Wednesday 31 October 2018

Forum 2018

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Forum 2018 is on from Tuesday 30 October to Sunday 4 November in Accra, Ghana.

The delegates will meet with other leaders from the Association and the Foundation to share best practices, troubleshoot issues and celebrate the success of the Award.

During the Forum delegates will have the opportunity to discuss the Award’s global development, understand the context in which we are all working and to have your say on new policies and plans.

This Forum’s theme: “Shaping the future, shaping our world” brilliantly summarises the opportunity that we have to help shape the future for young people and position the Award as the leading proponent of non-formal education.

Practical sessions will focus on how we can improve the Access, Reach and Impact of the Award globally and include a mixture of speakers from within the Association and external experts across a range of topics.

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop

At Edubridge International School, Mumbai

On 25th and 26th October, 2018 the National Award Authority organised an Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop at Edubridge International School, Mumbai. The workshop was led by Kapil Bhalla - National Director and Bivujit Mukhoty - Programme Manager. 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 in Mumbai witnessed a total of 16 participants. The schools that participated in the workshop in Mumbai were DSB International School, Mumbai; Edubridge International School, Mumbai; Euro School Airoli, Mumbai; Jamnabai Narsee School, Mumbai; Rustomjee Cambridge International School, Mumbai; Spring Mount Public School, Tirupur, and Worldview Education Services Private Limited, Hyderabad, Telangana.

The workshops commenced with an ice breaking session followed by an introduction about 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. Click here for the pictures

National Director's visit to Cambridge Assessment International Education

Kapil Bhalla, National Director, IAYP India, visited the Cambridge Assessment International Education Team at Mumbai on the 22nd and the 23rd of October, 2018. The two-day meet focused on ways in which the Cambridge Curriculum and Award Programme work towards youth empowerment and development. The discussions concluded with new ideas and goals to provide greater opportunities for the young people in India, making them well equipped for the world.

Wednesday 24 October 2018

The Award's Global Satisfaction Survey

The 2018 Global Participant Satisfaction Survey results are out! The IAA research team analysed responses received between May 2017 – September 2018 from 7,393 Award holders from 62 countries (23 NAO countries and 39 IAC countries). An 'Award n numbers' info graphic - including some key highlights from the satisfaction survey and global statistics - will be available in early November.

In the meantime, here are some highlights 
  • * 65% of Award holders (and 79% Gold) of Award holders believe they have changed as a person as a result of participating in the Award 
  • * 93% said the Award encouraged them to try something new 
  • * 90% said the Award has challenged them 
  • * 74% said the Award has inspired them 
  • * 66% said through participating in the Award, they now feel part of their community 
  • * 84% said they intend to continue to regularly volunteer at least once a month vs 48% of those who said they volunteered at least once a month prior to doing their Award

This year, 12 countries have enough (100+) responses to also access country-specific reports.

A Journey of Contemplation

This report has been submitted by Mrs Ambuj Sharma, Headmistress and PRO, Jain International Residential School. The Award participants of JIS undertook a journey to Sikkim and Nathula Pass as part of their Adventurous Journey. She has an interesting story to share on her and her participants’ soulful experience.

As part of an enriching experience, our students visited Sikkim, followed by the Nathula Pass. The trip commenced on 15th July 2018 and concluded on 22nd July 2018. Being a part of the Himalayas, Sikkim is home to glaciers, alpine meadows and countless wildflowers. We commenced our journey from Bangalore to Bagdogra. From Bagdogra, we commenced our climb and reached Rinchingpong, to be welcomed by a cool breeze and the promise of sheer tranquillity. We drove through groves of bamboo towards a rustic farmhouse – the Yangsum Heritage Farm. With the Bhutiya and Lepcha community people who stayed in proximity to the farmhouse, we ate freshly prepared meals, trekked and walked with them, trying to understand their lifestyle, culture and food habits.

We then visited the Pemayangtse Monastery – the oldest sacred Buddhist temple in Sikkim, nestled in a scenic backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Following this, we visited Pelling, a small hamlet where we were welcomed by a breathtaking view of the majestic Kanchenjunga. We interacted with the communities living nearby and relished the authentic Sikkim cuisine, while basking in the intoxicating burble of River Teesta.

Strings of prayer flags fluttered as they were tied along the path leading to the foothills of the Kanchenjunga. We trekked a distance of two kilometers through the thick forest from
Pelling to Geyzini to reach the ruins of Rabdentse - a city believed to be the second capital of the former kingdom of Sikkim. It was then that it dawned on us that our journey was as much about historical sites, culture, farming and ecological balance as it was about developing a strong connect with nature. We also visited the Rinchen Choling Tamu Monastery and gained insights on the Nyingma Order - the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. However, we appreciate the omnipotence of the Indian Army personnel, who were vigilant yet reassuring.

Having completed our exploration, it was time for us to delve into another journey – a journey of contemplation and reflection. With the experience that we gained on our journey, we realised the importance of dealing with life’s challenges with as much vigour as we dealt with the journey’s challenges. It was a journey of exploration; one that led us to the path of self exploration. Click here for more pictures

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Sankalp: The Aspiration to Live a Life of Dignity

This report has been submitted by the students of Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya, in which they share their experience of installing a sanitary napkin production unit as a measure to deal with women hygiene issues.

In her pursuit of inculcating experiential learning, Mrs Nishi Misra, our Principal, came up with the idea of community service for women as part of the Service section of the Award Programme. Having shared the idea with us, she guided us to survey the areas around Gwalior to find a cause to espouse. During our analysis, we found that women hygiene is a highly stigmatised issue. It was then that we discovered the essence of our community service activity. Mrs Misra worked hard to acquire a low cost indigenous sanitary napkin unit from Coimbatore, with the vision of producing sanitary napkins for women who can’t afford them.

After the successful running of this unit at the school campus, Mrs Misra launched women empowerment projects in two villages, Jarga and Virpur, where low-cost and eco-friendly sanitary napkin machines were installed and the production is managed by village women. Having been approached by numerous hospitals, NGOs and scheme developers that expressed their desire to purchase this product, Mrs Misra has been working out a small scale industry model to make this product self-sustaining.

Though Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya is an all girls’ school, Mrs Misra invites students of both sexes from schools in both India and abroad to engage in ‘shram-daan’ (labour service) and earn ‘volunteer hours’. She has developed it into an activity during the Youth Festivals that she holds at the school. We, together with students of other schools, work on manufacturing the napkins and assist in their distribution at the village.

At times of natural disasters like the floods in Kashmir, the Nepal earthquake or even the recent Kerala floods, we try and work relentlessly on these manufacturing machines to send a good batch of sanitary napkins, along with other relief materials to the needy. We deem it our duty to donate as well as work hard on these machines to prepare sanitary napkins for women who need them.

The initiative of setting up this unit is called SKV-Sankalp, a collective resolution taken by Mrs Nishi Misra and us to help women live with dignity. We staunchly believe that this will go a long way in gender sensitization of the youth.

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Award Orientation for Teachers and Students

The NAA Team comprising Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager) and Priyank Kumar Gupta (Head IT & ORB) visited Kasiga School, Dehra Dun on 8th October 2018. After the formal interaction and discussion with Nakul Raibahadur (Award Leader), the team delivered an orientation to the teachers and mentors. Nine teachers had attended the orientation session. In the late evening, the team delivered an orientation session for the students of grade 9 to 12, which was attended by over 150 students. After the session, there was a Question and Answer round where the students got answers to their queries.

ITAP Workshop amongst the Pine Hills of Solan

It was a wonderful experience to attend this 2 days ITAP workshop amidst the Pine Hills in Solan. It was filled with informative sessions. - Dina Nath, Camp in Charge, NALS Manali

It was one of the best Learning experiences! The purpose of the programme was achieved with expertise and precision. It has inculcated a positive highlight for proper planning and execution of handling the youth attending the Award Programme, with security and safety parameters in mind. I thoroughly enjoyed attending the event. And I want to thank IAYP for including me in the programme. - Sapan Pradhan, Director, Tread Trails Rejse Pvt Ltd.

The training was very helpful. It helped me to understand policies, procedures of IAYP and most importantly, the responsibility we have towards young adults. I wish we could have more workshops similar to this in future, and also anyone who is working with young adults in the wilderness should attend this training. - Jayant Solanki, INME

I got more than what I expected from the ITAP workshop at Pine Hills Eco Camp. The IAYP Team had all that we needed, it was well organised and informative. A must attend, for all who are involved in IAYP! - Jehangir Chinoy, Worldview Education Services Ltd.

A Report by Pallavi Gill

Amidst the cool hills of Solan, Himachal Pradesh, nestles the Pine Hill Eco Camp, the site for the ITAP Workshop. On the 4th of October, the camp was swarming with Award Leaders and Trainers from all corners of India to attend the Training. The Training saw Award Leaders from Renok Adventures, Allrounder, Rocksport, Inme Pvt. Ltd, Navrachana International School, Harvest International School, Oberoi International School, Symbiosis International School, Adventure Mantra Pvt Ltd, Worldview Education Services Pvt. Ltd., Pugmarks Eco Tours Pvt. Ltd., TREAD TRAILS REJSE Pvt Ltd., Homerton Grammar School, NALS Outdoors India Pvt Ltd., and Pine Hills Eco Camp, Chewa. After their long journeys by multiple modes of transport to the silent pine hills, the Award Leaders ate a hearty dinner and tucked themselves to sleep, gathering their strength for the Training that was to begin the next day.

The Training on 5th and 6th began early, with fun-filled warm-up exercises and escapades on the Rope Course, comprising knot bridge, commando net, Burma bridge, single rope bridge and many more. Post breakfast, the Award Leaders were trained on the Adventurous Journey and its requirements in the Award. From tent pitching, cooking, leadership training, safety measures and various action-oriented activities, the parameters of the Award was imparted to the Award Leaders. The Award Leaders were also briefed on the Residential Project, Risk Management and the procedures for filling in the Record Books.

The two-day training ended with huge smiles, wonderful memories and immense knowledge of the Award. The way back home was a little heavier, with fond memories and mostly, the aspiration and ambition to help provide the young people across India and the globe to experience and achieve the Award.

IAYP would like to thank the team at Pine Hill Eco Camp for their huge support and hospitality during the Training. We would also like to thank the Award Leaders who, with their vast creative insights, made the Training a success!

Wednesday 3 October 2018

We’re With IAYP in its Stride to Make a Difference

This report has been given by Divya Charnalia, an Award Leader who attended IAYP’s Training Workshop in Delhi. She narrates her personal experience of attending the workshop, while also voicing the experience of other Award Leaders.

On 14th and 15th September 2018 a training workshop was conducted at NAA Office, Delhi by the IAYP team comprising Mr Kapil Bhalla – the National Director, Mr Bivujit Mukhoty – the Programme Manager and Ms Pallavi Gill – the Programme Officer. It was essentially one of those sessions where you’re guided through the episode by being given a firsthand experience of the tasks and activities that the Award Participants would undertake.

The workshop commenced with an icebreaking session that addressed its purpose. We introduced ourselves, narrated our goals and expectations and formulated a motto. Following this, Mr Bhalla introduced the Programme and reiterated its ideology and philosophy. While highlighting the benefits of the Programme, Mr Bhalla also listed our responsibilities as Award leaders. What followed next was an elaborate session explaining the various facets of the Award Programme.

The second day started with a Physical Recreation activity of playing games like dodgeball and the sports alphabet. This way we became active witnesses to the fact that sports inculcate in us a spirit of teamwork, coordination and the will to better ourselves with each passing moment. Tripping and getting up with the same motivation and vigour, we were reluctant to leave the field. Similarly, the objective of the activity of the Skills section was to embolden us to own our skills and to celebrate them. Expressing our exhilaration at being able to showcase our unique talents, we couldn’t help but define the activity as ‘going back to our childhood’. The Residential Project for the Gold Award Participants with its central idea of an ‘unfamiliar environment’ and an ‘unusual companion’ was also explained. Another important aspect of the session was a discussion about the risks involved in the Adventurous Journey and the response mechanisms to deal with them. By narrating personal experiences, Mr Bivujit reiterated the dynamics of the Award Programme.

These two days were a roller-coaster ride, packed with fun activities and lessons to cherish for a lifetime. The aim of these activities was to enable us to step into the shoes of the Award Participants so that our relations with them could be more personal. The workshop stressed the important role that Award Leaders play as counterparts to the Award Participants in their journey. 

‘Engage. Equip. Empower. Reward.’ We went like plain sheets of paper to the workshop and these words seemed to have been printed in everlasting ink on us! Workshop pictures can be seen here.