guest post: Piranavan’s experience

At Naddankandal (Piranavan on the far right)

We invited Satchithananthathirumal Piranavan, our superstar driver, translator, and workshop collaborator from Vavuniya to share his experience working with us during our holiday workshop in August. Below is the translation, as well as his original text in Tamil below.

I am Piranavan. I got the opportunity to mingle with small kids for two weeks. I would like to share this experience with you. We travelled to Kakkaiyankulam which is situated 18-20 km from Vavuniya. It was a beautiful village. There were forests and ponds and the environment was very peaceful. People of this village were kind and good-hearted. We were able to work together with school children from Grades 6 to 10. The group that arrived from Colombo to help these students asked me to be a part of this great opportunity.

First we played an interesting mind game to effectively increase the functionality of the brain. The students first counted numbers from one to three and clapped their hands. Secondly, without pronouncing the first number they snapped their fingers. Afterwards they clapped their hands instead of counting two. Finally the third number was not counted and instead the students tapped their feet. They continued to repeat this faster. This was a very minute and interesting game. Then the students were instructed to create games on their own. Each of them created different and interesting games. When they explained the reasons for creating specific games, we all laughed. The kids were very patient when they made handworks which were very creative.

The chair I made during the workshop

Every day was different and interesting. During the resting hours they played ‘fruits’ game and ‘dog and meat’ game. Without any age based demarcations they all played together. In this way the first six days were well spent. Three of the volunteer girls had to leave due to other commitments. After they left a bunch of five people joined. Finally the day arrived for us to leave Kakkaiyankulam Muslim Maha Vidyalayam. It was a really sad departure. Leaving these innocent kids was painful. We were satisfied that this initiative will continue in the future.

The next day we travelled to Naddankandal which is 37km away from Kakkaiyankulam. Here also we met nice people and children. The first activity was to create a mask without any instruments. The children had to keep it on their faces without using their hands. The students made several efforts to successfully complete this task. The second task was to draw something they like. The person next to them drew further and made it more beautiful. The task was done until five participants completed the drawing. the purpose behind this game is to check whether the drawing was changed from the initial one to the last one. Some of the kids liked the game. Some others felt sad that their drawing was changed. But when we explained that the purpose behind these games was to increase the group collaboration and teamwork they understood. Next they drew different types of chairs and picked one design and made it using clay. After this they made the same design using cardboard. The kids completed this task beautifully.

After some days of work some of the volunteers left. Soon an artist joined us. He told us how to draw beautifully using wastes and biodegradable waste. He also taught us to keep the environment clean. He made us creative and enthusiastic. They days spent with him were aesthetic. Finally we had to leave this place reluctantly. Parting from the kids was painful. We hope we will go and meet them again.



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