SMILES at PJI

During this journey, I felt within me a strong *learning need*”

Image“This journey took me out of my shell, helped me grow up and think independently

Such feedback and transformation strengthen our belief and determination to continue with the SMILE in-turn-ship program. At Pravah, we believe the SMILE (Student Mobilization Initiative for Learning and Exposure) journey is a self facilitated one. This month long internship provides an opportunity to young people to work with grassroots level organizations/movements across India. While the youth lend a helping hand to the host organizations on different projects and interact with communities, they learn with a mentor as they explore other realities, discover new things about themselves and the world around them.

 PJI offers this program in summers (May, June and July) as well as winters (December and January) to Jaipur youth and also hosts young people from across the country.

The last two months at PJI were exceptionally interesting. Lots of SMILES were being shared by sending and getting interns. PJI hosted four interns who learned and had fun in its playful environment. Their presence was essentially the value of cross-border engagement brought live at PJI! Bhagyabee and Manas came all the way from Orissa, Pooja from Rajasthan was studying in IIT Delhi, Sachin was from Banaras studying at IIT Rurki. All of them blended into the colours of PJI space and their one month in-turn-ship seemed to be too short. But it was surely long enough for them to learn and reflect on their PJI journeys.

Revealing what impact PJI as a space has made in their journeys, here are the verbatim accounts from the interns themselves…

ImageThe friendly and cooperative environment at PJI helped me in dealing with my under-confidence. It was for the first time that I interacted and worked along with the boys of my age so freely. I had always believed that the roles/work of guys and girls clearly distinguish, but during my tenure at PJI I did not see jobs getting divided on the basis of gender identity. It was surprising to see how everyone around me acted as a support system and always encouraged me to participate and do things without hesitation. I can never forget the day I danced with everyone in the rains crazily, this space made me learn to live to the fullest. Back home everyone is amused to see my proactive and participative attitude after the in-turn-ship, all thanks to PJI”.

–        Bhagyabee

 “I wanted to work on my English speaking skills and that was my only idea behind coming to PJI for my in-turn-ship initially. Sure I’ve improved on that, but there has also been other Imagelearning beyond this. This space not just gives a platform to each one to showcase their talents, but also provides mentoring support in recognizing those talents. It was beautiful to see how everyone at PJI resolves conflicts by just genuinely sharing.”

–       Manas

 “It was always very difficult for me to put forward my view points in a group because of the fear of being judged. For quite some time I managed to avoid speaking in the group at PJI as-well, but soon I was challenged and given situations where I had to participate and speak. It was for the first time I ate together with everyone and shared meals. Also no matter if it was a guy or a girl, everyone was working together be it in the kitchen or in the office space. I made lot of friends just by randomly talking to the friendly people around.”

–       Pooja

 “I encountered three F’s during my in-turn-ship at PJI-Freedom, Friends and FuuuuuuuuuN! I was free to do anything, speak anything, and grab others’ lunch at any moment. But the FREEDOM I am talking about is certainly beyond these and this is freedom of thoughts. Here at PJI was like living among equals who were radically different people leading me to process of unlearning. During this tenure I also understood how FUN is a serious business and if I want to run long on the track of social service it is necessary to inculcate fun in everything I do. Learning and social activism with films and documentaries was certainly a different thing for me. Sure, everyone who has been to SMILE knows the thing that there is always a larger part of story which remains unsaid and unwritten… awaiting completion.”

–       Sachin

Contact Pravah Jaipur Initiative at 0141-4030356 or +91 9983762103 for the next batch of SMILE In-turn-ships and like our Facebook page to stay in touch with other exciting opportunities/activities.

 

Shivangi Dadhich
Communications Coordinator
Pravah Jaipur Initiative

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