April 25th 2016 was a special day at Reality Gives. At 9am, six women gathered nervously in our Ashayen Community Centre and began their three week intensive English Teacher Training Program. The first of its kind, this course was the culmination of a lot of hard work and the realisation of a long held dream. This is the story of how, thanks to a lot of hard-work, dedication and enthusiasm from all corners of the world, we got to this moment in time. Continue reading From Europe, South America And Asia With Love – Training Teachers In Dharavi
In February we sat down to interview several students who had just begun our Youth Empowerment Program to understand their motivations for joining the program and discuss hopes and aspirations for where it might lead.
Now, two months later we caught up with Hajira (who is currently two months into the program) and Shabana (a recent graduate) to take time out to reflect on how the program had changed them and the ways in which they were developing and learning.
This week we would like to introduce you to our current volunteers Matt and Joe who joined our team in January for five months to work on some activities for our communities. But we thought they can explain what they do and how they enjoy working for Reality Gives much better:
We’re Joe Callanan and Matt Aldridge, we’ve just recently moved to Mumbai and joined the Reality Gives team as volunteers. We’re mainly focussed on teaching English and Drama but since arriving we’ve enjoyed getting involved with other projects such as girls’ and boys’ football and chess. We’re both ‘gap year’ students from Newcastle, UK.
Being my first visit, India was an initial shock, but I was soon overcome by the community spirit of India and its people. Being involved with the local Bombay Gymkhana football team really helps you to feel local; after teaching a small drama workshop at school in Newcastle I really look forward to trying to inspire the next Bollywood actor and hope they have some fun along the way! After my ‘gap year’ I am going to study a Business degree at York st John University and I hope to return to India soon afterwards.
I’m very much enjoying living in Mumbai and sampling all of the local food, my favourite of which is ‘pani puri’. In my spare time I play rugby for Bombay Gymkhana and research the other places I’m traveling to before starting a Biochem degree at University College London. I’ve always loved acting and, although I’d taught some short English projects in Dharavi whilst at school, I’m really looking forward to working with our drama students over a longer period.
We’ve both found the Reality Gives team a very friendly and positive environment and are really enjoying working here. We are both passionate about the potential for acting and theatre to be a really positive impact on people’s lives, and an important educational tool. The students we’ve been teaching so far are really keen to learn and full of energy and the next four months is sure to be a fantastic experience.
Reality Gives was very happy to get the help of the two enthusiastic volunteers Charmayne and Trevor from US in the last two weeks. They have visited different sites and wrote several blog articles for us to get updates on the projects. The first one is about the English Language Support Program and its recent project:
Dharavi has two public schools and Reality Gives has been working with the one in Kala Kila since 2009. Lakshmi Vishwanatham, RG’s head of education for 2+ years has developed an English Language Support Program (ELS) to enrich the curriculum for grades 1-3 since this vernacular school’s classes are only taught in Marathi, the regional language. Lakshmi oversees ten teachers who get an hour per day with each class to teach English. Her methodology is unique and has provided results: an active learning process that encompasses all of the senses- visual, auditory, speech, and tactile.