Children are standing up to take collective action against their community issues.Let's support them!

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15th April 2016
Dear Supporters,

I am Ibrahim, a Milaap Open Campaigns Fellow in Mumbai. I recently attended one of Apni Shala’s classroom sessions in Chembur’s Collector Colony Municipal School. Pallavi Raikar, the facilitator invited me inside the classroom. The children were creating a huge ruckus. She called all the students from outside. Amidst all the shouting and fighting, she told them to form a circle and somehow they obliged her. Luckily, she found the final few and gathered them in the classroom. Not even once did she tell them to “keep it down” or “stop shouting” or got angry at them. The scene was quite contrary to what most of us would expect in a regular Indian classroom. She just joined their circle and started a routine. She chanted “Up, Down, Up, Down, Shake………,” and so on, as she moved and waved her hands up and down. To my amazement, the children copied her and soon forgot all about their usual shenanigans. I could not believe the coordination between Pallavi and the kids.

This went on for a while as Pallavi launched into a song and dance routine about riding a motorcycle in different styles. The children imitated her and it seemed that they were having fun. Next, Pallavi told the kids that she was going to start a video on a laptop and they’ll have to arrange themselves in a way that everyone could watch the video clearly. It took some time before the kids finally decided to settle down. The video was about a traffic jam that was caused by a fallen tree and it showed how a little kids’ initiative helped clear it. The purpose was to show how even children can become changemakers.

After this they sat in a circle again and had a discussion about the video. Each kid was encouraged to speak out about what they saw and learnt from the video. Pallavi asked questions like “Why did the adults/authorities not try to clear the jam in the first place? Why did the kid try to move the log even though he knew he could never move it alone?” It was easy to note how quickly the kids had grasped the significance of the little guys’ act. This went on for some time till the class got dismissed and Pallavi moved on to the next class.

I was in awe of the way Pallavi had managed to grab the kids’ attention for the better part of an hour. Having tried my hand at teaching kids, I know how difficult it is to cater to short attention spans. Moreover, she managed to teach them without using the conventional government-school methodology of rebuking and punishing to curb indiscipline. “All of us facilitators try to be their friends first, so that we can establish a greater connection,” Pallavi told me. I left the classroom inspired and impressed by the work the team at Apni Shala was doing.




Sahil, 12 yrs old, 7th standard student of Govandi Municipal School, Mumbai is one of many kids who are easily labelled as ‘fidgety’, ‘distracted’, ‘disrupting’, ‘restless’. But there was more to him. His journey with Apni Shala has helped us discover him, and ourselves as teachers.

Tag along with us and Sahil on this interesting read about the journey which will sum up the cause, the need & reasons of existence of an initiative called Apni Shala. 

CLICK below to know more about  Sahil- the boy who wouldn't stand still.                                                             
A journey of a child & his teacher who mutually discover themselves

The Cause
At Apni Shala, we believe all children  have the inherent potential to develop into positive, confident, socially aware  and reflective citizens. All we need to do is give them experiences which can help them develop all these skills
.  And we've discovered that one of the most powerful ways to do so is through Service Learning!

What?
Service Learning Programme
at Apni Shala is based on the Gandhian philosophy of 'learning through community service'. Through this programme, we engage children aged 12-14, coming from low-income communities.

How? 
It all begins with a group of students identifying a social problem in their community, then, conducting a research on that problem, and finally ends with the children designing a local solution to address the problem in their own way. This year-long process is supplemented by talks from experts in various fields such as waste, water, education, women, you name it - eventually broadening their perspective about the issues they've taken up!

Why?
This whole experience empowers them, enhances their confidence, ignites their curiosity, develops critical thinking and triggers active citizenship! 
A host of life skills including leadership, communication, team work and self-esteem are also developed during the whole process.

The Impact

We piloted this year long programme with 50 children last year.

How did Service Learning help children?
At the end of this year-long journey, here's how many children showed improvement across 5 life skills!


Image titleNumbers don't always tell the whole story! There are was so much more.

Empowered children- Voicing their opinion, offering solutions
Children went all around their localities performing rallies, street plays and engaging locals in conversation about these issues. One of the groups started basic literacy classes for women for a month in their community. A literacy class for adults by children! How amazing is that?!
Another group working for women safety wanted a cop to be on patrol duty outside the school, in order to ensure there was no eve teasing! So they decided to go for a signature campaign of  more than 150 people! They then submitted this to the nearest police station and filed the request!

A 8*8 room with one bulb did not deter the little teachers and their students :)Basic Literacy Classes run by 7th standard kids for women from Reay Road slums.
Photo courtesy: Door Step School
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Plans for this Year

Seeing the positive impact of the program last year, we plan to take the programme to 400 more children this year! These children are from 7th & 8th standards, attending municipal schools in Mumbai.

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Whether your contribute big or small, you'll help change the way children learn in current schools.
You can start with as small as Rs.500.

Where does your money go?
#80% of your above contribution is utilised for fee for facilitation and content development.
#20% of your above contribution is utilised for capacity building of facilitators, parents' meeting expenses and community projects expsenses.

Service Learning Programme is a resource intensive programme. A facilitator puts in approx 50-60 hours in the class and on the field with each group, with additional community visits and parents' meetings.

You could also choose to:
START YOUR CAMPAIGN with Apni Shala and be the CHANGE AGENT! 
Every supporter counts. YOU count!

*The amount is excluding 8% fee charged by Milaap on every contribution.
*Every donation made through an Indian account will be eligible for tax exemption.
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A journey through photos :)
Initial stage of research supported by Amrita didiLooks easy, but it was our first step towards questioning and we succeeded!-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Apni Shala in News!

Indian Express: http://tinyurl.com/lksrp2v 
Free Press Journal: http://tinyurl.com/nadhrxx 
The Times of India: http://tinyurl.com/lhjooyg

Read our story in Your Story!  
http://social.yourstory.com/2015/05/apni-shala-education/

Watch more action unfold at Apni Shala- 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj2uozkBpdU

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Calls us, write to us, ping us!

www.apnishala.org |contact@apnishala.org | +91 8454822690


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Supporters (15)

Milaap Impact Partner
Milaap Impact Partner donated Rs.500

Matching payment towards Anonymous’ contribution

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Anonymous donated Rs.500
Ranjani
Ranjani donated Rs.500

Good cause.