Literacy Project Shubhakshika

Taken from Journal, originally written in 2015

There weren’t many nonprofits near my grandparents home in Delhi, and

after I was done with my SPYM Juveniles Project, I decided to look for more non profits. As I was searching I found Shubhakshika. I went through their website and I was inspired by their success stories and the approach they took to deal with homeless children. The NGO focused on educating children that came from a background of poverty and enabled the older ones to get jobs by expanding their skill set. The NGO had recently started a program to provide abandoned children with families. I wanted to contribute to their efforts, so I decided to travel 2 hours by car (the Delhi traffic struggles are real) to their facility.

Once I reached the NGO, I began talking to the director and she introduced me to a few children. I told her about the ideas I had, and she said that the main thing they struggled with was coming up with lesson plans to engage the students. She then assigned me a class to teach. The children in my class were 7-11 years of age and they only spoke in Hindi. I thought maybe I could teach them english. So I decided to start the class by going around and introducing one another. So we started introductions, and all the kids hesitated in talking about themselves and sharing basic information. I thought maybe this disconnect was caused because they didn’t understand my Hindi, so I added in hand gestures. However, these children were restricted by more than just the language barrier. Many of these children had run away from their homes and lived lives of abuse on the streets, resulting in low self esteem. I had 4 hours that day to do my best and raise their self esteem. I decided to focus on team building activities in an effort to strengthen their sense of confidence. We started played games such as build a story where we all went in a circle and collaborated on a story about a lion and a boy in a forest.

After I was done teaching, the director told me they mostly needed help coming up with creative lesson plans as they had people who could teach. I began designing lesson plans, and since child literacy is a cause close to my heart I encourage you to check out their website and make a difference by contributing to their organization in any way you can: http://www.shubhakshika.org/