2023 was a rewarding year as we finally emerged from the aftermath of the pandemic and could proudly say that we were back to pre covid times. The children had made up for the losses incurred during the pandemic and were back on track! Classes were once again full and he chatter and laughter of the children filled every corner of the centres as well as the recesses of our heart. It was pure unadulterated pleasure. So this year I decided that my message will be a bird’s eye view of the year gone by so that each one of you can get a taste of Project Why.
Let us begin with academics. The year saw classed filled to the brim and little and not so little heads studiously bent over open books or listening with bated breath to what the teachers were saying. This year teachers went outside the box and came up with new teaching methods. There was a lot of practical teaching and children learnt how to identify chemicals and other scientific experiments. Visual learning was another tool teachers used with the help of movies and the Internet. Debates and quizzes were organised every month to help the children deepen their knowledge. Outings to local parks helped the children learn about nature and were excellent prompts for drawing and painting. June 10th was a special day as it saw the reopening of our early education programme that we had to close because of the pandemic. We were all thrilled to see our tiny tots back and once gain hear their laughter and giggles.
Of course regular reading and writing practice were a daily routine and assessments were held every quarter. Remedial measures were taken when needed. Children performed well in their respective schools and did us proud as they always do. All board examinations were cleared with success with many children doing exceedingly well. Everyone got promoted to the next class. PTMs were conducted across all centres to ensure that parents become part of their children’s learning journey.
But is was not all studies. This year we could finally resume our educational outings and the children visited India Gate, Doll Museum, Bharat Darshan Park, Bal Bhawan, Railway Museum, Waste of Wonder and Children’s Park. They all had a great time. In-house creative pursuits were the order of the day. The children learnt how to make decorative items with waste material. They also tried their hands at wall paintings,cloth painting and spray painting and unleashed their creativity.
A summer camp was organised in all centres and the children had great fun. They engaged in indoor and outdoor games, learnt fireless cooking and partook in a host of creative activities. They of course completed their holiday homework.
At Project Why we celebrate all festivals and commemorative days: New Year, Diwali, Xmas, Republic Day, Women’s Day. Word Health Day, World Environment Day to name a few. Children make drawings, write slogans and essays and engage in spirited debates, These celebrations help children increase their knowledge in a fun way. The special needs children made Rakhis and Diyas and sold them at Azure Hospitality and CSKM school.
Several workshops were organised. Dr Gulabani led a 16 days workshop to help teachers deal with children who have problems and difficulties in learning. This was a very successful initiative held over 16 Saturdays. Modicare Foundation held its yearly workshop on teen and adolescent issues and ETPA Foundation held story telling activities. These workshops are very useful and a good way to network.
It was also a year of repair and maintenance. We repaired the roofs of Khader and Yamuna as they had been severely damaged by rain, built a much needed toilet in Okhla and built a classroom in Giri Nagar. This was thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
But it was not all fun. 2023 had its sombre moments too. We lost a student from Okhla in a road accident and severe floods damaged our Yamuna centre and the homes of all our kids. Many reached out to help. The Rotary Club gave tents and sleeping bags and Azure Hospitality provided hot lunches to over 150 persons during 10 days, Avantika led a blanket drive that yielded or 650 blankets that were distributed before the cold set in. Clothes too were collected and distributed. We are grateful to each and everyone who reached to to help the flood victims.
Teachers had their fun time too. A day visit to Agra was organised with the support of Enfances Indiennes and was enjoyed by one and all. The staff of all centres visited the Yamuna centre had lunch with the children and engaged in a lot of fun activities with them. Teachers visited CSKM school and shared their ideas and teaching methods. It was rewarding experience. And finally they enjoyed a picnic lunch with Xavier Ray at the Nehru Park.
This year saw many visitors. Mr Ashok Trivedi, Mrs Anju Trivedi and Ms Shelly Trivedi were chief guests at our Republic Day function at Khader. Mr Trivedi hoisted the national flag and addressed the children. Mr Trivedi also visited the Yamuna centre and shared lunch with the children. Mr Adish Jain and Mrs Asha Jain visited the Okhla centre interacted with teachers and a few students and had lunch with the staff. Mr Jain has adopted the Okhla centre ‘forever’!
A group from Enfances Indiennes led by its President Xavier Ray and Hans Emde President of Project Why Germany also visited us this year. They spent quality time with the children and shared lunch with them.
We were really blessed to have many of our main funders visit us this year and very proud of showcasing our work to them.
This was a short glimpse of 2023, a year when things fell back in place after the dreaded pandemic.
I would like to thank all our supporters as well as my incredible team and terrific board without whom none of this would be possible.
We look forward to 2024 and all the miracles that will unfold.