UWC Mahindra College monthly newsletter

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Student interaction

A ten-day CAS Project Week for 19 students and two teachers from the International School in Hilversum, The Netherlands, was recently organized by Nandita Deosthale, a former staff  member of Mahindra College.
The focus was on Community Engagement both on and off campus with special attention given to the Akshara project. Their engagement concentrated on areas where the students were able to work on a project that was chosen by the community itself. The Akshara team led by Milind Jori did a fantastic job of organising two projects for the students:

  1. Completing the Youth Centre at Bhadas village: The young people of Bhadas, the last village down the road from Mahindra College, had felt the need for a space in the village where they could meet to study, discuss and interact with each other, as this was not possible at home. After overcoming huge resistance from parents and village elders, the youth were given the use of a small room that was in a completely deteriorated condition. Thus was born the Youth Center! The young people worked very hard during their spare time to renovate this space and the students from Hilversum, gamely helped them out. They cut bamboo, carried tiles and helped in finishing the roof. The most encouraging part of the experience was when the older men in the village started helping when they saw students from outside working alongside their own children.

  1. Drain building at Asde and Sileshwar: Both these villages do not have proper drainage facilities at their water source and as a result the women have to walk through a lot of dirt and slippery areas to and from the water point. The students dug a channel in the mud several times but each time it was washed away but they did not, at the time, have resources to build a cement or stone drain. The Hilversum and Akshara students started building a permanent drain but the Akshara students will complete the task.

Apart from these projects with Akshara, in the mornings the students participated in Triveni activities on and off campus such as Sadhana Friends, Paud Children's home, paper making, Sankaar boys and Manavya.

We are also very thankful to these students, on behalf of the Akshara project, as they also gave financial support by funding five students for a year and also donating money towards chairs, a fan, and a UPS and inverter for the Youth Centre.

After 7 days on campus they left to Mumbai for two days of sight-seeing and then flew back to Holland. They had a fantastic experience and would like to make this an annual event! Mahindra College also had the benefit of having students from another school interacting with our students, not to mention adding to the scholarship funds.

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