Wednesday 31 December 2014

YES Training Workshop at Amity International School, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi

The National Award Authority organized an Award Leader Training Workshop at Amity International School, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi on December 29-30, 2014. Kapil Balla (National Director) started the workshop with an ice-breaking session and then introduced the Award to the participants. Over a span of two days at Amity International School, the participants were given in-depth knowledge regarding the four domains of the programme i.e. Skills, Service, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey and also the Residential Project for the Gold Award Programme. The participants were also introduced to the technical aspect of the programme, which included Risk Management and Branding. The workshop was delivered by Kapil Bhalla, Skand Bali (Head, National Training Panel) and Pratibha Kumari Singh (Member, National Training Panel). The trainers shared their own experience as trainers and Award Leaders and had an open discussion with the participants.  Click for pictures

Bronze Level Adventurous Journey to Camp Wild, Dhauj - A Report

We were truly excited about the adventure journey that we were about to begin. We started from our school in Sahibabad at 7 am and reached Camp Wild at 10:00 am. After a light breakfast we went up the hills and started two major adventure activities - Rock Climbing and Rappelling, both of which we thoroughly enjoyed. At 2:00 pm we came down for lunch, filled up our water bottles, and went up the hill again for 'flying fox'. We learnt about the different types of knots involved in flying fox such as Colwich, thumb knot and figure of 8, also known as universal knot. Having learnt about the safety measures, we started enjoying the adventure activity. At 8:30 pm we went for a short night survival walk, which was followed by a lively conversation about the uses of these activities in wars, environmental degradation and carbon footprints. After this intense physical and mental work out, we came back to our cottages for a good night's sleep.

The next day started with the morning exercises. We completed a fun-filled obstacle course including activities such as Tarzan swing, Monkey crawl, Burma Bridge, Cat walk etc. Later we hiked, climbed a hill and participated in team building activities. With that, our adventure trip came to an end. We packed our bags and left for school with many sweet memories. The best part of this trip was that we not just enjoyed several adventure activities but also got to learn a lot about the safety hardware involved in all these activities. We really appreciate the able guidance of our mentors and teachers who made the IAYP journey memorable for us. We have not just developed our skills further but have also learnt time management, setting smart goals and the importance of involving oneself in community service. This programme has certainly helped us to recognize our strengths and our social responsibilities. No wonder each one of us has now grown into a skilled person because of the holistic approach of this programme.  Click for picture 

A report from DLF Public School, Sahibabad

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Special Project Adventurous Journey Camp for JCB Supported Govt. Schools in Faridabad

National Award Authority organised a three days Adventurous Journey camp for JCB Sponsored Government Senior Secondary School of the rural areas of Haryana from 19th to 21st December 2014 at Rocksport's Balliwash Camp site. Total 179 participants (83 Silver level and 96 Bronze level) participated in the camp and performed Adventurous Journey related activities under the supervision of instructors from Institute of Climbers and Nature Lovers (ICNL) Kolkata and Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager).

The camp activities includes Rock Climbing, Rappelling, Fixing Rope, Building Burma Bridge & Single Rope Bridge, fixing Tyrolean Traverse (for river crossing), tent pitching along learning Rope Knots. The participants also learned Team Building Games with Spider Net. All the participants successfully completed their practice and qualifying Adventurous Journey. The NAA team thanks ICNL, Kolkata and Rocksport, New Delhi for their spontaneous support to the Award Programme. We also wish to thank Neelam Singh (Award Leader, Govt. Sr. Sec. Schools) for her valuable support and help.    Click for pictures

Award Leader Training Workshop at AMM Matriculation higher Secondary School, Chennai

The National Award Authority organized a National Award Leader Training Workshop at AMM Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai on December 12 -13, 2014. The sessions covered the four pillars of the Award i.e. Physical Recreation, Skills, Service & Adventurous Journey, and other topics like Residential Project, Award Branding and Safety issues were conducted by Kapil Bhalla (National Director), Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager) and K S Biradar (Member, National Training Panel)

The workshop was attended by twenty one participants. The workshop completion certificates were presented to the new Award Leaders by Kapil Bhalla (National Director, IAYP).

Monday 22 December 2014

Bringing the Shine Back to the Shrine

The global climate change has had a major impact on historical monuments in India. In the last few years the Indian government spent a lot of money on restoration and renovation of these historical monuments.  To contribute to this cause GEMS NPS International School's Bronze Award participants decided to pick up the task of renovating, cleaning and painting a 600-year-old shrine, Shri Shri Damodar Dev Satra located in the village Patbausi in Assam.

The shrine was destroyed in the 1964 earthquake and was repaired under instructions of the Chief Minister of Assam; since then the shrine has been uncared for. As part of the service activity of the IAYP Award programme, the 35 Bronze Award asprants volunteered their services for over five months to bring the shrine back to its glory.  Click for pictures

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Manali, The Switzerland of India

A Report from Priyatma Ningthoujam (Bronze Aspirant)

On 24th November, 2014 a group of 20 Award aspirants of Miles Bronson Residential School participated in an adventure trip to the Himalayan ranges of Manali,  Himachal Pradesh. The group was led by Ms. Lipika Borah (Award Leader) along with Mr. Thomas P. It was a 12-day programme which included trekking, rafting and other adventure activities.

The team reached Manali early in the morning of 27th November. They did some local trekking that day and visited the hot springs and the Hadimba temple in Manali.

The next day was a day to play in the snow in Lothang pass. Each one of us experienced the snow for the first time.  Lothang pass can be called a natural paradise. The same day we came down to Solang valley and met an eminent personality called Sri Rajib Sharma who has spent the maximum time of his life in the mountains and was a victor over Mount Everest twice.

In Naggar (a place between Kulu and Manali) we camped for a night. It was a memorable experience and the students enjoyed a number of adventure activities such as monkey crawling, Burma crossing, rock climbing, zip lining, rafting etc. In that venue we had the amazing experience of night holding inside tents in the extreme cold.

We also trekked to a village called Heritage Village in Naggar which is popular in both Bollywood and Hollywood. Many of the famous films such as Jab We Met, Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani etc were pictured there. The forest is the state's most important wealth. The place had a very thick vegetation of pine, cedar, deodar, and apple.

We had the opportunity to visit a monastery in Mc. Leod Ganj where there is a residence of the Dalai Lama. Mc Leod Ganj is teeming with exiled Tibetan people.

Manali with its soothing backdrop of Himalaya has given us an unforgettable moments and memories in our life. This trip has taught us life skills like taking risks, having confidence in ourselves and the ability to take on challenges, and most importantly, developing team spirit and empathy.  Click for more pictures

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Emerging Leaders and Fresh Perspective - Ankit's Diary IGE 2014

The International Gold Event is an important part of the set gatherings that bring together Award stakeholders from around the world. The IGE is unique because it engages directly with Award Holders and gets them together to collaborate on ideas that contribute to the Award's growth. The International Award has recently revised its mission to make the Award accessible to all eligible young people in the world by 2026. While reaching out to youth in every country is certainly very ambitious, the Award has brought in some significant changes in the last five years that will help in making this mission a reality. The Award is now branded or co-branded uniformly across the globe to create an identity for participants, alumni and Award units that run the Award. The Online Record Book that was recently piloted in India, is now a critical tool that not only helps in monitoring quality but also makes the Award experience more efficient for participants. A mobile application for logging in your sectional hours is under development as you read this!

With recent and upcoming changes, there is a need for fresh perspective and leadership that leverages these initiatives to deliver the Award to young people from diverse backgrounds in different regions of the world. Through its theme of 'Leadership for a Transformed Award', the IGE 2014 in South Korea was able to develop key leadership skills in Award alumni and helped all of us understand the opportunities and challenges for the Award's growth. The event concluded with the meeting of the Emerging Leaders- an elected body of Gold Award Holders that works closely with the International Award Council to make decisions for the Award's future. While the Emerging Leaders would work directly with Award administrative bodies, all of us returned home with enhanced understanding of the Award and ideas to expand its presence in our respective countries.
For the participants at IGE, the event was a fantastic opportunity to learn and relive our experiences from the Award. Working in teams with delegates from the around the globe was yet another opportunity to discover ourselves and know people and cultures better. We shared our Award stories and the lessons learnt and were pleasantly surprised by the similarities and fascinated by the differences of our Award journeys.  All in all, the IGE is a wonderful opportunity to help Award Holders stay connected to the Award and contribute meaningfully to its vision.

Silver Level Adventurous Journey for Award Aspirants of GSSS Talwandi Sabo, Punjab

Ten Award participants from Govt. Senior Secondary School, Talwandi Sabo, Bhatinda, Punjab along with their Award Leader Narinder Kumar started their Adventurous Journey on 29th November 2014. Their aim was to explore the natural world, historic land use, the history of different religious places, their artistic and cultural nature and the impact of humans on natural resources.  This journey also aimed to develop a spirit of adventure and knowledge of new surroundings while on a group journey. The group reached Haridwar around 2.00 pm and trekked up to Mansa Devi Temple on the same day.  After the trek the group headed towards Rishikesh to set up their base camp. The next day the group started trekking to Neelkanth and explored the beauty of nature during this period.  After the trek the participants did River Rafting for around 10 kms from Shivpuri to Swargashram.  During this Award Journey all the participants showed their determination, put in their best physical effort and co-operated with each other in such a way that this adventure journey became a memorable event for them. Click to see pictures

Award Presentation Ceremony for Punjab Schools

The National Award Authority organised the Award Presentation Ceremony for the Government Schools of Punjab on 8th December 2014 at Mata Jaswant Kaur Memorial School, Badal.  Honourable Education Minister (Punjab Government) Daljeet Singh Cheema presented Awards to 126 Bronze and 11 Silver Awardees (69 Girls and 67 boys). Dr. Kamal Kumar Garg (Director Public Instructions - Secondary Education), Ms. Darshan Kaur (Director Public Instructions - Elementary Education), and Ms. Snehlata (Dy Director Policy and Award Coordinator Govt. of Punjab) were also present during the ceremony.  Kapil Bhalla (National Director) and Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager) representated the IAYP.  After the ceremony the participants had the wonderful opportunity of meeting the Honourable Chief Minister of Punjab S. Prakash Singh Badal and C Raul, Principal Secretary School Education, Govt. of Punjab. The NAA Team would like to express special thanks to Col. Anand Swaroop, Principal Mata Jaswant Kaur Memorial School, Badal and all the Award Leaders and Volunteers who helped in organising this event.  Click here to see pictures

Wednesday 3 December 2014

IGE 2014 Anwesha's Diary - Part II

Each team was given an 'impact factor.' Our team had 'Increased participation in civic life.' We were allotted two places of research - the Daejon Education Centre and the Baek-sa village.

Both of these sites were unique. Daejon is a community centre which is run by volunteer teachers, university professors, students and army personnel. They work towards providing non-formal education to 'students who have gone astray.' In Korea, schooling is emphasized greatly. Students quitting from school for any reason is not appreciated. Many students with family problems, single parents, or drug problems drop out of school. This centre aims to help these young people by providing them counselling and tutoring them. They aim to reintegrate these young people back into the society. The teachers there love their pupils like their own children. The centre is like one big happy family. 

At Daejon, we interviewed children who had come there for training and also the volunteers, and teachers. We wanted to know how the system inside Daejon worked and not only worked, how it actually worked so seamlessly. Many of the young people told us how greatly the centre had helped them to get back on track and to make successful people out of them. They told us how volunteering had helped them. It was like listening to fairy tales - except that these stories were true. We realized how by committed devotion, we could give so much back to the society. 

It wasn't all work and no play at the centre, we also learnt to make Kimpob which is a traditional Korean food with rice and vegetables laid over seaweed paper. It was delicious. Soon we grew so fond of making it, that we ended up making much more than we could eat. This was a blessing in disguise as the centre also volunteers at a local old age centre so we decided to take the Kimpob and serve the elders present at the centre. They were delighted to meet us - they were overjoyed to receive the food. It gave us great pleasure.

IAYP Adventurous Journey Camp for Differently Abled Participants on International Day of Disabled Persons - 3rd December 2014

On the occasion of International Day of Disabled Persons, the National Award Authority is organising an Adventurous Journey Camp for the differently abled Bronze, Silver and Gold aspirants of Raphael, Dehra Dun.  A team of six instructors from ICNL, Kolkata will be imparting training to the participants under the supervision of Bivujit Mukhoty, Programme Manager IAYP.

The group started the activities within the Raphel campus and will head to the Maldevata Village for three days where they will perform different activities at the Inside Passage Campsite.

In all 40 participants (9 Gold, 20 Silver and 11 Bronze) along with 3 escorts have joined the camp. Watch out for a detailed report in this spot.