We are into our second trimester of MAD activities and classes.
We have finished 3 and a half months of classes, give or take a few. :). The new English syllabus is working well. We have been able to make alot of improvements based on the feedback we have got from the mentors and volunteers.
We have completed three levels of training : process, syllabus and teacher training.
Mentors have visited their mentees and got alot of very useful inputs from them about improvements to the syllabus.
First of all, thank you for your commitment and support to all the activities we have had till now, from classes to training programs to placement activities. We really must take a moment and acknowledge the work we are all doing and the consistency with which we are carrying it out: in terms of teaching English and the placement activities we have done.
Please note we have two new VPs in our core team:
Gautam Thomas is our new VP Training: He has taken over the tough responsibility of ensuring we all have timely access to the syllabus, and organising trainings for us.
Blesson Gregory has taken over as VP Resources: He is in talks with Hippo campus, an NGO that focuses on providing libraries to develop childrens’ reading skills and broaden their horizons.
We are currently teaching in 10 centres: St Mary’s, St Teresa’s, YMCA Boys Home, Sneha bhavan (Pallu), Bosco Bhavan (Big boys), Crescent, Valsalya Bhavan, St Joachim’s, Holy Ghost, Bal Bhavan.
We are starting in two new centres:
Udaya Colony: This is a slum colony in near Girinagar. We will be teaching the boys and girls from this colony, in a convent premises just outside the colony. We were requested to take this up by an organisation that’s working with them, whose patron is SP Vijayan, husband of Ms Beena (Collector)
Goverment Girls Centre, Kakanad: This is a girls centres run by the Government.
We will be starting in both centres this month.
We are also supporting a Rotaract project to teach underprivileged children.
We have at least two more centres that have approached us to start teaching there, but we have put them on hold till we recruit enough volunteers. The centres are: Darul-ul-loom boys centre in pullepady and a women’s shelter run by retired justice Usha Sukumaran in Aluva.
Bala from EZ VIdya had come down to study the effectiveness of the syllabus and teacher training material they had developed. He attended the teacher training session we had last Saturday and also visited Snehabhavan. It was a learning visit for him and us.
Computer classes are on in 5 centres.
The Computer syllabus, which was developed by our Computer volunteers, is also going well. We plan to get computers in more centres so that we can expand the computer project to them as well. Saju and team are working on this. We have an in house GMT: General Maintenance team ( comprised of Computer volunteers) who ensure that computers are in working condition.
The placement volunteers are on a roll. They have organised a variety of programs for the children:
Camp VYB, Visit to the Science Park, orientation on engineering in Rajagiri, how hotels run: avenue regent, casino, cultural sessions at amaara, visit to National Institue of Oceanography etc. We have completed camps for 3 centres, we have 7 to go. :) so volunteers, please take active participation and get your children to also experience the thrill and learning.
We are speaking to Rotary Greater Cochin to organise leadership camps in tow of our centres: St Joachims and Pallu Big Boys.
Friends of MAD:
Jake and Anu (FOM co-ordinator) and their team are working on this.
This is the monthly target they are working with (in terms of no. of fom forms to submit):
Month Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
Cumulative Monthly FOM 10 30 60 100 140 180 220 260
Monthly Target 10 20 30 40 40 40 40 40
I am happy to inform that they have gone above and beyond, and Cochin is far ahead of all other cities in terms of collection. This collection goes towards our share of cost towards the syllabus and webapplication. Some major leads they have this month are HSBC bank and Cognizant. Please also support them at a volunteer level by letting your friends and family know about this so they can contribute if they are interested.
We must appreciate Jake who took over Fundraising and FOM mid year, very enthusiastically and also the teams, who are doing amazing work on this front. The fundraising team has managed to get us sponsorship support from alot of schools and organisations.
Shahnaz and her gang are on a roll. They have been consistently ensuring the availability of committed volunteers, which is why we have been able to expand to new centres with such ease. The OBT being planned is their best kept secret, but i know for a fact its going to be a great experience.We will also be getting the findings of the survey soon.
As you know the PR party never stops. We launched our first newsletter in August, an amazing one at that. Many donors and well-wishers responded with praise for our activities. The next one is coming out in November. Cant wait!! Also the MAD comps which will decide which centre takes home the prize during the farewell party. :)
We have been able to work so well and achieve so many things because of the strong volunteer involvement in all activities. Please keep your suggestions and feedback flowing. As a team, we can really make a difference in our children’s lives.