Sunday, February 8, 2015

What we learn from children in Mumbai

This week’s GPM-JDC Internship was even more inspiring than usual! GPM-JDC intern, Seema Dhokarkar developed a fantastic day of fun and learning for 30 children from the Kalva slums. Joining them was a group of children from the Jewish community’s Gann Kattan Sunday school class! The group spent the day at the Metro Train and Bhakti Park where they learned about the Indian Railways, Indian geography and landmarks and heard stories encouraging honesty and fairness.

But what was so inspirational was the way the children interacted with each other. The two groups of children come from totally different socio-economic backgrounds, they live in different realities and have different challenges in life. It took them 10 minutes to bridge the gaps in their differences and to start enjoying the day together. There was a lot of laughter, camaraderie and team work.

The ease in the way the children with so many differences became instant friends is a message for us all.
Salome Abraham, Deputy Manager of Programmes at JDC India noted that “ this is a program where the children end up giving life's very important lessons to us more than we can ever teach them by just being themselves. Their real selves unadulterated by the ways of the world and this picnic of the two groups is a classic example. They enjoy with each other without being bound by the background they come from. They converse and mingle without any inhibition and nor do they care about it.

Nikita Worlikar, volunteer internship coordinator said “It is always amazing to see that children interact without any inhibitions...  There is such innocence and purity in their acceptance of each other...  As long as they play and get along, they are friends without even the consideration of their social difference as the world has created it for itself.  Each one of them have thing to share with each other making this interaction enriching for all the children....

GPM co-coordinator Leya Elias commented on It feel how she felt “really great to see the passion that every volunteer has and the effort that they put in for the sessions that they take. Everyone is so involved and dedicated in the sessions to make it fun and educational for the kids. The children are always excited to be with the volunteers and engrossed in the activities. It is really ‘Funday-Sunday’ for the kids as well as for the volunteers.

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