Sakastu Bembala - Support Our Children to BUILD Their Lives | Milaap

Sakastu Bembala - Support Our Children to BUILD Their Lives

“People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.” - Trevor Noah.
Simply put 'Sakastu Bembala' in Kannada means adequate support. Reiterating the words of Trevor Noah, over the past five months as a teacher, I have realised that creating an environment to apply knowledge is just as important as the learning process.

Hey!

My name is Shelwyn James S - a Teach For India Fellow working at a Government School in Chandra Layout, Bangalore. Along with my co-fellow Ruplekha Bora, I teach 109 fiesty 5th, 6th and 7th graders!

Our children live in a community filled with challenges spread across the social, economic and cultural realms. They hail from low-income households and lack access to the basic privileges that most of us enjoy. However, they try not let any of this dictate who they want to be and are very enterprising. Our primary focus over the next 18 months is to create an environment that adequately supports them and enables them to understand what they want for themselves and work towards the goal.  

We understand that as fellows our locus of control is limited to the school and we cannot solve all the challenges our children have to face. Also, education is one part of the puzzle and not the only answer. However the hope with which we move forward is that with adequate support from everyone our children shall overcome.

On an average our children spend 7-8 hours each day at school. A critical factor in helping our children build their lives is to make the time they spend in school as effective as possible. Our dream and mission is to make the school function as a unit of change in the community. Apart from the academic progress that we strive to achieve as a school we have setup this campaign to look into to essential strands:

  • Infrastructure
  • Healthcare
As far as infrastructure is concerned we aim at building a strong and interactive library, revamping three classrooms (walls, fans, lighting and wiring), building an activity room and procuring two new projectors. Another problem we face is regular absenteeism due to health reasons and malnutrition. Also we have noticed that no child in school uses spectacles. It is something that we would address through this campaign.

I shall regularly update all expenses and donations on a bi-monthly basis here. Do send me an email at shelwyn.james.s2018@teachforindia.org  if you wish to help in any non-monetary form. Our children and we are extremely grateful to each donation made. Reiterating the words of Trevor Noah, your contributions shall help us procure the “fishing rods” of life for our children. 

Thank for your patience and time!








Ask for an update
7th August 2019
“Sakastu Bembala” Fundraiser 2018-2019
 
It is with a deep sense of satisfaction and joy that I am writing this update to express our gratitude for the support that we have received through this campaign. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to impact the lives of the children at GMPS Arundhatinagar and their families. Your contributions have gone a long way in helping us realise the edifice of ‘adequate support’/ ‘sakastu bembala’ that we envisioned for our children. The following is a brief summary of the list of opportunities and avenues our students excelled in, in the year 2018-2019, which were made possible thanks to your generous donations.
 
Student Leadership Track:
 
24 students from across TFI Bangalore schools were selected for a year long leadership track. It involved developing leadership skills culminating in an intuitive Model United Nation/ Mock Parliament event. Aishwarya (6th grade) and Tahir (5th grade) from our school were selected to be a part of this and attended various training sessions. They were a part of the Goldman Sachs Model United Nations representing Pakistan and the Kids Education Revolution Mock Parliament representing Delhi discussing how as leaders they can bring in change.  As a part of the track they also tried to implement changes to maximise learning in school and sensitise their classmates to the problems in the school.

 
Kids Education Regional Summit:
 
Ayaz (7th grade), Wasiha (5th grade) and Aishwarya (6th grade) participated in the KER City summit led by TEACH FOR INDIA. The students got the opportunity to explore the idea of student leadership and interacted with students from 36 other schools. They also were a part of the workshops conducted as part of the summit and eagerly shared their experiences with their peers.


Robotics:
 
7 students Ayaz (7th grade), Rahila (7th grade),  Krishnaveni (7th grade), Nagaraju (6th grade), Tasmiya (6th grade), Sathish (5th grade)  and Prem Sai (5th grade)  participated at the Dream Design Robotics project – a STEM based competition initiated by a Varun Goverdhan a TFI fellow. Here they built a robot using Lego Mindstorms NXT  kit and were able to program the robot to perform various tasks. Alishan Aziz - one of our key volunteers and benefactors trained the children for the showcase.
 
Dramebaaz:
 
15 children participated in a city level drama competition led by TFI Fellows. In the final showcase they performed a street play on different issues that they face in their community which include child labour, corruption and women facing discrimination. The Dramebaaz sessions happened on fortnightly basis and the primary objective of the intervention was to channelize the energy of the children through drama and there by maximise learning in the classroom.

Science Exhibition and Santhe (Carnival):
 
Students from grade 4 to grade 7 conducted a Science Exhibition and Santhe in school showing their skills in science and entrepreneurship. The students have been a part of the classes by Agastya International Foundation - a partner of the school. The students presented their models - a result of their hard work and dedication. The primary goal of the exhibition was to build on the value of curiosity and provide a platform for the students to display their talent.
The Santhe was also parallely conducted with the students inviting their families and friends. The day was filled with much frolic and fun as the students put up a number of stalls for food, games, stationery and fancy items for sale.


Eye - Camp and Procurement of Spectacles
 
As part of the Stronger Schools Project - an initiative by Neeraj Doddamane, a Teach For India fellow, we were able to avail the services of Sankara Eye Hospital, Bangalore. An eye check up was conducted for all the students in the school. As a second stage of the intervention, funds from this campaign were used to procure spectacles for the children who had an issue with their vision.  
 
A moment which had reinforced our belief in the work that we are doing was when Ummar from grade 7 with a bifocal vision teared up on wearing his new glasses. His best friend Tabrez later told us that "No one has given him a gift like this. Can you thank your friends for giving him this gift!" This is testimony to the fact that this campaign and the contributors have touched the lives of many students.


Raman Young Science Award
 
Salman Khan from grade 7 was a finalist for the Ram Young Science Innovator Award for his model of the microscope. The event was held at the residence of Dr. CV Raman and was a proud moment for the school. Though he did not win, his reflections of the event was the highlight of the day for us. His camaraderie and sportsmanship to seek out and congratulate the winner ( a friend he made at the event) was commendable and admirable.

 
Badges and School Elections
 
In order to build a sense of leadership among the children and build the value of ownership we piloted a project by dividing the students from grades 5, 6 and 7 into four houses and conducting elections for the same. Inter-house competitions were held and the objective was to ensure that our students receive a wholesome, well-rounded education.  

Library
 
A  major infrastructural change that we did was to reset the library by cleaning out a room that was locked for more than two years. The next task was to make the walls and interior appealing and welcoming. We had the books crowd funded and also had a breakout area for the children to play board games. The library project is something that we are extremely proud of.

 
Benches in Classrooms
 
Infrastructure plays a very strong role in driving student learning. As a part of the of the "Off the Ground" Project started by Shreya Krishnan a TFI fellow we were able to obtain 10 new benches for the school.


Water Tank
 
One of the pressing problems in school was the lack of accessible drinking water, as the storage tank had deteriorated beyond repair. As a result of this the water filter in school did not have a supply hence forcing the children to drink water that is not purified. The nutrition levels of the children were well below the prescribed thresholds and students were prone to illness. With the funds from the campaign we were able to purchase a high quality storage tank and solve this issue to a great extent. 
School Magazine
 
The students in school were very keen on using the laptops that had been donated to us by one of our benefactors from the campaign. As an incentive to choose who gets to use it, we asked them to write articles/reports that they could type out and use the internet for further research. What started of that culminated in a school magazine. Also considering that it was the last year at GMPS for the 7th graders, the magazine also serves as a souvenir for them to cherish.
 
You can find a link to the same here.
 
 
Summer Camp and Conclusion
 
By the end of March it was decided that Teach For India as an organisation had to transition out of the GMPS, as the organisation made the decision to only continue in schools which have access to high school. Unfortunately our school did not meet the criteria and hence we were transferred to a new school in the city. We did not want the efforts of the previous fellows’ and our own efforts to be add up to nothing. Our school was a kannada medium school and in the new school we had been alloted an english medium classroom in 8th grade. Hence we decided to conduct a summer camp for 10 children who had the English language skills to sustain in an English medium classroom as the shift was drastic. Fortunately we were able to bring two students to the new school and others had to opt for other schools due to reasons such as travel time and family commitments.
 
As I conclude this update and as stated in the beginning it is with a sense of satisfaction and joy that I write this. Yes, there is the pain of not having continued at GMPS Arundhathinagara, however we feel that with your help we were able to actually provide the Sakastu Bembala for our children to the best of our abilities. As for the remaining money in the account with your permission we will be using it for the students in our new school.
 
To quote Tabrez again, "No one has given him a gift like this. Can you thank your friends for giving him this gift!"
 
Yours sincerely,
Shelwyn James S
 
“Sakastu Bembala” Fundraiser 2018-2019
 
It is with a deep sense of satisfaction and joy that I am writing this update to express our gratitude for the support that we have received through this campaign. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to impact the lives of the children at GMPS Arundhatinagar and their families. Your contributions have gone a long way in helping us realise the edifice of ‘adequate support’/ ‘sakastu bembala’ that we envisioned for our children. The following is a brief summary of the list of opportunities and avenues our students excelled in, in the year 2018-2019, which were made possible thanks to your generous donations.
 
Student Leadership Track:
 
24 students from across TFI Bangalore schools were selected for a year long leadership track. It involved developing leadership skills culminating in an intuitive Model United Nation/ Mock Parliament event. Aishwarya (6th grade) and Tahir (5th grade) from our school were selected to be a part of this and attended various training sessions. They were a part of the Goldman Sachs Model United Nations representing Pakistan and the Kids Education Revolution Mock Parliament representing Delhi discussing how as leaders they can bring in change.  As a part of the track they also tried to implement changes to maximise learning in school and sensitise their classmates to the problems in the school.

 
Kids Education Regional Summit:
 
Ayaz (7th grade), Wasiha (5th grade) and Aishwarya (6th grade) participated in the KER City summit led by TEACH FOR INDIA. The students got the opportunity to explore the idea of student leadership and interacted with students from 36 other schools. They also were a part of the workshops conducted as part of the summit and eagerly shared their experiences with their peers.


Robotics:
 
7 students Ayaz (7th grade), Rahila (7th grade),  Krishnaveni (7th grade), Nagaraju (6th grade), Tasmiya (6th grade), Sathish (5th grade)  and Prem Sai (5th grade)  participated at the Dream Design Robotics project – a STEM based competition initiated by a Varun Goverdhan a TFI fellow. Here they built a robot using Lego Mindstorms NXT  kit and were able to program the robot to perform various tasks. Alishan Aziz - one of our key volunteers and benefactors trained the children for the showcase.
 
Dramebaaz:
 
15 children participated in a city level drama competition led by TFI Fellows. In the final showcase they performed a street play on different issues that they face in their community which include child labour, corruption and women facing discrimination. The Dramebaaz sessions happened on fortnightly basis and the primary objective of the intervention was to channelize the energy of the children through drama and there by maximise learning in the classroom.

Science Exhibition and Santhe (Carnival):
 
Students from grade 4 to grade 7 conducted a Science Exhibition and Santhe in school showing their skills in science and entrepreneurship. The students have been a part of the classes by Agastya International Foundation - a partner of the school. The students presented their models - a result of their hard work and dedication. The primary goal of the exhibition was to build on the value of curiosity and provide a platform for the students to display their talent.
The Santhe was also parallely conducted with the students inviting their families and friends. The day was filled with much frolic and fun as the students put up a number of stalls for food, games, stationery and fancy items for sale.


Eye - Camp and Procurement of Spectacles
 
As part of the Stronger Schools Project - an initiative by Neeraj Doddamane, a Teach For India fellow, we were able to avail the services of Sankara Eye Hospital, Bangalore. An eye check up was conducted for all the students in the school. As a second stage of the intervention, funds from this campaign were used to procure spectacles for the children who had an issue with their vision.  
 
A moment which had reinforced our belief in the work that we are doing was when Ummar from grade 7 with a bifocal vision teared up on wearing his new glasses. His best friend Tabrez later told us that "No one has given him a gift like this. Can you thank your friends for giving him this gift!" This is testimony to the fact that this campaign and the contributors have touched the lives of many students.


Raman Young Science Award
 
Salman Khan from grade 7 was a finalist for the Ram Young Science Innovator Award for his model of the microscope. The event was held at the residence of Dr. CV Raman and was a proud moment for the school. Though he did not win, his reflections of the event was the highlight of the day for us. His camaraderie and sportsmanship to seek out and congratulate the winner ( a friend he made at the event) was commendable and admirable.

 
Badges and School Elections
 
In order to build a sense of leadership among the children and build the value of ownership we piloted a project by dividing the students from grades 5, 6 and 7 into four houses and conducting elections for the same. Inter-house competitions were held and the objective was to ensure that our students receive a wholesome, well-rounded education.  

Library
 
A  major infrastructural change that we did was to reset the library by cleaning out a room that was locked for more than two years. The next task was to make the walls and interior appealing and welcoming. We had the books crowd funded and also had a breakout area for the children to play board games. The library project is something that we are extremely proud of.

 
Benches in Classrooms
 
Infrastructure plays a very strong role in driving student learning. As a part of the of the "Off the Ground" Project started by Shreya Krishnan a TFI fellow we were able to obtain 10 new benches for the school.


Water Tank
 
One of the pressing problems in school was the lack of accessible drinking water, as the storage tank had deteriorated beyond repair. As a result of this the water filter in school did not have a supply hence forcing the children to drink water that is not purified. The nutrition levels of the children were well below the prescribed thresholds and students were prone to illness. With the funds from the campaign we were able to purchase a high quality storage tank and solve this issue to a great extent. 
School Magazine
 
The students in school were very keen on using the laptops that had been donated to us by one of our benefactors from the campaign. As an incentive to choose who gets to use it, we asked them to write articles/reports that they could type out and use the internet for further research. What started of that culminated in a school magazine. Also considering that it was the last year at GMPS for the 7th graders, the magazine also serves as a souvenir for them to cherish.
 
You can find a link to the same here.
 
 
Summer Camp and Conclusion
 
By the end of March it was decided that Teach For India as an organisation had to transition out of the GMPS, as the organisation made the decision to only continue in schools which have access to high school. Unfortunately our school did not meet the criteria and hence we were transferred to a new school in the city. We did not want the efforts of the previous fellows’ and our own efforts to be add up to nothing. Our school was a kannada medium school and in the new school we had been alloted an english medium classroom in 8th grade. Hence we decided to conduct a summer camp for 10 children who had the English language skills to sustain in an English medium classroom as the shift was drastic. Fortunately we were able to bring two students to the new school and others had to opt for other schools due to reasons such as travel time and family commitments.
 
As I conclude this update and as stated in the beginning it is with a sense of satisfaction and joy that I write this. Yes, there is the pain of not having continued at GMPS Arundhathinagara, however we feel that with your help we were able to actually provide the Sakastu Bembala for our children to the best of our abilities. As for the remaining money in the account with your permission we will be using it for the students in our new school.
 
To quote Tabrez again, "No one has given him a gift like this. Can you thank your friends for giving him this gift!"
 
Yours sincerely,
Shelwyn James S
 
Content Disclaimer: The facts and opinions, expressed in this fundraiser page are those of the campaign organiser or users, and not Milaap.
Rs.76,446 raised

Goal: Rs.150,000

Beneficiary: Shelwyn James S info_outline

Supporters (28)

A
Anonymous donated Rs.250
KD
KIMBERLY DEBRA PINTO donated Rs.200
KD
KIMBERLY DEBRA PINTO donated Rs.300
Anika
Anika donated US $50
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Anonymous donated Rs.500
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AYUSH ASTHANA donated Rs.111