This blog is written by Sheetal from Key Education Foundation
Early Tuesday morning, we woke up to the sound of rain and to the likeliness of a canceled trek. Thanks to Amit and Subash, our guides who didn’t bail on us, we got ready and set out at 7:30 am geared with our ponchos and umbrellas.
It was a short trek up, with the sound of rain keeping us company and the frequent whistling of the Malabar Whistling Thrush, sometimes overpowering our chattering! We reached the top to an overcast sky and barely any visibility of the reservoir below us.
The highlight of the trek was the not-so-quick stop at the waterfall on our way back. We took our guide’s instructions to “take a dip” a little too seriously and sat under the waterfall as the water dropped aggressively on our backs.
This set our energy levels high for the day, even though there was passing of muscle relaxants around for some of us.
We had different organizations presenting their work throughout the day. The Apprentice Project presented their work with a focus on their Whatsapp Bot, popularly known as Tap Buddy amongst their young users! Krishna Priya, from TAP, took us through the different features available on Tap Buddy, their experience of working with young children, and their learnings so far.
Krishna is passionate about digging deep into gamification and she says she’s still on level 1 of learning the tricks to gamification and has many more to conquer. We should talk more about this, I made a mental note.
Post dinner, we regrouped to learn more about the work some of the NGOs were doing. We had Sandeep Vengsarkar from Antarang Foundation presenting their work towards making youngsters career-ready and their Whatsapp aka career-bot, ‘Nantar Kay’. He mentioned how “the difference between the baseline and end line is what we are all working towards” and this stuck with me.
Neha Ganatra, from Pehlay Akshar, spoke about the different initiatives they have in place to achieve their goal of empowering every child with English Literacy and developing a Learning Mindset, Neha also has quite a few fun energizers up her sleeve! We got to do a fun one together.
Prachi Mishra from Lend a Hand India shared the work that they do in integrating vocational education into secondary and higher education. Their bot has a fun Bitmoji too! What stood out to me as I sat there listening to presenters was a clear articulation of what they’ve seen work well, a good understanding of their end-users, challenges faced along the way, but mostly the drive to explore, apply and learn from every experience.
I am writing these reflections at the end of the day, sitting outside on the chair watching the rain as a firefly passes by. I’m taking some time to think of all the conversations I have had throughout the day and soaking all the learnings in. The energy to collaborate and the urge to learn that you get to see around you in this space is contagious. Here’s to continuing sharing and learning from each other, whether it’s with bhaji and chai, on walks in the rain, or in a huddle with the team.