It took us sometime to figure out what she was drawing. A girl, a rather different subject for a greeting card, we thought. ‘Is that you on the card?’ I asked. She smiled and pointed at one of the actioneers ‘it’s her, its madam’ .This made us think, back when we were 9 years old, could we love and idolize others this effortlessly? Did we find happiness this easily? We definitely missed the innocence we had lost in the one way train of ‘Growing up’, and amazed we were looking at an individual possessing the qualities we had apparently lost. Working with children makes you realize what you have lost, teaches you much simpler formula’s of finding Happiness, at least for a moment.
‘Ananda’ was an event organized from CommunityAction featured by Action: Light Up, with the Children of ‘The Dhaka Project’ (TDP). TDP is also a non-profit Organization working for the welfare financially challenged children. Using traditional teaching methods to induce moral values and thoughts into children didn’t seem reasonable or efficient, A Jolly alternative was needed. Thus event: ‘Ananda’ was born! The event was based on teaching small children about moral values and other essential qualities through use of teaching methods which mostly involved games, entertainment and fun. These elements are usually absent from an everyday classroom. But this was far different from an ordinary class and thus the unconventional teaching methods were justified.
The event started at 2:00 pm on the 1st of June. The sun must have had a soft spot for small children; the weather was almost pleasant with the sun radiating its heat in a rather calculated manner. The Children were present much before the ‘Class’ started, a rare sight on an Ordinary class room. The event started with Slide shows and Video Presentations about the Solar system, the Earth’s rotation and extinct animals. There was no shortage of Curiousness or liveliness from the children’s and the volunteers seemed delighted at the very sight of these little angels; all in all it was a pleasant environment. In the video presentation involving extinct there was a complementary games portion for the children, a reason why moments later the children were running at full pace towards various corners of the room. It was a rule of the game to touch the Right color before others, so swiftness was a must!
Next came the phase which was much more amusing to the volunteers than the children. The children were given portions of Art paper along with crayons and were asked to make greeting cards on any subject they like. It seemed as if a festival of colors had started, where happiness and laughter found their place without difficulty. The diversity of the subjects on the greeting cards was immense; they ranged from a cockroach to a complete solar system. One of the volunteers came up as the subject of the greeting cards, a truly pleasant event! Some of us felt the urge to take one or two greeting cards as souvenirs of the event, too bad it was not allowed.
Then it was time to teach them some moral values, Through GAMES off course! First game played was titled ‘Sweet tooth’. Children were to take up chocolates from a box; no limit was imposed on the number of chocolates any individual would take up. Following this was the phase where the children had to talk about themselves; the number of sentences they would use being numerically equal to the number of chocolates they took! You might wonder about the fate of the few who took two hands full!
The event itself was Buckets of fun! The children had fun learning moral values and skills while the volunteers learned how undemanding it was to find happiness in everything they did.