Recently, Bhumi partnered with DISHA, an initiative of the MaFoi foundation, to enhance the leadership skills of Class 11 children, through its Lakshya Program. The first leadership workshop, focused on enhancing communication and negotiation skills, was conducted on 17th Aug, 2014, where close to 45 students participated. It was a Junk Activity (Market Based), where they negotiated to buy junk from the market and designed a product using their creativity.
Success of the workshop
The first workshop was conducted efficiently, wherein the process, right from planning to execution exceeded expectations. The reason for this success was due to the inclusion of market concept in a clear and precise fashion, and the immaculate execution of the same. Though the activity was the same as in the previous years, small tweaks enhanced it to the next level. First was the addition of a stable market, with a seller who negotiates his items (junk) based on demand. Second was the adoption of the round robin format, which helped fulfill their requirement with virtual money and also gave them an equal chance to get what they want.
Since the participants were in eleventh grade, 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 between the children and the volunteer who acted as the seller was neatly done. Children were highly enthusiastic and creative in designing the concept, while being shrewd and efficient in the negotiation part as well.
The general verdict
On the positive side, 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. And, volunteers from DISHA were helpful and efficient in handling the children as well.
On the other hand, it would have been even better if there was a way to promote negotiation between teams during execution. The only downside was the time crunch, which was due to extra time taken to implement the activity.
We have planned three more leadership workshops in the months of October 2014, January 2015 and February 2015, to cover various other leadership skills. We believe this partnership will help Bhumi’s Lakshya in strengthening its content in conducting programs for higher grade children.
DISHA provides an opportunity for children from disadvantaged communities to believe in their strengths and rise beyond all odds, to become grounded, educated and sensitive individuals of the society. Apart from providing scholarships, it also equips children in leadership skills, through its Disha Leadership Program. The program, 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 undergo this program until their graduation