Building Friendships

One of the things I was most looking forward to about this trip was getting the opportunity to work with young school children and inspire them. In the end they needed no inspiration at all as they were already energetic and bright kids. I observed that these children, whether at the St. Louis school for the blind and deaf or at the Teacher for India schools, never complain and are always excited and ready to learn. They were like sponges ready to observe and take in anything that we said. The minute we stepped into the classroom you could feel the energy and the excitement these kids contained within them. They were so wide eyed when we walked in, its like they looked at us in awe. When we brought out the books I could see the gears in their head moving with curiosity and wonder. They would ask questions and be intrigued by everything they saw on the pages whether it was about the bodies or our planet and those around us in the solar system. These young children are some of the most energetic kids I have ever been around. They are also some of the smallest for their age that I have seen. This did not stop them from trying any athletic task that we gave them. The gratitude they displayed towards us was very heartwarming as well. At St. Louis School for the blind and deaf the children sang us a song, and at the Teach for India school they gave us small ceramic dishes for candles. Along with these materialistic things they gave us many smiles and many <jj the pages whether it was about the bodies or our planet and those around us in the solar systemsang us a song, and at the Tethank yous. Overall these children are bright with the power to grow and the wiliness to learn. They live a positive and inspiring life.

This raises observation many questions about the children here in India and growing up in this culture and this school system. Since I have observed that these children are so high energy and seem so motivated why is the drop out rate so high? At this stage in which we have seen them it seems as though they should have no problem staying in the school system and finding success. They had every desire to learn from us. With these bright minds willing to grow the drop out rate should not be as high as it is. In society this diminished the lack of leaders and individuals to do high esteemed positions because of the lack of education. This makes you wonder who is to blame that the system is not able to retain its student body.  Does this come from a lack of a fulfilling school system or does it come from the families need for their children to enter the workforce? Although the schools were not fully developed in a sense compared to what we see back home I did not get a sense of incompetence at all. Maybe above what we saw there is corruption and a lack of structure in the larger school system. The needs of the family I think could also play a huge factor. There is a moral obligation these children will meet as they grow older causing they to need to step up in a family sense and provide for their families. 

While we were working with these children whether it was in the classroom or on the court, I was given the amazing opportunity of learning from them. I felt an overwhelming sense of inspiration and motivation to grow to become the best version of myself that I could become. Sometimes back at home I find the pettiest reasons to complain and after this trip I don’t think I could ever do that again. I regained a sense of passion for learning that at home I was losing because of the stress that surrounded education. I am looking to be positive and to grow with everything I do just like these children. I have been moved by this whole experience especially the children in the classrooms we have been able to work with. They have touched my heart and left an imprint.

- Laura Bilal

Niswarth ProgramComment