Giles and Nicole are currently travelling through Southern India and share with us some more of their experiences with Bluey. The Portrait Equality project has given them another way to give back to families involved in the after-school program that brought them to India in the first place. They share with us:
It took us some experimenting and getting used to different scenarios of taking pictures. At times photo opportunities were completely random and others were planned. This next visit was somewhat planned, but the events that followed definitely were not. We had decided to visit the 40K Plus Pod in Doddagubbi Village for the last fifteen minutes of class.
The 40K Foundation runs 40K PLUS – an after-school education program created for kids living in poverty or with limited access to a good education. Volunteers work in the 40K PLUS pods each afternoon between 4-6 pm. They give kids the one-on-one attention needed to build their literacy and numeracy skills. Each teacher must also devise 6 x 2 hour lessons plans about a personal passion that are designed to teach the kids English and get them to understand the lessons learnt. Finally, there has to be a practical component to build the kids’ life skills. A very cool program that many Aussie uni students are involved in from TAFE.
These particular children Giles had been working with over the last month and he wanted to introduce them to me. When we arrived they were sitting around tables in small groups of five to six. Each group had a tablet and each child had their own set of earphones to listen. They were learning the English alphabet and numbers. All the children were quite happy to chant and show off their language skills to me. It still brings a smile to my face every time you meet children here, they are so joyous to meet you and never EVER shy. After class we took the kids to the park across the street and played games.
Never the less it was fun and entertaining. As the sky began to darken we decided it was time for Bluey. We took pictures of the children with their siblings to take home to their parents, and those who didn’t have any siblings grouped together.