Thursday, 17 April 2014

Sharing Responsibility for the After-School Programme

In the past month, fun club has become increasingly interactive, providing a glimpse into how quickly it could progress into a truly holistic programme which will thrive on the enthusiastic participation of both interns and children alike.

As I prepare to leave EduCARE in the next month, I have recently been concentrating my efforts on assuring the smooth continuation of my projects after my departure. In order to do this, I have been more actively seeking out other interns to lead lessons so that they can become more comfortable with the format while I’m still here to assist and so that they are scheduled to prepare and run classes in the weeks after I leave. While some interns were definitely excited to have the chance to work with children, others were apprehensive, not knowing what to plan or how they can relate it to their projects. I sent around a project manual I had written up to address this problem of confusion or hesitation and met with quite a few people to discuss potential ideas and my experience up till now. In order to meet the children and gain a better understanding of how the programme works, several people decided to tag along to the next lesson (there are also only a handful of people here who knew where the fun-club room was, so showing them the location was a pretty vital first step!).

Expanding fun club to include other interns began last week when Emma ran a finger-painting activity. We had around another 5 interns show up as well…which outnumbered the kids 5-0. There was no one there and the town was strangely quiet for such a beautiful day, so I wandered around trying to round up some of the regulars. They were nowhere to be found, but I did find some children I didn’t recognise who decided to come along to see what we were doing. It turned out the children in Naddi are on holiday right now and many have gone to visit relatives; I believe the ones we did end up teaching were here from out of town because they spoke very little English. This shows the challenge of an unpredictable group – we were lucky it was an arts and crafts focus this week because they could all enjoy the hour without understanding much of what we were saying. Emma had brought paint, paper, some examples of finger-painted peacocks she’d made as inspiration, and – crucially – a big bucket of water for washing up afterwards! While they didn’t seem all that interested in painting the national bird of India, or any other animal, they certainly were excited about using all the colours and by the second sheets of paper colours were blending together and everything was beginning to become slightly brown…

Because we were unable to communicate well with the children this week, there was little educational about this activity, but it was a great chance to interact with some new kids, for interns to become more comfortable with the idea of fun club, and it was a really fun way for us all to spend an hour.

Lucy Di Santo, USA
After School Program Project Manager

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