Schedule and plan for     project
CLC Report    2007- 2008

Community Learning Centre:

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Community Initiatives in the summer

camps of Navnirmiti

From the year 2004 to 2006, our efforts in the summer camps were focused on addressing some of the above mentioned problems.

In order to do so, Navnirmiti took up a community initiative (learning) program concurrently with the summer camp for children. In this program, e fforts were made to mobilize community initiative groups and thereby reach children directly through community volunteers. Social workers, local teachers, anganwadi sevikas and local eminent personalities who came forward to actively participate in the summer camp.

Through a week long summer camp, the children were given exposure to various kinds of activities and workshops such as theater, puppet making, cartoon making, nature trail, magic shows and programs centered on subjects like ‘fun with maths', astronomy, ‘fun with science', music, sports etc. These workshops were conducted by eminent resource persons. Children were provided with meals as well as workshop materials and kits free of cost . The programme was supported by contributions from local companies, funding agencies, businesses and well wishers.

More than a thousand children have so far participated in the summer camps organized by Navnirmiti. It was noticed that the children who otherwise remained away and absent from their regular school classes were enthusiastically participating in the camp activities. The emphasis in these camp was on activity based learning. With contributions and inputs from eminet resource persons and local volunteers, the children participated in the programs freely without any fear or pressure, thus bringing out their talent in an effective way. The nature of learning in the camps was shaped by some very experienced and socially concerned resource persons. After interacting and working with the children, they were amazed by their ability and talent. These contributors strongly believed that the children were brilliant and given an opportunity, would match or even outperform their more privileged peers.

Nother added benefit was that while taking care of the day today activities of the summer camp, the volunteers soon developed a caring bond towards the children and were sensitized on several related social issues. As co-participants of the camp along with the children, they got an opportunity to learn theater and other creative skills, and were also able to enhance their knowledge on various aspects of event management, nature, birds, magic tricks and various scientific experiments etc. In short, the camp also proved to be a learning experience for the volunteers. Although their initial motivation towards participating in such a project was related to the financial benefits of Rs. 100 per day honorarium paid to them, they gradually developed a keen interest in the activities and became an integral part of the process. Many of them expressed their eagerness to work further in this area, if given an opportunity. The upbeat mood of the volunteers was summed up by one of them who suggested that the school learning itself should be converted on the lines of the summer camp.

In summary, the week long summer camp activity generated several valuable resources. Some of these were:

  A committed team of community volunteers
 A Pool of enthusiastic resource persons committed to the cause
  A Network of socially conscious local individuals who are keen to bring     about a significant change in the present day situation.
  Active participation and commitment of academic Institutions such as     NITIE and I.I.T.
  Corporate participation of L&T and Johnson & Johnson through their     Corporate Social Responsibility programmes
  Contributions from other NGOs such as Drishti.

Community Learning Centers: An offshoot of the Community Learning Initiatives:

The idea of community learning centers as part of community learning initiatives came up from the need for providing sustainable community interventions especially in the area of education through active participation and networking of individuals, organizations, institutes, and corporate bodies. The scope and coverage of this proposal is wider as it envisages involvement of community volunteers through skills development and empowerment programs, while encouraging them to contribute to their own locality and habitat.

  Contact details:
301,302,303, 3rd floor,
A wing, Priyadarshani Apartment,
Padmavati Road,
IIT Market Gate,
Powai, Mumbai- 400 076.

Telephone: 091-22-25773215,
Fax:           091-22-25773215

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