Asha and Arun have received a fellowship program at the Connecting Dreams Foundation in cooperation with Ashoka. For six months they are part of the program and their project is to set up a kindergarten and a small school for differently-abled kids in Janwaar. They have to write reports frequently – below you find Asha’s latest report.
For the past two weeks we continued our work at Villa Janwaar!
And I have written a report on the changes we’ve seen in children in these last two weeks. Please see below.
Janwaar kids – kindergarten and differently-abled
When the children play together they share their toys and do not fight. Earlier children snatched toys from each other, they were fighting and sometimes pushing each other which ended often in tears. And they used to abuse each other.
This has changed – it is no longer like this!!!
Now they have understood to keep distance from each other – because of the corona virus. If someone forgets to keep distance and sits close to another child, then the other child will remind him/her to keep distance.
Children help each other well. If there is a child who can’t read Hindi well, this child will now always find another kid who is ready to help. They will read the book or the sentence where he or she is stuck and complete it. This is very nice to see.
And they bring back the things they borrow. For example, after drawing they put the drawing paperback in the box. Same with the toys. If someone does not bring the things back, the other kids do not complain. Instead they themselves put it back!
Some of the children already know a little Hindi. They take story books and picture books with little text from the library and try to read them. First very slow, and when the know better they start reading faster. And the children who do not know any Hindi they’ve started to learn the basics.
The children listen very carefully now. Whenever someone is giving important information, they do listen. But they also easily forget. So we have to repeat it again and again – until they remember. If we package the information in a fun story, then they remember better!
Barelal is probably 20 years old. I am not sure. He is a “child” with special needs. He went to school up to sixth class. What happened to him after that, we do not know. Ever since I’ve started to work with the children of the village, I’ve only seen Barelal roaming around. He was only roaming around. Nothing else.
He didn’t talk to anyone and if someone told him to do some kind of work, he would do it without asking any questions. Barelal could hear what people were saying to him. But he never spoke a single word. It seemed it didn’t matter to him.
I tried to talk to him and started working with him. And surprisingly he started to come to us at Villa Janwaar. He even started to talk to the little children. Now he is coming to the Villa every day. Earlier he always sat aside from the other kids, now he is sitting together with them and he is participating in the same classes. And he has learned to participate actively.
For example: When we all sit in a circle I ask every child, one by one, about a bird or something. By the time it’s Barelal’s turn, he’d listened, observed carefully what the others were doing and he replies. And he replies well.
I feel, Barelal will soon reach the level of the other children.