Along with a few friends, I completed a bunch of activities that allowed for me to gain insight and perspective about the issue of human trafficking. It was a touching experience that meant a lot to me and allowed me to acknowledge my privilege at being in such a safe environment.
- Strengths include commitment & leadership: I felt like I was the person constantly ensuring that the group followed through on deadlines. All members were working hard and everyone was essential but it is important to take charge sometimes.
- However I could have been a better leader had I prepared a script for the presentation that we held with the underprivileged kids before hand. I could have been better versed with Gujarati & hence reached out to them better.
LO2 & LO5 :
- It was a challenge to reach out to the kids who had a language barrier with me. They weren’t particularly excited about our session and it was hard to get them to interact without making them uncomfortable. Anticipating this, we came up with activities that involved movement and jumping. By playing Simon Says with them before we started speaking on the serious topic, the kids were already feeling energized and hence paid more attention. I also had to use the help of my group members for the language barrier. They would aid me at times when I stumbled, so did the teachers that accompanied us. I couldn’t have executed the session without my team who were mostly fluent Gujarati speakers & were able to create good bonds with the kids.
LO3 & LO4:
- With the help of Falguni ma’am, we made presentations and posters beforehand in order to make sure that there was good substance for us to talk about. Although we could have improved by preparing speeches in Gujarati, we did a good job of ensuring that there were stories that would reach out to the kids. Since we had a younger audience, we also had to make sure that the stories weren’t too vulgar and hence censor them at times. Surbhi had to paraphrase a lot that the story contained and this required planning ahead of time. We worked for months to complete all aspects of the CAS project, from playing the game to becoming more sensitive ourselves to organizing the session and I am proud of how well we were able to manage time and make the session effective rather than procrastinating the work.
- Human trafficking is an issue that has become close to my heart since the experience. It is a severe problem that affects 2 girls in India EVERY HOUR. Imagine what happens around the world in countries poorer than India. I was shocked when I found out how common it was and how as a child I too did things that could have lead to worse consequences. By reaching out to those children, I hoped that I would create talk of an issue that is seldom discussed but still very prevalent.
- We had to walk on the thin line between making sure that what we were speaking of was age appropriate (since human trafficking must be spoken of in tandem with sexual harassment, prostitution & r*pe) and that the message wasn’t diluted due to our euphemisms. It was an ethical choice to shield the kids from the horrors of sexual abuse and instead just calling it “bad things” and sometimes “bad touch” in order to make sure that we didn’t instill a fear in them that shouldn’t have needed to exist.
Overall, the session was very important to me and I can see my growth, both personally as a leader and friend, and as a woman in India who might face the risks of human trafficking herself. I am glad that I took this project and I plan on following through by hopefully conducting more sessions of this sort with the help of Falguni Ma’am.