Sesame Workshop Bangladesh and Light of Hope organized ‘Charity Week 2018’ in 10 schools under ‘Dream Save Do’ project to celebrate International Charity Day on September 5, 2018.
Sesame Workshop Bangladesh (SWB) and Light of Hope Ltd. got into contract to implement ‘Dream Save Do’ Project’s Community Engagement part back in April 2018 where LoH was responsible to work with 50 schools in Dhaka. The project is funded by Metlife Foundation. One of the core outcomes of the project was to encourage children to share and to instill that behavioral change among children at a very early stage. LoH’s Program Organizers is visiting schools to regularly organize ‘Dream Save Do’ sessions in schools showing and interacting with various audio-visual contents to children developed by SWB. But to ensure that children can really practice this learning in real life, Light of Hope developed a unique week-long program that celebrates the joy of sharing among children from different socio-economic backgrounds.
A typical donation program usually designed in a way where rich children donate their toys to poor children. One is donating and other is simply receiving. While the children who are donating, may have learned the virtue of donating, but often it’s mentally damaging for the poor children who are receiving these toys. Simply the act of receiving donation from other may hamper their self-worth and self-respect. Because of their existing financial predicament, they often lack self-confidence and self-worth.
The ‘Charity Week Program 2018’ was designed in a way that children from both socio-economic backgrounds can engage and interact with each other through a school exchange program. In all 50 schools where LoH is currently working, we developed a group of 12 students called ‘Sisimpur Kid Ambassador’ who received leadership training from us to bring changes to their schools. These ambassadors are implementing various projects in schools like improving their school library, make a school garden, put ‘Lost & Found Box’ in classrooms etc.
Before the Charity Week began, these Kid Ambassadors from Private Schools mobilized week-long ‘sharing campaign’ in their classrooms and encourage children to share their old and used toys and storybooks. They also ensure that children share the toys and books that can be used. Children between 3-10 years old already learned the process to share or donate something. They learned that no broken toys and torn books should be donated or shared with other friends and children. It was their time to practice.
While the ‘sharing campaign’ was on-going in Private Schools, the Public Schools were preparing to host a 2-3 hour program in their own schools for the visiting private schools. They started to prepare welcome gifts, make ‘Thank You’ cards and arrange food and refreshment for the visiting schools.
Both types of schools prepared themselves for a week for the event day.
On the event days, the Private Schools brought all their collected toys and storybooks where the Kid Ambassadors, the Teacher Ambassador and Principal visited the Public Schools. The Kid Ambassadors, Teachers, and Principal welcomed them with flower, gift cards. They show them around the work that they are doing under the DSD Project. Kid Ambassadors shared and exchanged the ideas that they are implementing in their schools, Teachers did the same. It was a 2-hour engagement program where the Private Schools formally shared their books for the school library and toys for the pre-school section. Thana Education Officer and LoH Officials were also present during this program.
Participating schools agreed that they will continue to do this type of program in the coming years. The visiting schools gave a formal invitation to the host schools to visit their schools later. School Leaders and Teachers agreed to continue this relationship and hope they will take learning from each other to improve their schools.
Total 10 Schools participated in this program. 5 Visiting Schools were Mirpur Bangla School (both Boys and Girls), Mother Teresa Catholic School, Cherry Blossom International School and College from Mirpur Zone and Foundation School and Mohammadpur Preparatory School and College from Dhanmondi Zone.
5 Host Schools were Holy Crescent School, Amader Pathshala, Agargaon Taltola GPS from Mirpur Zone and Bosila Old GPS and Khan Hasan Adarsha GPS.
Light of Hope is sincerely appreciating to these schools and their leaders to enthusiastically participate in this unique program to set a new standard for other schools and education programs on how we should involve children in such events and cause.