Wednesday 27 April 2016

Donate a Blanket, Save a Life

Two Silver Award participants, Shilpi Daimary and Kavery Mahela from Miles Bronson Residential School, Guwahati, are sharing their experience during the Blanket Donation drive to protect pavement dwellers from the cold.

Inspired and motivated by the initiative of NDTV and Uday Foundation’s mission to keep the pavement dwellers of North India warm, we, the Award participants of Miles Bronson fraternity also joined hands in saving the lives of the people in need. On 3rd December 2015, it was announced in our morning assembly that we had to collect blankets and warm clothes for people who were dying from the cold on the streets, in slums, orphanages and old age homes. On Sunday, the 6th of December 2015, we collected a huge pile of old warm clothes and blankets from the Bronsonians and the teachers. It was wonderful to see that some of our teachers and Bronsonias brought not only old warm clothes but also new blankets, warm clothes, socks and gloves to keep people warm. After collecting the donations, on 13th December 2015, we, the Award participants, along with our mentors, distributed the blankets and warm clothes to the pavement dwellers living near the Sukreshwar Mandir, Panbazar, Guwahati. It was fulfilling to see the smiles on the faces of those pavement dwellers and we wish all our friends and teachers a heartfelt thank you in taking such initiatives and make someone's life worth living in cold winters. 

Wednesday 20 April 2016

IAYP Adventure Camp To Koti (Kufri)

Bronze and Silver Award participants from Jodhamal Public School, Jammu completed their Adventurous Journey at Koti (Kufri) in Himachal Pradesh from 24th to 29th of March 2016. Vandana and Poonam, two mentors from the school share a report about their Award Journey with us.

In our interconnected and wired world, the youth is increasingly tethered to their digital devices, working tirelessly to maintain their digital profiles. As social as these exercises may seem, they are in fact becoming more of a way to isolate oneself and stunt social interactivity, rather than as a tool to encourage it. An Adventure camp, with a meaningful purpose and a goal, was the finest idea which was planned for their respite and change in their outlook of the world.

This camp was organized for the Bronze and Silver level participants along with other students of classes VII-IX to Koti (Kufri) in Himachal Pradesh.

On 24th March, 78 students including 18 Award participants escorted by 8 mentors under the supervision of S. Ganguly left the premises of Jodhamal Public School at 10 PM, to reach Chandigarh at 5:30 the next morning. With a sumptuous breakfast at Chandigarh, the team moved ahead for Koti, which took almost four and a half hours.

The camp in Koti was set amidst the lush green hilly areas and had the most amazing panoramic view. Swiss Tents were set up to provide a conducive environment for the participants. Various activities were designed in camp to have fun and provide direct learning experiences. Spaced out within a span of 4 days the participants enjoyed a new found independence away from home and beyond regular text books.

The participants were taken for mountain trekking approximately 2200ft above the sea level. The Trainers first gave an enlightening lecture on various adventure activities, rope courses, equipment usage, tent pitching and trekking and then demonstrated use of various equipment’s during mountain trekking and setting up a tent. The Adventure camp shifts the focus away from the individual, and teaches campers to be more selfless and become better team players.

Learning team and individual goal setting, conflict resolution, and overcoming challenge have led to improved individual confidence and self-worth. Campers like Ishita Sharma of Silver Level and Ashwin Suri of Bronze Level expressed their feelings of increased self-confidence, and a stronger sense of their own individuality.

The participants were given thrilling and unforgettable experiences of different adventure activities like Burma Bridge crossing, Bamboo Bridge crossing, Commando Bridge, Bush craft, Zip line, Jumaring, Rope Valley crossing, night trekking and camp fire. Every activity tried the strength and flexibility of the participants and taught them to sustain themselves in the toughest conditions and improved their endurance levels.

We all heard participants proudly exclaim, “Look what can I do!” This proclamation of accomplishment came from doing something they hadn't done before and gained the confidence to do it again. Participants and mentors alike build their self-esteem and self confidence by challenging their fears and doubts and winning in this adventurous journey.

A short leisure trip was also organized to Shimla (Mall Road) where the participants discovered and bought various Indian articrafts in the Lakkad bazaar.

These adventure camp activities have led to decrease in childhood adjustments, anxiety issues, and social inhibitions that manifest themselves silently in the child. By the culmination of the camp we had unfurled various leaders among the youth. Many had learnt teamwork and all possible phobias were done away with. Parents affirmed this camp to be a wholesome experience for their wards and wanted them to be a part of such activities in the future on a more consistent basis. Click for Pictures

Monday 18 April 2016

Adventurous Journey Camp

Fifty-five Award participants from The Cathedral & John Connon School, Mumbai completed their Adventurous Journey to Mount Abu. A report by Noshir N.Engineer (Award Leader)

We left for the camp on 23rd March 2016 from Mumbai with 55 Award participants including one Gold level, 20 Silver level and 34 Bronze level participants. We arrived in Ahmedabad at 5:30 am and undertook a bus journey to Mount Abu (the campsite).

On the first day of our journey we learnt about tent-pitching, essential knots and different kinds of camping gear. On the same day, we also went for a three-hour trek to Sunset Point and returned in the evening. The day was full of experiential learning for all of us. Everyone noted the important points in their diaries and record keeping journals.

The other activities in which we took part were caving, rock-climbing and rappelling. The participants were made to trek to the locations at which these activities were organised. These activities were quite arduous under the scorching sun, but they allowed the participants to step outside their comfort zones and challenged them in ultimate terms. They learnt about mountain manners and first aid. At the closing of the day, the participants even put up short skits in groups on social issues, an inspirational sight to witness.

We did get the opportunity to participate in Zumba during morning hours and trekked to Nakhi Talao followed by a visit to the Abrudevi temple where we were made to ascend and descend 407 steps. After the journey we all returned to the school with chapped lips and fond memories. Click for more pictures

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Asia Pacific Regional Training for Trainers (T4T) Workshop

2nd - 4th April 2016 at Miles Bronson Residential School, Guwahati, Assam

The Asia Pacific Regional Training for Trainers workshop was organized by the National Award Authority India (NAA) from 2nd to 4th April 2016 at Miles Bronson Residential School, Guwahati, Assam. The workshop was lead by Rob Oliphant (Asia Pacific Regional Programme Manager) along with Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager IAYP India). The workshop was attended by fifteen delegates including three delegates from Nepal.

The objective of the workshop was to train Award Leaders to become Award Trainers and the primary focus was on learning the use of training aids (visual, auditory, kinesthetic etc.) and presentations. The other sessions included: Training framework, Overview of NAOME assessment (needs, aim, objectives, methods, evaluation), Training needs analysis (TNA), Training design, Multiple intelligences, Development of training materials and training aids, Award mapping, Group work, Delivery styles & skills, Generation theory, Overview of International Award Foundation (IAF), Online Record Book (ORB), Quality assurance of Award units, Action planning & evaluation and Online Learning Hub (OLH).

In order to be proficient in any of the above mentioned aspects of training, the participants were instructed on their role and responsibilities as future Award Trainers and were taught the essentials of giving clear instructions for an activity during a presentation through NAOME, TRaM (task, reason, method), and CaRS (context, report back, summary). The delegates were introduced to different learning styles and the factors that keep the current generation motivated were also discussed. The delegates learnt the art of presentation of live scenarios to different stakeholders of the Award Programme.

The training team also shared the key notes and documents which will be useful for development of training aids. The workshop concluded on 4th April with the presentation of Training badges to the delegates by Founder & Principal Dr Nripen Dutta of Miles Bronson Residential School, Guwahati, Assam. A big thanks to Miles Bronson Residential School, Guwahati, Assam for their hospitality and support for conducting this workshop.

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop

The International Award for Young People India organized a two-day Award Leader training workshop on 30th - 31st March 2016 at the Award Training Centre, New Delhi for 19 participants from various Institutions including Birla Vidya Mandir, Nainital; Chinar Public School, Alwar; GD Goenka World School, Gurgaon; Hamro Sankalp Welfare Society, Guwahati; Jodhamal Public School, Jammu; KD Ambani Vidyamandir, Jam Nagar; Mata Jai Kaur Public School, New Delhi; Pinegrove School, Solan; Raphael (for the differently abled), Dehra dun; Selaqui International School, Dehra Dun and The Doon School, Dehra Dun.

In this experience sharing workshop, over the span of two days, 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 aspects of the programme, which included Risk Management and Online Record Book (ORB).

The workshop was delivered by Kapil Bhalla (National Director), Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager), Priyank Kumar Gupta (Head IT & ORB), Ranjana Rai (Member, National Training Panel) and Pallavi Gill (Member, National Training Panel). The programme concluded with the presentation of participation certificates to the participants by Kapil Bhalla. Click for pictures