Smiles & Fun at New Colors

This evening I had the pleasure of going to New Colors and visiting the (adorable) children who go there after school.  New Colors works with underprivileged children of the local village, Edayanchavdy, helping to provide them with not just homework help, but personal development skills.  After speaking with the organization’s founders, married couple Kumar and Renana, I learned some surprising things about education in India (as provided by the government schools).  For instance, one classroom can have up to 60 students.  This creates immense pressure for teachers and is problematic to students, given that their chances of individualized attention are slim.  Even in classes of 20, which I was accustomed to in primary school, students are all at different levels and possess different understandings.  In a setting of 60 young students, I can imagine the frustrations a teacher might have in attempting to teach them all; Kumar explained that the teacher thus becomes a “police officer,” which is, in my opinion, not conducive to a positive learning environment.  Coupled with that, many of these children experience violence in their homes and very few are able to get academic support, due to various circumstances.  This is sad to me, because I think every child, regardless of where they are born or to whom, should have the right to education in a safe place.  This is also the reason why I was drawn to New Colors.  They understand how fundamental it is not only for the children to actually understand what they are being taught in school (opposed to just memorizing what is in their workbook for exams) but also to develop their personality and build their confidence as community members.  New Colors lets their children (both boys and girls!) play and learn in a peaceful place, and I noticed all the children were very happy to be there and be participating together in various activities.  During my visit there, I helped the young students paint CDs for an upcoming Pongal festival, able to see how eager they were to use the different colors and the special glitter paint.  I also played ping-pong (on a home-made table) with the older students, who were having a blast.  All the children were very enthusiastic, despite not having much at home, which to me, was evidence of the resilient human spirit.  I also think the efforts of Kumar and Renana are extremely honorable; they both work during the day, and come home every evening and have the energy and heart to open their home to twenty-something children.  They are also adamant to providing quality attention to the children, and at one point had to limit the amount of children to retain this value.  More notably, they do this all for free because they are committed to making this environment accessible to “all” (i.e. not just those who can afford it), which really is incredible.

//CLH

Arts & Crafts for Pongal at New Colors!

Arts & Crafts for Pongal at New Colors!

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