As a kid, the definition of Recess is different for everyone. Some spend the time eating, some socializing, some find it the perfect time to take a break to enjoy, and some just want to play. We combined all these interesting activities and introduced Recess. With the idea of empowering underprivileged kids around us, we wanted to prepare them for a better and a brighter future. Bringing them together and teaching them things that a school or tuition class may not be able to.
With the ongoing classes, we have not only taught them via practical games, but also helped them understand the concepts of family, team, friendship, sharing, and much more. We encourage them to heal from the atrocities that their lives have shown them.
The main aim of Recess is to mould characters and change lives. We don’t just concentrate on education and knowledge; we focus on the overall growth of the child who is a part of our NGO. We understand the importance of the life values like honesty, empathy, love and care. Our belief is that the inculcation of these values can enhance anyone’s life. These kids come from unconventional backgrounds where unfortunately they’ve been exposed to a lot of fights, abuse, robbery, murders, etc. These experiences have molded their lives and personalities in a certain way.
After our regular classes, interaction and trips, we noticed a lot of changes in these kids. Previously, there were 3 year old toddlers who used to abuse, but they’re now disciplined and well mannered.
This helps us understand that we are actually making a difference in their lives, and helping them out of their miserable conditions that could disrupt their future and bring failure and crime to their lives.
Similarly, we have seen a remarkable impact because of various activities and outings that we undertake at our NGO. We take pride in the fact that our kids have come this far.
When we started our classes, we faced some issues because the toddlers and kids were fussy, unclean, and ill mannered. That did not stop us from making all the efforts possible for them to have a better life. At Recess, we believe that with persistence and patience, we could achieve success. Our success was in knowing that these kids are learning, growing and making a better life for themselves.
We wanted to nip the trouble in the bud, and so we did. We taught these kids with patience and tolerance, and today we see the positive impact of the same.
We see that kids who would never brush their teeth or take a shower, noticed us and realized the importance of cleanliness. They now brush and bathe and come to our classes neat and tidy.
There were some kids who were extremely shy and did not interact with anyone. With our constant attempt, these kids finally opened up and interacted. They have now gained the confidence to talk and play with facilitators and other kids.
We acknowledged and appreciated the small yet significant changes and improvements. Our team has noticed that kids have started being disciplined – they’ve started coming on time and have become more disciplined in general. They have also started being responsible after our classes. The elder kids take care of the younger kids; everyone seems to be more caring and loving towards other kids.
Chhota Bheem Movie (2015)
Outings give a refreshing change to anyone’s life, and these kids are no different. Our first ever outing was for the movie Chhota Bheem back in 2015. It goes without saying that our kids had a gala time watching the movie and enjoyed every moment of it.
Our observation made us realize that the movie and the outing gave way to our kids to be responsible not just for themselves and their siblings, but also others in the group. The kids ended up getting involved in the movie and in interacting with other kids.
Lunch Outings (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
We make sure that we take our kids to try out various cuisines. At recess, we want to expose our kids to the different cultures, lifestyles and food around. With their background, a lot of our kids have never even heard or seen different kind of food dishes and cuisines.
Throughout the years, we have taken our kids to try out Punjabi, Gujarati, South Indian, Continental, and more cuisines. This helped them bond over food, make new friends, and taste the authentic dishes of different cultures. These kinds of activities help them understand their likes and dislikes, and opinions about different cultural food.
Mother Nature has the best box of crayons that add to the kids’ lives.
We make sure that we take them to the garden every 2 weeks. A trip in the lap of Mother Nature refreshes our kids; they love it! They are very fond of this activity as this gives them a chance to be free , and explore the nature.
They’re allowed to take their balls, rackets, marbles, and all they want to play at the garden.
The purpose of this free time in the nature is to make them value nature. This helps them clear their heads of the realities of life and bond with themselves and others. They also explore and observe the magic of nature. Here, the kids are free to do what they want, which means they’re free to take their own decisions. This also means that they’re responsible for their own actions. They feel empowered and independent.
This joyous activity adds the fun and humour in their lives, which gives them the strength to deal with their lives.
Play at Prithvi (2017)
Getting to know the kids of these slums has really been a blessing to us. We realize that there is so much they have yet to experience.
Theatre was one such unexplored experience.
We took our class to watch and witness a play in Prithvi Theatre. These kids, who had no idea what drama was, enjoyed the show to the utmost. Their understanding of the play, their feedback, and their excitement told us everything. Kids were mesmerized by the performances, and were discussing it for days to come.
Mumbai Darshan (2016)
Our first full day trip was back in 2016; when we went on to explore the city of dreams, Mumbai.
This trip changed the way that kids looked at Mumbai. Many of them had barely gone out of their area, and this kind of exposure to the outer world opened their eyes. This was the first time the kids experienced boating at gateway, the first time they visited a museum, and first time saw a science centre.
These visits added value to their lives, and knowledge to their minds. The kids were ecstatic and interested to be a part of this educational excursion with fun and knowledge.
Visit to Govardhan Eco Village
In today’s era, we want to go eco-friendly. At Recess, we have already started our own initiatives for going eco-friendly and making the optimum use of resources. We have a community cupboard where in people can give any unused item and others who need them can take them. We have taught our kids the importance of these things and they are all inclined towards living a life that helps the nature and the society.
Our visit to Govardhan eco village had a great positive impact on our kids. None of our kids wanted to come back! They were so touched with the humbleness and the beauty of the village that they refused to come back home. We had an activity of farming and the kids just loved getting their hands dirty and doing the tasks. What a pleasing sight it was to watch them lie down on the cow-dung floor and relaxing. They fell in love with the free animals, with the long walks in the jungle and the ‘satvik’ food there. It was a beautiful trip with beautiful memories that taught us the meaning of living in natural habitat.
Kamshet – Overnight Trip (2018)
Our kids have never been on school trips or picnics, and we wanted to do something truly special for them. We wanted them to have a change of place, and experience something new. So, we took them to an overnight trip! This was the very first overnight trip of our NGO and it was truly an unforgettable one.
This trip can easily be described as the best days in the kids’ lives. At Recess, we want our kids to live and feel the beauty of life, and it’s very difficult to do that in their current living conditions. Thus, we give them a breath of fresh air and take them for these trips.
All our trips have a special reason and learning, and are planned very well; and this trip was no different. The main motto of this trip was to have fun! These two days were filled with nothing but adventure and fun. We had various activities like zip lining, kayaking, river crossing, treasure hunt, etc.
Our kids have never experienced the exhilarating experience of celebrating life like this. We were so proud that now they did! Many kids were scared and reluctant to go for adventurous activities like zip lining and river crossing, but once they saw their friends do it, they left their old beliefs aside and plunged right in!
It was very satisfying and encouraging for us as a team to look at these bundles of joy having the time of their lives. We also noticed how they were taking care of each other – a quality missing in many before this trip. This overnight trip managed to help us get together and bond as a group, as an NGO working towards one goal.
Experiences and exposures like these help our kids broaden their horizons. Now they have something to look forward to in their life. They can now have bigger dreams of seeing the big and beautiful world that exists beyond their home and area. They can now aim and dream bigger than ever, and welcome the new way of looking at life.
Christmas Party (2016, 2017, 2018)
Our kids always look forward to the Christmas parties we arrange. the success of our Christmas parties have been constant and it’s all because of the efforts of our facilitators, our donors and obviously, our kids.
Every year, we invite all the kids from the slum to be a part of this celebration so that they can have fun too, and get excited to join us and learn and study with us. We want every child to feel special and happy, and learn from us.
These parties put a smile on each and every kid. The fun, the games, Santa visiting, puppet show, magic show – everything together creates a very positive impact on the kids of our NGO. They celebrate, interact and bond together. This is an attempt to unite the kids and give them a platform to bond with each other.