Gandhian Organization for Rural Development foundation (GORD) was first established in the year 1990 and since then has been working towards improving the state of rural villages through agriculture, school and community development activities. Vibha joined hands in this great cause with GORD foundation in 2009 and introduced Sikshana model in over 45 primary schools to ensure that children from rural and slum areas get quality education and better life.
Recently on January 21, 2017, Maryma Scotlin (Vibha Projects director, India), accompanied by volunteers from Vibha Bangalore Action Center visited a GORD supported school in Bommana Cheruvu village of Madanapalle Mandal, in Andhra Pradesh. They spent one whole day with the teachers, staff and children. And here is an account about their experience and feelings at the end of the day. They were able to meet Ms. Ramadevi, Director of GORD foundation and were able to see how a day in a GORD school is sectioned in a very well organized way.
Each day at the school begins at 9:00 AM with prayers, where all students settle down in organized rows in a prayer area. The classes start after the prayers. The children are provided with nutritious lunch in the afternoon. The lunch also begins with prayers.
Every day, the students not only learn different subjects like mathematics and English, but they are also taught and cultured to develop extracurricular skills such as singing, dancing, painting, etc. Very impressively, the teachers at the school have developed innovative ways, like making songs, for the kids to easily remember alphabets, names of birds, animals, fruits and colors and to retain their interests. Not only this, all the students are taught and understand the importance of hygiene. To encourage and admire the children who excel in sports and cleanliness along with academia, teachers in this school follow ‘Star system’- such as green star for cleanliness, white star for sports and pink star for best student.
The Vibha volunteers also got a chance to get a glimpse at creative artwork of these students. The school has restored a huge collection of the students’ craft items.
It was very astounding for the volunteers when they came to know that the students often partake in district level science exhibitions and competitions. They have also won prizes and awards for their exceptional performances during such events.
The day of their visit, the volunteers brought numerous fun activities with them to entertain the children. All the volunteers and children forgot the age gaps among them and they all enjoyed playing games like dog and a bone, hula-hoop pass, making different shapes using ropes, making pyramids using cups and many more.
The most amazing part of these activities was that none of them experience any language barrier. A line between the volunteers and the students got blurred and then just vanished. They all got comfortable with each other in a way that they knew each other for years. And time just flew by.
The volunteers distributed various stationery items; such as notebooks, story books, crayons, exam pads and also a few teaching aids like a globe, map of India and world, and sports equipment. The day ended with a sensation of great satisfaction, happiness and gratification on both sides.
When they started their journey in the morning, the volunteers thought that they were going to be bringing a day full of merriment to these children and they were going to fill the faces of these children with smiles. But what they experienced was exactly opposite to this. In fact, these kids begot whole bunch of positive feelings to the volunteers; they were happy, fulfilled and most importantly proud after seeing these children. They were so astonished after witnessing the efforts all the teachers put behind every child and their determined attempts to nurture, elevate and refine personalities of every child in the school.
Overall it was very fulfilling experience to see Vibha is collaborated with such projects where teachers are so much dedicated and passionate that they can go beyond their limits to take care of their students and on the other hand, the students are equally enthusiastic and energized; whether it is academia or sports or art- they just want to shine in every field with full bright colors.