The Shafiq story
The AI team had started an intervention with the group of students around Active citizenship in 2011 at the Bharat National Public School. The ‘United Students Club’ was a result of this initiative and the students newly developed skills and confidence. One year down the line, Pravah would like to tell this story of the successful and magical journey of these students and their club on the occasion of the felicitation and closure meeting.
Eyes lit up, faces alive with enthusiasm, eight of the nine United Club members turned up for the closure workshop at the Shafiq memorial on May 2, 2012. They fondly talked about Rajni and Shimael, the initiators of the AI intervention and reflected on what a great journey it had been. A key reason that emerged from their discussion was the fulfillment of the vision of a school that helps students discover and nurture their hidden potential, such that every student feels proud to be part of Shafiq Memorial School.
Throughout the day of closure, we reflected on the work done by the club during their personal journeys in acquiring skills and to raise the club as a baby project. The group also deliberated on the action forward in their personal lives and the future of the club.
These students not only established the club, but initiated a great variety of work. Some of the amazing initiatives by these students included
- Cleaning their own class rooms to set an example for the rest of the school.
- Cleaning up the play ground by getting rid of the debris.
- Getting the court repaired.
- Maintaining the discipline in the school.
- Planting of trees.
- Acting as a support group to help students solve their problems and helping bring important issues to the Principal’s notice directly.
- Making enrollment forms for new members and encouraging students to join the club.
Most of the students said that they have learnt to work with unity in a team, developed more self confidence and communication skills, learnt to have faith and trust in people. They shared most beautifully how through the working of the club they have developed a new outlook in their own life. It was so energizing to hear all of this from the young students.
The students have developed a “forward action plan” where they reaffirmed their learning and how they apply it in their lives. They committed to take forward this learning to their colleges, homes, streets and life forever. The students felt that the club will always remain an important part of their lives, and they would create a similar process again in college and later life.
The students also saw the importance of having the club to continue functioning within the school and planned a formal handing over to the current class XII. In this handing over process, at the closure workshop, they reiterated their vision for the club. They deliberated on important elements such as reasons they want the club to continue, the new people running it, skills the current members need to pass on the new members and plans to conduct the formal handover.
They wanted to pass on the club to the current class twelve formally in the school assembly in the presence of the principal. They have planned to share with the next batch the roles and responsibilities of the club, share experiences and success stories and skills and ideas for running of the club. They met with the principal to share the plan who in turn enriched the plan with his ideas and felt an equal ownership for the club. They were to decide the date for the meeting with class XII students for the formal handing over.
Pravah has not said good bye to these eager bunch of students yet. We value our relationship with the school and are trying to find more opportunities to engage with the students within the school and outside spaces. The students are in our database and have been referred to the youth intervention team, so that they are kept updated about future workshops, internships and volunteering opportunities.