Archive for the ‘Community Engagement’ Category

Exciting Experiences!

Learning starts at the doorstep of the learner, literally! Real life, contextual learning is a key way for experiential learning to take place and this is a core focus in RDF schools.

RDF Kalleda School children from Class 4 were taken for a field trip to visit various public service institutions like the MRO (Mandal Revenue Officer), Police Station and Primary Health Centre. The children received clear information on the work done in these offices and their role in public service by the respective heads of these offices, as well as the teachers.

The children learnt about land surveys, issuance of ration cards and pension cards from the MRO; the duties of the police and law and order from the ASI at the local police station and finally, the head doctor at the Primary Health Centre explained the importance of health and hygiene for the people. In this way, it becomes easy for the children to understand key concepts in their textbooks.

RDF teachers love organizing such trips for their students and finding ways to take learning beyond the classroom. We are very proud of their efforts to provide meaningful education to these rural children and grateful to the public service officials to answer the students’ queries with patience!

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An Interactive Experience

Silver Oaks, an International school in Hyderabad has been RDF’s education partner for over 10 years! What has remained the same over this decade has been their commitment and dedication to help RDF’s rural, underprivileged children in myriad ways to help with their development and potential success in school and beyond school. What has changed is how they continually evolve their work with our school, based on what’s happening in our communities and the school and using this feedback to add to or modify their interventions. This makes their work with us very contextual for the students and teachers, something we are very grateful for!

Matendla School was honoured with a visit by 36 students and 4 staff members from the school. From our end, we wanted exposure for our students to interact with new people and feel confident to exchange their views and ideas. The Silver Oaks team observed activities such as the ‘Balamela’, ‘Marks for Sports’ and other cultural activities. Through the day, the students exchanged ideas about academics and other areas.

Both groups felt enriched by the experience as the Silver Oaks students also understood the very different life and circumstances that rural children lead and the effort being made by the school, with Silver Oaks’ support to create a rich curriculum that allows for learning to be fun and meaningful. RDF children enjoyed meeting their city counterparts and learning from them.

 

Cooking up Solutions!

The innovation bubbling away in RDF schools blows us away and we can’t help but share, with pride, the effort being made by these children to give their all to their education. Innovations in Science is an area that our kids are doing well in. On theoccasion of National Science Day, Class 8 students from Redlawada School create a Solar Rice Cooker from scratch and using only waste and recycled material!

They recycled waste material such as discarded wood panel, a spare tiffin box and silver paper. The tiffin box was painted black to create more heat. A simple device like this is very useful for rural people as it’s simple to put together and low cost. It doesn’t require power and by just placing it in sunlight, it can cook the rice, while going about their daily work.

Rooted in their reality, this is precisely the kind of innovation that is need to bring real solutions to rural people. We are so proud that our students think about the problems being faced by their communities and look for ways to help them. It also builds their scientific enquiry and temperament, helping them focus on design thinking and being creative.

Budding Artiste

We love to see how encouragement and care from teachers can bring out children’s innate talents. An abiding philosophy to develop children’s skills and creating an atmosphere of vibrancy in a school is what we strive towards and has been encourage in the 2 government schools under the partnership of Tech Mahindra Foundation and RDF.

Yashwanth, a Class 5 student in MPPS, Bahadurapally surprised everyone during the preparation of the 26th January festivities. A skit, titled ‘Amma’, on the love and affection of a mother had a female lead initially, but was given to Yashwanth, who wanted to portray and female character! His performance, right from the mannerisms of a mother, to his dress and dialogue delivery as a mother blew everyone away! Everyone was really moved by his performance and the Chief Guest, M.P.T.C. Mrs. Annapurna requested an encore and gifted Rs. 500 to the participants!

Yashwanth is full of energy and is dedicated to developing himself in every area that interests him, with sports being another field he’s exploring and doing well in. It’s lovely to see children blossom under the guidance of their teachers. It’s also a testament to teachers’ dedication and we are proud of such a culture being established in the school, with the support of the school management.

 

Sailing towards your Goals

15 year old T. Ajay of Kalleda School has put his nose to the grindstone and worked extremely hard to get admission in Hakimpet Sports School. A student in the school from Class 1 – 4, he performed very well in sports, especially Kho-Kho and Athletics. The schools’ Physical Education Teacher noticed his interest and prowess and encouraged him.

With the support of the management and PET, Ajay participated in many competitions and eventually was selected in the Hakimpet  Sports School. While he is no longer a part of RDF, we continue to follow the progress of our alumni closely.

His main event in the school in ‘Sailing’. He participated in the International Junior ‘Sailing’ competition in Chennai and came in 6th place! We love to share stories like these with our current students to help them see the power of discipline, dedication and determination. Stories like Ajay’s provide tremendous inspiration to our rural children who can then believe that goals are achievable and dreams are possible. It also allows the local community to understand that there is more to education than academics and that talent and building skill in other areas can also help students achieve success.

Dancing towards your Dreams!

Harsh is an alumnus of Redlawada School. From the time he was in school, he was passionate about dancing.Whenever he got the opportunity, he would showcase his dance skills. He was encouraged by his teachers to keep building his skills which helped immensely with his confidence and motivated him to keep practising and improving.

Recently, he formed a ‘Kolatam’ group in Redlawada village. This is a traditional, rural dance form that he wants to propagate. He has inspired many local youngsters to join him and is providing dance coaching to them. His hard work is paying off when he won an Appreciation Certificate at a District level Kolatam competition.

His dream is to reach new heights of dancing and encourage local talent.

He acknowledges the role played by RDF in reaching for his dancing goals since RDF focuses on developing children’s innate talent, in addition to academics.

His family is very happy at how his life is shaping up and is proud of his achievements. Other students are inspired by his passion, his achievements and his helping boost new talent.

We are so proud of Harsh for not only his personal accomplishment, but that he’s also devoting time and energy to help others improve their skills and reach for their dreams

Here’s to Healthy Living!

Mounisha (L), explaining the theory of natural and healthy living

Mounisha, a 2nd Year BPC student at the RDF VAPV Junior College, has been providing nutritional coaching to her friends, after learning about harmful chemical additives in fruit. A Chemistry lesson on how chemicals impact the nature of fruits and soil, in turn harming our health and Iives had a profound impact on her. She says, “My teacher explained about the number of chemical being used in growing vegetables and fruits – that the fruits, vegetables and chicken are contaminated. I was concered about this and explained to my friends how eating such produce impacts our health and our future negatively. I took my friends to the Chemistry lab and explained this to them in a practical way.”

“I came up with a list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts for my friends and the community, which are” –

 Don’t:

  • Don’t drink cold drinks. It pollutes our bodies and the environment
  • Don’t eat fruits and vegetables sprayed with chemical fertilizers, pesticides etc.
  • Don’t eat boiler chicken

Do’s:

  • Drink coconut water
  • Eat naturally grown fruits and vegetables, that have been grown without use of chemicals
  • Cook vegetables using natural ingredients
  • Eat free roaming, natural country chicken (Natu Kodi)

The practical lesson!

Mounisha’s friends took her message to heart and have agreed to spread this awareness in their communities about eating natural foods and avoiding the use and consumption of produce grown with chemicals. We are very proud to see Mounisha making an empowered decision not just for her health, but those of her friends, their families and the extended community too! We hope that her concern and practical solutions find its way into many homes, enabling them to make healthier choices and lead healthier lives.