June 25 2014
In India, Karuna-Shechen has operated as a humanitarian agency in the state of Bihar for the last twelve years. At the end of 2013, it was decided to expand our activities into other regions of India ...
In the poor rural villages in India, most children do not have access to games or toys. Their toys are tree branches, stones, and whatever they find in the road. Play has been proven to be an important component to learning by enabling children to develop their cognitive, emotional, physical, and linguistic skills. Play helps children learn more directly about themselves and the world around them.
As part of Karuna-Shechen’s Early Childhood Care and Development Project (ECCD) in partnership with Inter’Lude, “play kits” have been donated to early pre-school childhood centers in four of our partner villages (Dema, Gopalkhera, Banahi et Chando). The pilot phase of this project targeted 160 children (44% girls and 56% boys, aged 3 to 6 years old).
We are pleased to share with you the following photos, commented by Sebastien Pais Figueiredo, our ECCD Project Manager:
Outdoor Play Kit
“When the children first saw the outdoor play kits they were amazed and did not quite “dare” to use them. Gradually they started playing with the hula hoops, balls, and other games they had never used before, like stilts. We also organized games and challenges to trigger their interest and now their outdoor play sessions are very lively and interactive. They get plenty of exercise and unwind, playing either alone or in groups.”
Coloring and Drawing Play Kit
“At first, the children did not know what to do with the drawing and painting kits. They were very silent and passive. It was the first time they had an opportunity to draw and paint. We showed them how to use pencils and encouraged them to use their imagination. Little by little, their drawings became more creative. They started using more colors and helping each other. Over time, we were able to observe true progress in their behavior towards each other as well as in their creativity and drawing skills.”
Indoor Play Kit
“When they were given the indoor play kits, the children’s first instinct was to grab everything they could find. Their desire to possess as much as possible and the fear that someone would take away the toys were very strong. Some children were carrying so many toys at once that they could not play with any of them! We explained that each toy had to stay in its own designated play area and would always be there for them to play with. Little by little, the children calmed down and started playing with one toy at the time, without too much adult intervention. They became more secure in the idea of being given something that would be there for them in the future too.”
“Older little girls are very attracted to “symbolic games” like dolls and housekeeping. They play the role of the mother, while the younger children play “baby”. From times to times, little boys also come and play with them.”
Training Childcare Providers
“Karuna-Shechen organized a training for local childcare providers from our partner villages to teach them more creative and effective methods of teaching. Many themes were discussed, including the benefits of learning through play, the role of childcare providers, how to organize activities etc. Thanks to this training, childcare providers are now active participants in the education of young children, instead of being mere supervisors which is the case with many teachers in India and Nepal. They now possess the knowledge, skills, and tools to be more active and engaged in their work.”
In Conclusion !
“This pilot project has proven to be a success. The children have developed new skills including improving social behavior by learning how to play together harmoniously and share. The centers have become more fun and educational and are now filled with life and laughter. The second phase of this project will begin in September and target six new childcare centers in rural Bihar.”
To learn more about this project : Education in India