a most important factor to combat poverty and inequality in society. Vrinda and I have previously worked with underprivileged children last year as well for our grade 8 community project. We interacted with the Salaam Baalak students and painted on shirts, danced, acted, and a lot more. It was one of the best times and we connected really well with the students. That project really helped us enhance our love and care for people who aren’t as privileged.
Now that we have come into 9th grade, we get another chance to show our passion on a larger scale. So far the journey has been challenging yet a lot of fun and very interesting. We invited the Salaam Baalak students to our school to get to know each other a little better and have some fun. We planned some different activities we all could do together like make slime and bookmarks. That whole interaction was wonderful, it was a beautiful experience and at the end of the session nobody wanted to go back. Unfortunately we soon realized that working with the Salaam Baalak students won’t be efficient as they are very far away. It is extremely hard for them to come to our school for activities like football, cricket, etc. The project would have been very short- termed and would have been practical.
So we decided that we would help them, and interact with them time to time but we needed to find another organization where the distance and the number of interacting sessions would not have been a problem. Hence, we started our research to find another organization we could work with which is close to our school. Then we found this school for underprivileged students called “Vidya and Child”. Vrinda and I set up and meeting and we went to talk to them.
To start with we would associate with 18-20 children in helping them to believe in education. To ensure the quality education we shall be focusing on the pedagogical approaches, subject content balance, proper utilization of time and resources, and assessments. We are looking at teaching them technique in football, cricket and dance, and also a different more advanced way of learning through smart board and computers.
The Next Chapter
Our next step is to take action! After a lot of planning and challenges and analyzing, we have finally reach the most fun part. We can’t wait to get started on enlightening them on the importance of education and showing them a different type of learning through different and new types of resources.
We are looking at teaching them technique in football, cricket and dance, and also a different more advanced way of learning through smart board and computers. Interacting with the students is going to be very eye-opening and a beautiful thing. I would definitely recommend doing this to people my age.
Community service is more than spending your time participating in selfless acts. It has a greater impact on society as a whole. We are young, it’s important for us to develop life skills and become well rounded individuals. Starting young provides an opportunity for us to learn and grow into valuable members of the society.
Community service teaches us life skills and takes us outside of our comfort zones. It helps us in becoming socially aware and learn to appreciate our life and value what we have.
The GSL competition is really helping us reflect on what we have done already and helping us analyze the plans for further actions. We have developed a lot of communication skills, through our project and doing these GSL documents. For us, this is one of the first times that the initiative is completely taken by students and teachers play a minimum role in it.
Hence, before this all the communication between an organization and our school was done by teachers, but because this is student driven we are in charge of everything; from the calling the organizations, writing mails, meeting them, making sure everything is going perfectly is all up to us. Making an Instagram account and conveying a message to an audience on a larger scale has also enhanced our communicating skills.
We have developed collaboration/social skills as well. The interaction with Salaam Baalak students has really helped the entire group and made them realize the seriousness and importance of this project. We loved interacting with them, it was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about them and how they got to salaam Baalak and their families and how happy they are at Salaam Baalak. Collaboration within our own group of 15-20 students is evident, the way we divided the work that needed to be done, the arrangement of resources, organizing, etc.
Doing this initiative and participating for GSL has showed me that I am a leader, we are all leaders in our own ways. A great leader is someone who can convey ideas and take actions, and that’s exactly what we all our doing together. One of the biggest challenges is always the taking action part in an initiative, but it is always the most fun. Organizing for students of Vidya and Child to get here, and make sure everything goes as we’ve planned is going to be a challenge, but I think as a team we could overcome anything. Work just needs to be divided and everyone should be aware of what their role is.
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.