DISHA, an initiative of the MaFoi foundation, is an opportunity for children from disadvantaged background to believe in their strengths and rise beyond all odds to become grounded, educated and sensitive individuals of the society. It not only provides scholarship to the disadvantaged children but also equip them with leadership skills. Disha Leadership Programme, provides children an environment to learn, act, and lead so that they can hone their skills, be productive and grow as concerned leaders. Disha Scholars from 8th standard onward undergo this programme till they finish their college. Recently Bhumi has partnered with DISHA to facilitate their leadership workshops for
class 11 children through its Lakshya program.
The first leadership workshop, focusing on communication and negotiation skills, was conducted on 17th Aug’14 wherein close to 45 students participated. The activity was “Junk Activity (Market Based)”, where children negotiate to buy junks from the market and design a product based on creativity. The planning was very efficient right from the start and it was executed better than expected with minor tweaks. The major success was including the market concept in clear and precise manner which was executed perfectly. Though the activity was the same junk activity which was done every year, the additions such as including a stable market with a seller who negotiates his items (junk) based on demand and other small tweaks such as round robin fashion with multiple rounds for different teams to get their items with virtual money and at the same time having equal chance to get what they require has taken this activity to a whole new level.
Since they were 11th class children they were able to understand the concept quite easily and were very open to learn and talk with the volunteers which made the activity even better. The negotiation part of the activity was very neatly done between the children and the volunteer who acted as the seller in the market. Children were highly enthusiastic and creative in designing, while being shrewd and efficient in the negotiation part with the seller. It would have been even better if there was a way to promote negotiation between teams during execution. The only negative aspect was the time to execute this activity as it took longer than expected. Ideas such as explaining the activity stage by stage and showing the children a video on negotiation at the end of the activity were well received and it made the process smoother. Volunteers from DISHA were helpful and efficient in handling the children. They were very happy at the end result of the negotiation activity.
Three more leadership workshops have been planned in the months of Oct’14, Jan’15 and Feb’15 covering various other skills of leadership. We believe this partnership will help Bhumi-Lakshya in strengthening their abilities in conducting programs for higher grade children.