This June I began working on the Outreach program at Aarohi and has been an roller coaster since.
After having four children come on our first Saturday, we decided to do a little more advertising to get more children to come for our outreach program. Little did we know that in our enthusiasm to advertise and invite children to come to campus we portrayed this program a place to play and have fun.
On our second Saturday we had a Tsunami on campus, Around 80 children had arrived in full energy all ready to play and have lots of fun. Children were super excited to see all the resources and couldn’t contain themselves, they started running from here to there, shouting and enjoying. It was completely unexpected and we weren’t prepared for soooo many children, I had thought maybe 20 – 30 would come.
The whole 2 hrs went in controlling the situation and we couldn’t do anything meaningful or productive that day but we had good amount of reflection after that and got a whole lot of clarity on what we are doing. “This Saturday program is not for play or fun, it is for learning and doing.”
We though of change is we need to bring and ways we can communicate with the children the objective of the Saturday program.
Announcing in there assembly did not bring the message clear, next Saturday morning I again found myself amidst 70 children, all eager to play but this time we wereprepared ( with a little help). We were very clear that we are doing learning and that is what we did.
Soon when kids realized that these guys are serious, around 50 children said they want to go home. 30 children who were seriously interested in learning stayed back and with this small number of children we were able to do something productive and meaningful.
So many learnings have come from every Saturday, there are many challenges up ahead but I am enjoying. What I really liked is, once I got the idea that I want to do this program and I dived in. After starting I began to encounter challenges and move forward, doing and learning go hand in hand.