Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop

at Award Training Centre, New Delhi

On January 10 and 11, 2019, the National Award Authority organised an Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop at the Award Training Centre, New Delhi. The workshop was led by Kapil Bhalla - National Director, Bivujit Mukhoty - Programme Manager, Priyank Kumar Gupta - Head IT and ORB and Pallavi Gill - Programme Officer. The objective of these workshops was to interact with the Award Leaders of different schools and iterate the importance of their contribution in the journey of the Award participants.

The workshop witnessed a total of 14 participants. The schools that participated in the workshop were Jhamkudevi Girls School, Abohar, Punjab; Sunbeam English School, Varanasi; Sunbeam Suncity (School & Hostel), Varanasi; Modern School, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi; Indirapuram Public School, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh; Harvest International School, Ludhiana, Punjab; Unison World School, Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand; IVY World School, Jalandhar, Punjab; Delhi Public School, RN Ext., Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh; and Kothari International School, Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

The workshop commenced with an ice breaking session followed by an introduction to the Award Programme. The team threw light on the philosophy of the Award, its journey and its framework. They then went on to explain its various facets that include Voluntary Service, Skills, Physical Recreation, and Adventurous Journey. They also elaborated upon risk management, stressed the benefits of the Programme and touched upon the Residential Project for the Gold Level of the Programme. What followed next was a review session and discussion about the levels of the Award Programme. The session concluded with a film highlighting the Award’s achievements and its impact. For pictures click here.

My learning experience of interacting with bright young minds

This report has been submitted by Young Jun Yoo, a Silver Award participant who shares his experience of working at Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a school for the differently abled. Narrating what he gained during the journey, he highlights how his perspective towards disability has changed.

Working for 6 months with the students of Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a charitable school for physically disabled children, as part of pursuing the Silver level of the Award Programme, provided me with the opportunity to serve the needy. That’s how my relationship with the students of MBCN commenced.

I distinctly remember the very first day I met the Vice-Principal, Mrs Sheeba, to whom I nervously explained my plans of conducting an interactive session with the students of MBCN. My first class, the students of which comprised those with hearing impairment, started just a week after meeting with Mrs Sheeba, for which I prepared a printout of different insects, such as butterflies and dragonflies. Initially, I faced difficulties in communication due to lack of knowledge of sign language. Thus, I used my body language to communicate with them. During the course of my interaction with the students, I learnt how a smile was the key to communicating with people. After the first interaction itself, the students started decorating the printouts on their own, displaying their fine talent in drawing and craft work. They broke down my prejudiced ideas about disability and I saw my perceptions changing.

Post the first class, I became more familiar with the students, which eventually led to a proper timetable being formulated for my interaction with them. Earlier, I took classes only with students who had a hearing disability, but from then onward, I could meet every student of MBCN. These students, though differently abled, were bright young people with warm hearts. From colouring an insect to making an animal bus, I prepared a number of innovative activities for the students. Only recently, I gifted them socks with character paintings, which they really admired. It feels great to have brought smiles to their innocent faces.

Concluding the Silver Award, I feel elated on becoming a better human being by interacting with the students of MBCN. This interaction not only brought about a change in my perception of disability but also in how I deal with and treat people with a disability now. It motivated me to be more responsible, engaging with the students to aid them in achieving something new and positive constantly. I plan to carry these sessions forward in the Gold Award level of the Programme with more ideas and a stronger relationship with the students. Click here for more pictures

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

How We Enhanced Our Skills and Expanded Our Horizons

The following report has been submitted by Manasi Pathak, an Award participant from Delhi Public School, Gurugram, who shares her experience of visiting Mountain Quail, Mussoorie as part of her Adventurous Journey. Highlighting IAYP’s role in her experience, she narrates how this visit has been an eye-opening experience for her.

Nature keeps us grounded, obstacles make us perseverant and adventure makes us tough. We could reflect on these words when we began our journey to Mountain Quail, Mussoorie. Organised from October 10 to 13, 2018, Camp Anubhav offered us myriad activities to undertake. As campers bubbling with energy and excitement, we reached our school by four in the morning and left the school premises by quarter to five. On reaching Mussoorie, we were divided into two groups, namely the Red Rangers and the Blue Battalions, with two guides for each group.

Having played amazing games like ‘where’s my monkey?’ passing the parcel, air hockey, and ‘straw and bangle’, we concluded our first day by writing our activities for the day in a journal. The second day commenced with heavy rain and we were kept busy with interesting indoor activities. Once the rain ceased, the two groups engaged in Burma bridge crossing and raft building. Post lunch, the Red Rangers went stream running while the Blue Battalions went rock climbing and rappelling. Following this was a steep trek. On the third and last day we played an interesting game, the Guerrilla War. This game was worth eight hundred points and was a game changer for both the teams. The last day concluded with Red Rangers being adjudged the best group and a vote of thanks by the members of Camp Anubhav. Towards the evening there was a DJ session for all the campers, after which we sat around a bonfire telling ghost stories. For me, the most soothing time of the entire camp was the journal writing time when we could quietly pen down our thoughts for each day.

We learnt a lot during this camp, such as helping each other and not belittling other’s fears. The Award Programme has truly been a life changing experience for us as we got to enhance our skills and expand our horizons. While games like Guerilla Warfare have inculcated teamwork and sportsmanship in us, thrilling adventure sports like stream running have made us more patient and have enhanced our decision-making skills as we played this game of faith with rocks, deciding which ones would not make our trip. We’ve gained patience and fearlessness. The trip would have been unaccomplished without the presence and support of our teachers. The absolutely mesmerizing experience at the camp has given us innumerable memories to think of and cherish for a lifetime.

One-Day Award Leader Training Workshop

January 7, 2019 at Singapore International School, Mumbai

The International Award for Young People, India encourages young people to develop the character, skills and confidence they need to improve themselves and their communities, by encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone and build positive habits that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. With the support of adult mentors, the Award helps young people to unleash their passions and believe in the power of their own potential.

Keeping the above aspects in view, a training workshop for Award Leaders was conducted on December 7, 2019. Kapil Bhalla (National Director) and Bivujit Mukhoti (Programme Manager) facilitated the workshop with 49 participants from Singapore International School, Mumbai; Ram Ratna International School, Thane, and Adventure Education Tours (Mumbai) Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai.

The workshop gave an introduction to the Award and its philosophy, and the four pillars: Service, Skills, Physical Recreation, Adventurous Journey and the Residential Project for Gold level. Under each session, the Award Leaders under training performed a few activities that made use of their imagination, skill and initiative. The National Award Authority wish to thank Mr. Riad Rojoa (Principal) and Mrs Sharonee Mullick (Director) Singapore International School, Mumbai for their hospitality and support. More workshop pictures can be seen here.