New Humanity Movement

Education and Culture

goaThis is the experience of a protagonist in the educational project ‘Colouring our city’ that was promoted in Goa, India. The project was divided into three phases, and its aim was to address the dramatic conditions in which the poor people live. The institutions and many schools welcomed this initiative; many young people discovered the many hidden talents they possessed, and much more.

by Yvonne Ribeiro - Goa (India)

I’m a teacher and I was assigned, together with my colleague Lucienne, to a secondary school as part of the National Social Program. This is a project that aims to promote the development of the students’ personality through community service.

I have known the Ideal of Brotherhood for many years, and I’m sure that there are many ways to serve the others through love. Thus, Lucienne and I took an active part in the project ‘Colouring our city’, and also proposed it to our school.

The first phase entailed a better knowledge of our city. We organised a competition about our city, and also various seminars dealing with the vectors of new diseases, like HIV that constitutes a real problem in our city, besides courses on first aid. We deepened our knowledge of the ‘Regional Plan for Goa 2011’ to help the students understand the situation in which they find themselves. Different experts were called to talk about such topics like: the social development, stress management, personality development, the laws for the protection of minors. During this first phase the students worked together and have harvested a lot of information regarding the State’s endeavour to address certain issues.

The second phase was focused on identifying those areas of the city with the greatest needs. The students were divided into groups of about twenty; then they proceeded to the TB hospital and to the Old Peoples’ Homes. In the latter, the students entertained the guests by singing popular Goan folk songs, and performed dancing and a play.

The ASRO is a hospital for AIDS patients, whereas the Shanti Avenda is one for cancer patients. In these places the students had the opportunity to show love to those in pain. They shared with them their talents through singing, dancing and interacting with them.

In the third phase we pin-pointed a definite area of the city with the aim of upgrading it. We organised a field work in a village that lacked basic hygienic conditions. Every day we had a meeting with the children in their community hall so that we got to know all of them. The students could then talk in an informal way with these children and explain to them the importance of personal hygiene, of a healthy diet, and explained basic first aid procedures. They also spoke about the risks of smoking.

The children were divided into groups according to their age bracket; they were then taught songs and dances. All this took place in a most serene atmosphere. Indeed, the love and friendship that our students offered were reciprocated by the children and their families.

Recently we had another field work; this time we focused on the issues related to the environment and the negative impact of plastic. With the help of the mayor and the local administration we promoted a cleaning campaign to rid the area of all the plastic.

Our students picked up all the discarded plastic and took it to the municipal dump. They also held some street entertainment to create an awareness regarding environmental problems.

We have lots of activities planned for the near future; we intend to help our students discover their talents and those of the others by learning to respect and appreciate each other. When the field work came to an end, they went back home a bit sad, but with many good memories, together with the motto: ‘You, not me’. This was surely an experience that went far beyond the classroom and one that they will take into the community.   
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