Who am I?
I am a Teach For India, 2014 Alumnus. For the last 2 years, I was teaching in a government school in a low-income community of Pune. During my experience of working in the under-resourced community, I got a first-hand chance to experience the dynamics of our communities, how certain factors limit and hold people back.
In an attempt to give additional opportunities to the kids of the community my colleagues and I had started a community center with the idea of creating a safe space for our kids. After running it for 1.5 years in the school, we saw some major shifts among the students, parents and teachers like:
1. Apart from academic growth, our kids grew so much emotionally.
2. We saw the dream of creating a safe space coming alive back at their homes!
3. Kids were no more super-imposed tasks but were always a part of decision making by their parents.
4. We saw community leaders and school staff invested in the idea of giving opportunities to the kids.
While the journey was tough and full of struggles, I believe one of my passions lies in creating such centers in the communities which are contextualised to the needs, space where people come together and live with inter-dependence. While I still believe in keeping kids as my focal point of impact; providing them opportunities will ensure a transformation of the community, where the community is operating with its fullest potential!
What is a Community Center?
Center is a place, which ensures holistic growth of the child, where they are exposed to a wide array of activities, ranging from arts, theatre and sports to workshops and speaking and listening activities. It aims to remain contextual depending on the culture and existing reality of the community and still provide opportunities and tools for the kids to explore their passions and interests, build their skills and help them live a life of purpose and meaning.
What do I plan to do next?
After running a center for almost 18 months, I intend to embark a new journey of setting such centers across different villages, especially the ones which are remote with no access to good quality schools and education. With this project, I want to play a role of facilitator and consultant in mobilizing communities to setup such spaces within the community, by the community for the kids.
To begin with, I am conducting a research on the need and the scalability of a center within a village and also gathering resources to set a basic center in atleast 2 villages in the next two months.
Resources in this phase include:
- Setting up a bilingual library of: story books, activity books, dictionaries.
- Setting up a toy library to understand multiple intelligence of the kids, and ways in which this can help in leveraging kids’ talents and interests.
- Resources for basic literacy and numeracy skills.
- A football/cricket kit to also ensure kids are learning values via sports.
- Raising funds in the form of stipend for the local teachers within the community to encourage them to spend extra hours with kids at center
To know more about a Community Center, please check here
To know more about the impact a center creates, please check here
To know more about me or this project please email me on email@example.com or give me a call on +91-9158727544