A bit about us.... hope to learn a bit about you......

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Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:59 am
PostPost subject: A bit about us.... hope to learn a bit about you......
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Firstly apologies for the long post! but there is so much to say....

my name is Pi (at least my friends call me that!) and I work with Search Years- a non- profit based in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. Take a look at our site: www.searchyears.org. We work in the areas of education, environment and society using creative tools. This in the past has been everything from puppetry, theatre, pottery, painting to now also exploring IT and specialist software.

Education of a child embodies so much more than basic literacy and academics. It is also about the ‘full’ development of a child; on a social, cultural and moral level too. To achieve their potential as human beings and citizens of the world and recognize the impact and power they have to be change makers. This epitomizes Search Years vision for children and the rights they are entitled to.

I found puppetools through a link from a research paper on New Horizons for Learning website, also something I have discovered recently. I have been looking into finding research that backs up the use of creativity and creative tools in the learning process for children, as we are planning to open a creative learning centre here in Gurgaon, Haryana, India for the local underserved children. I was hoping to find research that strengthens our standing on the importance and need for this.

I have been reading as much as possible from both your website and New Horizons, and have been amazed at how much is out there- especially as in India it is much more rare to find like-minded organisations! It has been great to know that there is a forum and network of people doing the same kind of work that we can learn from and have a process of exchange with.

We have used puppetry as a tool and language since our inception 8 years ago, when we were running ‘event to event’ through our hard-working volunteers. This year marks the beginning of Search Years as a full time organisation and we hope to have a series of projects running continuously. It is really progressing well, but of course things are very busy! Part of our plans are to open a creative learning centre for local underserved children that will have not only creative arts facilities, but computers and a library also.

We have been championing the use of puppetry as a tool in ‘formal education’, and a few years back held teacher training for primary school teachers on the use of Japanese panel theatre and puppets into curriculum.

At the moment we are training children up to be puppeteers and perform certain productions as a mode of communication to other children on social and environment issues. For local children, puppetry and puppet-making are for them a very real and viable livelihood. We hope to do more work in this area and also start concentrating on the usage of puppetry in communicating with children. As soon as we have volunteers/ a staff member to take care of our centre we will definitely ask then to take the puppetools online course.

We are building relations with local schools at the moment, and hope that we can then hold training courses for their teachers. In the meantime we involve an element of puppetry in all our projects with partner agencies to communicate with children- there are some photos of a puppet theatre we have recently created called ‘Call of the Tiger’ on our website.

We are very interested and excited in having an active partnership with this network and hope that this is the beginning of a long-lasting relationship, where we can each learn from each others experiences. I hope that other organizations and individuals that are interested in forming partnerships will post their messages!

If you would like to talk to me directly I can be contacted on info@searchyears.org


Search Years Team!
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Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:48 am
PostPost subject: re: update and a question for you all
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Hi everyone,

It has been a while since I last made a post and so much has happened.

Our creative centre is starting, with outreach centres starting at the same time in local villages/government schools/NGO schools. In this we have opted to build to build relationships with the children, organisations and community through firstly providing pure creative arts lessons, with a view to focus more and more on creative tools in education. Puppetry is a bit part of this work and is something that catches the imagination of everyone we talk to. It will still take us a little more time to progress to the next step of finding/hiring a person that we can purely focus on the power of puppetry as a communication tool for children. We have a vision that once this does happen, we will be able to regulary set up teacher training open to all schools to participate.

We have also been designing a project on energy efficency, conservation and renewable energy for school children in partnership with WWF here. Part of the 'awareness' module of the project will be using puppetry to build emotional relationship with children and energy. Also for this project, I have to find research/case studies that talk about bringing about changes in behavioural patterns of children . So if anyone has some suggestions I'd really appreciate any information.

I hope to hear from some of you soon!

Best Wishes,

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