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Makepeace

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DEEPALAYA
October 24, 2009

Deepalaya as an organization is very daring to go into places less explored and its a great platform for newcomers to maximize their potential as well as for any professional to work in a way that they never had the liberty for. Ramditti J.R. Narang Deepalaya School, that is run for underprivileged children, gave me the opportunity to be a school counsellor trainee to fulfil my field internship as a part of my curriculum in Masters of Psychology (DU). The staff was very eager to improve in their ways of teaching as well as behavior management in class. The principal, Miss Gitanjali Krishnan, was very encouraging to all the school and staff incl. me to try out methods that could work in the betterment for the school as a whole as well as paying individual attention to its residents. Where a well funded private or public school shudders from providing any kind of Adolescent Education Program, Deepalaya allowed me to deliver important and alarming messages to the students in terms of their safety and self esteem. And what I have personally most liked was that an individual's potential and not just achievements are applauded and encouraged, raising their own expectations from life as well as the will to work hard towards it. The children or the students of the school were the best part of the experience. I connected so well with them and that too, at their level which i found it to be very important. I felt that we shared a genuine relationship and i wasn't just with them because it was a part of my job or they, in their turn, weren't simply just being nice to a school visitor. All in all, a very good learning experience filled with challenges that I think I met with satisfaction and doubts that I overcame with the help and guidance of the school. My understanding of culture and the environment of the 'have nots' had not simply increased but evolved to more accuracy, empathy and belief.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my oratory skills and my ability to gauge into the mindset of people that naturally reveals where they come from. This has, in turn, helped to respect people for their opinions, values and spaces.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

invest a lot more money and time in making a library for students of all the ages that go there as reading is a very important component of learning. Infact, it is the only genuine way to acquire knowledge and understanding of anything!

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

interacting with the children and actually having fun with them and learning so much through and from them. They helped me realize things about me that I never knew, like taking workshops in hindi :)

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

varied and knowledgeable in their own individualistic ways. Some of them I shared a great rapport with and learned immensely from them. I admired their kindness and energy!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

spend it relocating to a bigger space, where the students can have a playground and facilities on it to play all kinds of sports. And they can also heavily invest in making a proper library system for both students and teachers with access to internet.

Ways to make it better...

there was more co-operation from the management for the sexuality education program and their conceptualization of sexuality education program more advanced. The latter is also a personal regret because I could have exposed them to the program before!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

greater no. of admissions every year and the school is very tightly spaced. at their level, it is even a good thing as it shows promising signs of development in the section of the society they are catering to. but they have to make space and resources!

One thing I'd also say is that...

it is a school initiated for the girl child yet no special programs are in place for their greater psychological development. in their context, its not just academic or professional achievement but their own attitudes that'll elevate their positions.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Former volunteer & School counsellor trainee at Ramditti J.R. Narang Deepalaya School. I conducted various kinds of workshops with the students and the teachers as well as provided counselling to the students.