Wednesday, 27 December 2017

An Evening Well Spent

Rahul Thomas Kurien, Silver Level Award Participant from Good Shepherd International School, Ooty, is sharing his experience of visiting an Old Age Home

After this visit to the old age home The Little Sisters of the Poor, I truly believe in the quote “growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional”. On November 11, 2017, a group of Award Participants went to an old age home. The sole purpose of this visit was to entertain, interact with hapless people and make a difference in their lives at least for a while. We did our homework well by planning and preparing for the items to be presented to the aged.

As soon as we reached the old age home, all of us were very curious to know how the home is managed. The caretaker explained to all of us in detail about the struggle they go through to meet the expenses on a daily basis. There were more than 100 men and women trying to find solace in the minimum comforts available to them. Most of them are invalids and have already entered the sunset of their lives. Many of them have been abandoned by their own children. Some of them are still keeping their hopes alive that one day their beloved children would come and take them away. It was a sorry state of affairs.

All of us distributed snacks to the aged as it was time for evening tea. We listened to them in silence when they explained their tales of woe to us. The interaction helped us learn valuable lessons for life. Then it was time for the presentation of an entertainment programme. The aged people thoroughly enjoyed the skit, songs and musical presentations. I was delighted with the outcome of the visit as it made a difference to their evening. It was heartening to see the smiles on their faces and they will linger in my memory forever. I returned to the school with the complete conviction that come what may, I will always make every effort to take care of the old aged. My heart was heavy but I consoled myself that I had done my best to make them happy. As the school bus started, I waved to the aged, with a promise on my lips that I would return soon. Click here for more pictures

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Bronze Level Adventurous Journey

Twenty Award participants of Harvest International School accompanied by four mentors went to Prashar Lake on November 2, 2017 for two nights and three days to fulfil the requirement of IAYP Bronze Adventurous Journey. Before departure, the participants were given an in-depth training on tent-pitching, cooking, first-aid, team building, etc.

The participants began their journey at 8 pm on November 2. They reached the base camp (Baggi village) at 6 am the next morning. After having breakfast at 8 am, the students and mentors started the 8 -10 km. trek to Prashar Lake, situated at 2700 meters. During the course of their 8 hours of trekking, they crossed a stream, rocky terrain, dense forest, and meadows. While trekking, they also explored the flora and fauna of the region. They stopped on the way to prepare lunch for themselves at about 1 pm in the afternoon. They reached the destination (Prashar Lake) at 4 pm. They remained busy pitching their tents for an hour at the campsite. Then they collected wood for the bonfire. After dinner, they slept for the night in their tents.

The next morning, after waking up at 6 am, some of them played cricket while others played football to warm up for the day. After breakfast the students went for a hike 3 km deep in the forest. They discovered a cave in the forest. They had a bonfire in the cave and relished tea which they had brought with them. After the cave adventure, the participants visited the temple, which is located close to the lake. They researched about the temple and the lake by interacting with the priest and the locals. At noon, the students scaled a steep hill close by. The summit of the hill gave them a panoramic view of the entire region. Later, the participants took to cooking their food. They were assigned various tasks, for example, collecting and chopping the wood for the fire, cleaning the utensils, cutting the vegetables, etc., and finally they collaborated to cook dinner consisting of rice, dal and vegetables. The entire process took 4 hours. After dinner, the students pitched the tents and had a bonfire.

Next morning the team returned to base camp and from there after travelling for 12 hours returned to school. Click for pictures of this journey

Gold Award Presentation Ceremony – February 7, 2018

Achieving a Gold Award is one of the biggest milestones of your life. It shows that you have the ability, focus and determination to achieve your set goals and pursue them with passion and perseverance. It shows that you have done your share to achieve all-round development and at the same time are open to learn from what the future has to offer. Therefore, it is imperative that you celebrate this achievement with others and The Gold Award Ceremony is designed to celebrate this achievement of yours.

We are happy to announce that a Gold Award Ceremony will be organised on February 7, 2018 at India International Centre, New Delhi.

Please note that the last date for Record Book submission is January 5, 2018.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Meeting with The Bharat Scouts & Guides

An Award team consisting of John May (Secretary General, The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation), Sarah Robson (Head Fund Raising, The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation), Dr. Sanat Kaul (Managing Trustee, Award Programme Foundation); Kapil Bhalla (National Director, IAYP India); Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager, IAYP India); Priyank Kumar Gupta (Head IT and ORB, IAYP India) and Chittaranjan Das (Office Manager, IAYP India) visited The Bharat Scouts & Guides and met with Dr. K. K. Khandelwal (IAS) (Chief National Commissioner, The Bharat Scouts & Guides); Shri Satyanarayan Sharma (Vice-President, The Bharat Scouts & Guides); Suman Lata Arora (Joint Director, The Bharat Scouts & Guides) and other office bearers. Dr Khandelwal welcomed the team and honoured them with the Scout Scarf. John May and Kapil Bhalla explored the possibilities of collaborating with The Bharat Scouts & Guides and Award Programme. Check the meeting pictures here

Award Ceremony at Chennai

December 8, 2017

NAA organised an Award Ceremony at Lalaji Memorial Omega International School, Chennai, on December 8, 2017. Secretary General John May was the Chief Guest at this ceremony. The day started with an informal interaction with the Award Leaders and Principals of different institutions present for the ceremony in which John May expressed his views about the Award. He explained the ethos of the Award and the importance of non-formal education and how this is becoming the need of the hour today and for the future. John also explained how best the Award concurs with this non-formal education. After this interaction, the School NCC team and School Band gave a Guard of Honour to the Chief Guest. Formally the Award ceremony started with the lighting of the lamp. This was followed by a solo song presentation and a musical Jugalbandi and presentation of the School Song.

Award participants and Award Leaders from AMM Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai; Athena Global School, Chidambaram; Crescent School, Chennai; Ebenezer International School, Bangalore; Good Shepherd International School, Ootacamund; Lalaji Memorial Omega International School, Chennai; Olcott Memorial School, Chennai; TI Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai; and Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Chennai were present. Eighty Bronze Certificates and sixty-five Silver Certificates were awarded. Twenty-three Award Leaders and Volunteers were recognised for their services with Special, Valuable ad Outstanding Meritorious Service Certificates.

NAA expresses sincere thanks to the volunteers, staff and management of Lalaji Memorial Omega International School, Chennai, and to the Principals and Award Leaders who were present during the ceremony and gave their support. To see the pictures of the ceremony click here

Award Ceremony at Kolkata

December 7, 2017

NAA organised an Award Ceremony at The Heritage School, Kolkata on December 7, 2017. John May, Secretary General, was the Chief Guest at this ceremony. The ceremony started with the lighting of lamps by John May (Secretary General, The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation), Sarah Robson (Head Fund Raising, The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation), Kapil Bhalla (National Director, IAYP India) and Seema Sapru (Principal, The Heritage School, Kolkata). This was followed by a classical dance presentation by an Award participant and later a small play on "Longwa Village – One village, two nations". Seema Sapru welcomed all the guests and invited John May to felicitate the Awardees.

Award participants and Award Leaders from Akshar School, Kolkata; All Bengal Womens' Union Home, Kolkata; Calcutta International School, Kolkata; Delhi Public School, Newtown, Kolkata; Emmanuel Ministries, Kolkata; La Martiniere for Girls, Kolkata; Mahadevi Birla World Academy, Kolkata; Modern High School for Girls, Kolkata; Open Award Centre; Ramkrishna Mission Blind Boys Academy, Kolkata; Sri Sarada Math, Kolkata; Sri Sri Academy, Kolkata; Sushila Birla Girls' School, Kolkata; The Bhawanipur Gujarati Education Society School, Kolkata and The Heritage School, Kolkata were present. One hundred and twenty-three Bronze certificates; forty-eight Silver Certificates and five Gold Certificates were awarded. Besides this, twenty-six Award Leaders and Volunteers were recognised for their services with Special, Valuable and Outstanding Meritorious Service Certificates. John May also interacted with the audience and shared his life experiences with them.

NAA wishes to extend its sincere thanks to the volunteers; staff and management of The Heritage School, Kolkata for all the help in organising a wonderful ceremony. Also, we wish to extend our thanks to the Principals and Award Leaders of different schools and institutions, who were present during the ceremony and boosted the morale of the Awardees. You can see the pictures of ceremony by clicking here

Message from John May, Secretary General

“It’s been a wonderful privilege for me to have spent the last few days in India - and to have shared in celebrating the achievements of young people at Award ceremonies in Kolkata and Chennai. What has struck me most has been the immense contribution that Award units are making throughout the country to the education of the next generation of India’s community leaders, entrepreneurs and employees. Award leaders are ensuring that young people don’t just enjoy an excellent academic education, but are able to develop for themselves the skills, behaviours and attitudes that are needed to be a great global citizen. I have also been incredibly impressed by the dedication and expertise of the small professional staff at IAYP. Thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome - and I look forward to returning before too long to meet even more young people and their leaders.”

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The spirit of community service

It's challenging to work towards a holistic vision of reality. Belgians accepted the challenge to change lives, perhaps even their own. A report by Ekta Dhawan, Principal, Bawa-Lalvani Public School, Kapurthala.

The purpose of living a good life is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to be a reason of joy in someone’s sorrows and to make a difference in the society of which we are a part.

Once again the Bronze Award participants of Bawa-Lalvani Public School, Kapurthala, kept themselves busy in community service throughout the weeks with the motive to serve the community while developing humility and compassion. The Award Programme infuses in the participants the spirit of service before self and that of leading a disciplined lifestyle.

These Bronze participants went on an awareness programme in Sultanpur Lodhi Distt Kapurthala. The Group performed street plays to create awareness about the crucial topics: Family planning, Corruption, and Pollution, with a view to achieve economic independence and eradicate other socials evils prevailing in society, such as the menace of corruption and the pleas of the youth against pollution.

The participants held conversation sessions with the audience of the village; the objective was to counsel the villagers about the various health problems prevailing due to air and water-borne diseases, the 3R’s (recycle, reuse and reduce) and the ill effects of pollution.

Outreach to the community has resulted in becoming a potential source of inspiration to the village students. Participants felt the power to make a difference by participating and pulling communities together, helping individuals find solutions and foster human well-being.

The participants have developed the ability to manage their time well, having to balance their work commitment, and have shown that they have this quality in abundance.

The social needs of the residents are addressed through our ongoing engagement and they are encouraged by our participants to contact relatives and friends in order to restore broken relationships! Click here for more pictures