“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhaust, never fears and never regrets.”
–Leonardo Da Vinci
Amidst the dark, dingy and dimly lit alleys, you may find the voices of some kids soaring higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. Among these dreamers is a ten years old girl, named Sandhya, who is an impressive dancer and aspires to nurture others who have found their rhythm matching hers.
This summer, a workshop organised by FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) in collaboration with Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) is providing an avenue to kids like Sandhya to help them realise their calibre and achieve their potential. An example of effective shared narrative in the development sector, FXBIS’ partnership with RGF since 2015, has impacted over 120 children and adolescents to nurture their deep yet vulnerable minds and create strong personalities.
The “Wonderoom”, initiated by RGF to inculcate the interest of reading and other skills such as theatre. This was a three-week long hands-on workshop held in the slums of Noida, Sector 16. 30 children within age-group 6-12 years came each day to the ‘Suraksha Education Centre’ (which is otherwise used for providing tutorial assistance to these children) for the first half of the day for theatre training, puppet making, poster making and other such activities.
Within the camp setting, children developed a sense of independence as they tried new adventures with friends, supported by a team of resource people specialising in theatre, public speaking and photography. The workshop this year was held literally at the kids’ door step (i.e. their place of residence) in order to facilitate increased participation from children. Parents felt reassured of their kids’ safety due to the close proximity.
The twenty-one days of intense engagement through activities, the children developed a variety of social skills – communication, conflict resolution, team work, decision making and leadership qualities to count a few. They commented on overcoming their own insecurities related to self-esteem and peer recognition. The workshop activities brought out their hidden talents and lead them to think as creatively as possible and embrace the value of discipline.
Kids like Sandhya greatly benefited from the ‘Wonderoom Summer Workshop’ to dream big. They said they no longer felt caged in their thinking since the workshop provided a space to explore newer concepts and ideas. A few have expressed a desire to continue with theatre for the entire year.
Children want the same things as we want; to laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted. It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time.