Wednesday 27 February 2019

We minted memories with the IAYP family

The Adventurous Journey section of the Award Programme is not just a platform for expanding the knowledge base of young adults; it’s an opportunity for participants to build human connections and develop their leadership abilities. Advaita Singh, an Award participant from Billabong High International School, Bhopal, narrates her experience of visiting Chandigarh, Manali and Delhi, highlighting how she made a new family in the process.

Here is the thing about an adrenaline rush -- there is nothing like it; the racing pulse, the thudding heart, the shaking of the feet in anticipation and fear and the doubt that constantly knocks against your once logical mind. So, we can proudly proclaim that the journey that we undertook to Chandigarh, Manali and Delhi as part of IAYP’s Adventurous Journey section was unmatched in terms of experience.

On 22nd December 2018, a bunch of exhilarated participants boarded the Bhopal Express to begin a journey that they would cherish forever. After hours of journeying through the plains and the hills, we arrived in Manali. With its snow-capped mountains, breathtaking landscape and starry skies, Manali had an air that made us push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. The temperature being sub-zero there, we realized the importance of sticking together, quite literally.

Having travelled for long hours, we were exhausted on the first day. However, with renewed zeal, the next day we trekked up to Solang Valley where we participated in adventure sports like zip lining, snow-mobile ride, skiing and snow tube ride. We walked back home before nightfall where a comfortable bonfire evening awaited us. We spent the evening under the stars, singing songs, playing games and planning our rafting trip, scheduled for the next day. River Beas was our rafting point in Kullu. We cut through the chilly breeze as our rafts raced across the snow-fed stream, bumping over the river rapids, leaving us with an enthralling experience.

Though our trip was amazing in its entirety, its highlights were activities like trekking, zip lining, rafting that challenged us to vanquish our fears. We not only developed as individuals but also learnt to move forward as a team. We have become more adaptable and receptive, learning to push our limits. The trip has brought us closer to our existing friends and offered us opportunities to make new ones. This week-long experience was one where we minted memories with people who had now become our family. Now that we have resumed living our normal lives and routines, we can say that the people who have returned are not the same anymore; they have undergone a complete transformation of their personalities and ideologies.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Award Holder’s and Participants shine at the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards

The International Award for Young People would also like to congratulate the sixteen Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award Holders for their fantastic achievement in topping the various sections in their Cambridge Assessment while pursuing their Award Journey. Their achievements exhibit how the Award creates opportunities for the young person to develop skills, get physically active, volunteer within their local community and experience adventure outside the classroom, which inherently helps them in being more focused and aids them in achieving the higher educational standard in a holistic environment.

Doing the Award is a personal challenge and it pushes young people to step outside their comfort zone and recognise their achievements. Through the Award, students become confident, responsible, reflective, innovative and engaged learners. The Award provides a young person with new insights into their capabilities and by trying new things helps grow confidence and develop useful skills.

IAYP wishes the following young people all the very best in their Award Journeys, and in their journey of life ahead!

  • Advaita Singh (Bronze Award Holder, Silver Award Participant from Billabong International School, Bhopal) : Top in India – Physics (Cambridge IGCSE); Top in the World- Mathematics (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Kathan Nileshbhai Pandya (Silver Award Holder from The Galaxy School, Rajkot): Top in India – Literature (English) (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Khushi S. V. Mehta (Bronze Award Holder from Good Shepherd International School, Ooty): Top in India – Global Perspectives (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Prerna Baid (Bronze Award Holder, Silver Award Participant from Good Shepherd International School, Ooty): Top in India – Global Perspectives (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Aryamaan Manish Dholakia (Gold Award Participant from Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai): Top in India – Physical Education (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Aman Ladia (Silver Award Participant from Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai): Top in India – Geography (Cambridge IGCSE); Top in the World- Additional Mathematics (Cambridge IGCSE); Top in the World- Biology (Cambridge IGCSE); Top in the World- Physics (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Keerti Mukul Gupta (Silver Award Participant from Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai): Top in India – Drama (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Mahika Jain (Silver Award Participant from The Daly College, Indore): Top in India – English as a Second Language (speaking endorsement) (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Avantika Garg (Silver Award Participant from Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai): Top in India – History (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Anushree Gupta (Silver Award Participant from The Daly College, Indore): Top in the World- History (Cambridge International A Level)

  • Arjun Pasari (Bronze Award Participant from The Daly College, Indore): Top in India – Geography (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Shubhanshi Nileshbhai Gaudani (Bronze Award Participant from The Galaxy School, Rajkot): Top in India – Global Perspectives (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Anjali Nair (Bronze Award Participant from Trivandrum International School, Trivandrum): Top in India – Biology (Cambridge International AS Level)

  • Arjun Vinit Kejriwal (Bronze Award Participant from Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai): Top in the World- International Mathematics (Cambridge IGCSE); Top in the World- Additional Mathematics (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Chang Jie Wu (Bronze Award Participant from DPS International, Saket, New Delhi): Top in the World- Mathematics (without coursework) (Cambridge IGCSE)

  • Jai Parera (Bronze Award Participant from Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai): Top in the World- World Literature (Cambridge IGCSE)

IAYP Celebrates the ‘Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards’ Ceremony

Accomplishment is the product of constant struggle, backed by courage, focus and motivation. To celebrate the efforts of young adults who’ve participated in the Award Programme, IAYP presented certificates for Gold Level achievement and Silver level achievement to some of the participants from Cambridge curriculum schools at the ‘Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards’ ceremony took place on 9th February 2019 in Mumbai. The occasion was graced by Ms Christine Ozden, the Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment International Education, who was the Chief Guest at the ceremony. More than 90 Cambridge Awards were given while the Principals of more than 70 schools attended the ceremony.

Having joined hands in creating committed young people, it was a proud moment for both IAYP and the various schools that had been given the Awards. Mr Kapil Bhalla, the National Director, IAYP, addressed the gathering and detailed the benefits to the students from the partnership of Cambridge Assessment and the Award programme.

IAYP congratulates the following Award Holders for their achievement:

The Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai 
1. Nazah Mistry - Gold 
2. Samiksha Hiranandani - Gold 
3. Arshia Agarwal - Gold

Sarala Birla Academy, Bangalore 
1. Shanay M. Ranka - Gold

Symbiosis International School, Pune 
1. Pragnya Ramprasad - Silver 
2. Sanjana Advani- Silver

Such events become milestone moments in IAYP’s stride to help educational institutions develop so that their students can imbibe skills that are required for their overall development. It is this process of the attainment of dexterity that IAYP celebrates.  Click here for more pictures

Saturday 16 February 2019

Greening the Desert – Build a Greenhouse

Adventurous Journey and Gold Residential Project
1st - 15th June 2019, Spiti, Northern Himalayas, India

Gold Award participants from around the globe are welcome to apply for the two-weeks Solar Conservation Project at Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, organised by Ecosphere in collaboration with IAYP India. The project is one of its kind, combining an Adventurous Journey and Gold Residential Project exclusively for Gold Award participants.

During this journey, the Award participants will be travelling through Spiti and will spend 5 days assisting the local community in the construction of a Greenhouse enabling a local farmer or a Monastery/Nunnery to have access to green vegetables throughout the year. You will participate in the actual construction of a greenhouse and will be assisted by a dedicated team comprising a qualified mason and trained person from Ecosphere. The activity will entail physical work and you will get hands-on learning of traditional mud building techniques – both mud blocks and rammed earth. One will also learn the basics of solar passive architecture and how best to insulate using readily available local material and the sun to heat up the structure.

The trip is a mix of work and pleasure. During this trip participants will be visiting some of the highest villages in the world, going on a high-altitude trek, visiting some ancient monasteries dating back to over a 1000 years, and taking a yak/horse safari and mountain bike -- if interested. Traditional homestays further enrich the experience by giving one an authentic understanding of the life and culture in a Spitian home.

Detailed information and application form can be obtained from here. The last date for registration is 30th April 2019.

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Service before Self

Serving others is a spiritual experience that instils calm in every human being. Rajyasri Rao, a Gold Award participant of The Lawrence School, Ooty visited Bokapuram village and Masinagudi as part of her Gold Residential Project. Defining her visit as a ‘life-changing experience’, she shares insights on what it means to serve others.

“Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.” says, Buddha. We seemed to have seen this insightful quote come to life when, as part of IAYP’s Gold Residential Project, we visited Bokapuram village and Masinagudi. During our five-day visit that began on 27th September and concluded on 2nd October 2018, we became the embodiment of ‘work hard, play hard’. At the school we were residing in, we engaged in levelling the ground and painting a primary classroom with colours most appealing to children. In Bokapuram, we engaged in renovation work on the houses of two elderly women. Another facet of our project was spreading awareness about the consequences of alcohol addiction in a village adjacent to the school, as part of which we painted signs on walls and conducting awareness campaigns in the village.

Putting up at a school with basic amenities, cleaning our own dishes and living spaces and contributing selflessly – all these instilled a sense of responsibility and consciousness in us. The contentment we derived after having finished our visit was supreme. The teachers who accompanied us guided us towards looking beyond the comforts of premiere boarding schools. They taught us to be humble and considerate by exposing us to an alien lifestyle departing several life lessons discussion sessions after dinner each night. Our teacher incharge, Mr Kuldeep Singh and other teacher escorts Ms Kamaljeet, Mr Kartikeyan, Ms Anjali and Ms Samina were as much a part of this labour intensive project as we were. Their dedication towards the cause together with their guidance enlightened us on what true service meant. Our support staff’s contribution made our stay comfortable and we would never be thankful enough for it.

I had never fathomed that the Gold Residential Project would be a life-changing experience for me, bringing age-old quotes to life. Despite bruises, cuts, sunburns, insect bites and challenging physical activities, we learnt to get up and vanquish the forces that caused us to trip. The most striking aspect of our journey, however, was how gracefully we transcended our comfort zones, motivated by the idea to extend our hands in service. Click here for more pictures

Wednesday 6 February 2019

Spreading Love and Warmth

Sneha Singhal, an Award participant from Uttam School for Girls, narrates her experience of visiting Sewa Samarpan, a school for underprivileged children. Recounting this visit, she highlights how ‘happiness’ has been redefined for her and her fellow participants.

'You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay'.

Donation is an act of charity; it symbolises kindness and generosity on the part of the donor. Every year on Christmas and New Year’s, Uttam School for Girls hands out clothes and toys to students of Sewa Samarpan, a school for underprivileged children. Besides that, it organises workshops and programmes for these children while also supporting them financially.

This year as well, IAYP participants collected old toys and woollens from the students of all classes and then packed them neatly. Some participants, accompanied by a teacher, visited Sewa Samarpan and were elated on receiving positive responses from the students there. It was an immense pleasure seeing them feeling jubilant on receiving gifts. Contrasting our privilege with theirs, we felt our urge to do something for the underprivileged growing stronger. We concluded our visit by singing Christmas carols and getting photographs clicked with our new friends. Keeping up with the spirit of sharing, we also donated huge amounts of warm clothes to Eazy Hug, an initiative by Godrej to spread love and warmth this winter.

“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving”, says Albert Einstein. Real happiness is attained through sharing. We take this opportunity to thank IAYP for inculcating in us the true value of community service through the Service section of its programme. We’re proud that Uttam School for Girls has taken this initiative and we really hope that others, too, make efforts to better the lives of marginalised individuals and communities.