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This post is not about art or culture…
Once upon a time I had a little venture called IQ Club. The idea came from working with my own kids and was developed into a enrichment program run in the international schools in Singapore.
The core concept was to bring kids together and make them play ‘brain ganes’ or manipulative games that exercised their observation / memory / logic / creative thinking skills through playing.
So unbeknownst to them, their minds were working while they thought they were playing. It was a huge success as everyone loved the program – the kids would refuse to go home after, the parents felt their money was well spent and Our team enjoyed interacting with the fresh bright young minds. (ALL kids are bright!!)
Eventually my kids grew up and I decided to direct my most precious asset – time- to other interests and sold the business in 2007. And ended that life.
In 2011 I came across the school for nomadic kids. Located 200km away from Leh into the Himalayan range, the school offers education until grade 8 for children of nomads of Chanthang.
I loved their shining spirits and their confidence. I’d taken the mobile number of one of the teachers and stayed in touch with her over the years through poor connectivity and changing SIM cards.
And we made plans for doing something constructive with the kids.
My son, 17 expressed a desire to do something interesting and so after some brainstorming we settled on the idea of conducting IQ Club type workshop for the nomadic kids in Puga, Ladakh.
2017: Calls were made to the teacher, games were procured, workshop dates were scheduled, flights abd cars were booked. But the weather did not cooperate. After 3 days of repeated cancelled flights and my son – tbe initiator of this project – stranded in Delhi airport we decided to shelve the project for the time being.
2018: the teacher had now transferred to another village school. But we connected. And she planned the sates with the headmaster of the nomadic residential school. And with fingers crossed this was included as one of the 3 projects to be done on this trip to Ladakh.
Despite my scepticism we did it!
Worked with the 11 8th graders and introduced them to games of strategy. They will now work with the younger grades, teach them these and play on.
A nano project completed!
The only regret is that my son could not make it.
The teacher who made it possible.
Glad that we finally completed the project that was conceived 2 years ago. Or maybe it is just a beginning?
Who knew in 2011 that I would be back in 2018.
Who knows where this will go next …