At AID-Noida our aim is not only to raise our children’s knowledge bar and make them ‘literate’ but also strive to give them enough exposure to see world differently.
As we volunteers always believe that the learning is mutual, and we learn more than what these children learn from us. A similar kind of feeling was expressed by a group of volunteers who came from Singapore and belonged to the University of Singapore.
An idea that was sown in 2010 and the credit cannot be given to anyone in particular. A volunteer from Nayi Disha- a school which happens to be a huge supporter of our initiative came to AID-Noida community center, with an idea to call people from NUS to India and specifically to AID-Noida community, as a part of their project of social work. A lot of brainstorming was done on how our community will react to this and what is their agenda to come here and so on and so forth. Talking to our students in Nayi Disha we realized that these people have already visited Nayi Disha in 2009 and was a great experience for them.
We then were convinced on this project and that’s how a strong relationship was formed between AID-Noida and Rockers-as they call themselves. A relationship which is just 2 years old yet is very strong and we know that no matter what happens, the rockers will always be remembered by our children.
We were bit apprehensive on how will they adjust to a community like this, but to our surprise, they gelled well. The way we embrace our children and love them, they did the same.
When the NUS group was leaving from India in 2010, I thought they won’t come back as they go to a country only once. But when in August 2011, Zawiah and Seha the prime movers for 2011 and ex-volunteers from 2010 batch approached again, I felt proud that our kids managed to bring them back, their love was that magnetic.
We all were looking forward to their project. This time there were girls as young as 18 years. They were an inspiration. They looked a bit scared and nervous at first. Their project started from 4th December till 17th December. Rockers always surprise and inspire us with the amount of homework they do before their trip. The kind of specific questions they have, amazed us. This time apart from children education, the attraction was their mini renovation which included graffiti and library. After that got completed, our classes looked much more vibrant and lively. There idea of teaching children is always unique and play way. They taught our kids dancing and singing. One of the most touching part this time was that they brought messages from children from Singapore for these children. Our kids did the same for them.
On the last day as always, there was huge flow of emotions. Kids didn’t want them to go and the Rockers didn’t want to leave themselves. They sung a song which really touched us all and the meaning of which was clearly understood by the children. The song was ‘you can count on me’- a wonderful song, which resulted in tears flowing from all the children, the AID-Noida volunteers and rockers.
The last day is always so emotional that the parents from the community come outside the class to see what has happened.
If I have to sum up the impact of the project, I can just say that it was an enriching experience for us, for them and for our children. The children came across a different culture, different people and different language. They enjoyed spending time with each other. Those 15 days were the unforgettable moments for Prayas and we witness a huge amount of positive energy amongst everybody. The way they love our children, help them learn things, learn from them and leave with tears in their eyes, makes me proud and happy that we have build strong relationships across borders.
We hope to see them next years as well with new set of students; new energy and new ideas but the love will be the same from both the ends.
Posted by Anvita at 1:21:00 AM