Published: 04th May 2018
STEM courses and toy libraries: How Wockhardt Foundation is educating the slum children
Edu-recreational centres, Khel Khel Mein, are transforming the lives of underprivileged children and they've set up three new centres in Bengaluru recently
As a mother, Samina Khorakiwala loved to watch her little son play with his toys and read his storybooks. But at the same time, the social worker in her couldn't help but pity the less fortunate children who couldn't afford such luxuries. She was adamant to do something about it and now, she is the CEO of Khel Khel Mein, a toy library for underprivileged children and an initiative by Wockhardt Foundation.
It's been eight years since its inception and now, Khel Khel Mein has 30 edu-recreational centres across the country, including three recent ones they've started in Bengaluru. On top of that, they've also organised a summer camp for the children in one of the centres, where they will learn the basics of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
We catch up with Samina who tells us more about this initiative. Excerpts:
Could you tell us a little about the summer camp?
We have piloted a summer camp in one of our centres in Bengaluru to introduce the concept of STEM learning to children. During this camp, we will teach the foundation concepts of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) using constructive and demonstrative methodology. Based on our assessment test, we have developed a 21- day curriculum that is co-constructed by children and teachers to make learning fun for children. Our teaching process is fun-activity based and aimed at creating a positive attitude towards learning amongst children. To make better citizens for tomorrow, school education alone will not suffice. It must be supplemented with programmes that inculcate human values and reasoning skills.
Why did you opt for an edu-recreational programme as a charity project?
Charity begins at home when our children are taught the value of giving, sharing and respecting others around them. This programme fits well into our ideals of the good human values to be taught to children through work and play.
Was it easy to get parents to send their children to these centres?
Being in the slums where there is no form of a structured recreational platform, the parents were happy to send their children for two hours to keep them occupied. The children get to read good books and are taught human values. They also play with puzzles, draw creatively and use their motor skills to full potential.
How exactly is this programme benefitting children?
The outreach of this programme is to community development as well. These children also serve as value ambassadors. Each day of the week is celebrated based on the values of truth, forgiveness, humility, love, patience, gratitude and giving.
How has the response been?
Around 2,000 children enroll in our centres every year. In Bengaluru now, we have close to 100 children in our three edu- recreational centres.