Itâ€™s true what they say about helping and teaching others it gives you joy. I participated in the community service organized by FS for over a six week period. Every weekend we used to come to school and teach the less privileged something new. We were provided with a choice for which activity we wanted to teach like art and craft, frisbee, football, cooking, etc. I personally chose to teach cooking. Every day we had a set of items decided to teach which were fun to make. These few days taught me numerous things and most importantly it helped me do something I have always been enthusiastic to do, give away to the community. Since a very young age, I wanted to be a part of something big, something that changes and helps society. I feel that little opportunities like this are going to help me achieve this aim.
The learning outcomes I ultimately achieved were LO1, LO2, LO4, LO5, and LO6.
Learning outcome 1: Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth. I got to explore my strengths and weaknesses in cooking. I improved my chopping skills while teaching kids, also I saw how some kids were better at chopping than I was, so in a way even they taught me. Also, when we were frying bhajiyas I have a fear of putting them into the hot oil to fry. My team members motivated me and so I tried it, honestly, it felt really good to have done it. While I can give instructions well, I had a communication gap with them due to the differences in language. It took a lot of patience to understand what they’re saying and also explaining to them what I want. I am someone who can lose her patience easily sometimes, so it was a good learning experience. Being patient will help me further in life, so I don’t get frustrated when someone doesn’t understand what I am meaning to say.
Learning outcome 2:Â Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills. My first challenge was communicating with them because these kids understood Gujarati the best, and I am not really good at speaking Gujarati. Not each of them understood Hindi well, so I was patient with them and explained them multiple times if they didnâ€™t understand. I could understand what they were saying, but by the end of the service sessions, I got better at communicating and putting forward instructions clearly. Having undertaken this challenge I feel it will help me communicate some ideas better in the future. It also taught me to be patient and observant.
Learning outcome 4:Â Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences. While many people cribbed about coming to school on a Saturday and finding excuses to miss community service, I made sure I was present in each session as I was committed to learn and explore more things. There were times I wanted to make other plans and bunk the sessions but I pushed myself and did what was best for me. I donâ€™t regret it, I think this experience provided a lot of learning to me as interacting with those kids was like a breath of fresh air.
Learning Outcome 5: Demonstrate the skills and benefits of working collaboratively. In each session, we were divided into groups to teach a single dish. We picked out each other strengths and taught the kids what every individual knew best. For example, chopping is not my strong suit so I let my teammate handle that part and I taught what I was good at. A lot of us didn’t know how to talk in Gujarati and since the kids were most comfortable speaking Gujarati having team members ensured at least 2-3 of us knew how to properly communicate with them and hence they helped us communicate with the kids. Having team members made teaching a big group of students easy, also we could teach them more dishes by dividing them into groups.
Learning Outcome 6:Â Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance. We can’t exactly call it an issue but by this activity, we tried erasing the class differences that have been created by society. By teaching the underprivileged a valuable skill, and it being a two-way learning process didn’t only give us an opportunity to understand the less privileged better but also made them feel more accepted and valued. I have seen a lot of people ill-treat people because they’re not as privileged and they are and I am strongly against it, I don’t think someone’s economic status should be a criteria to decide if we should respect them or not.
This CAS experience was one of a kind and taught me many lessons. It was fun, nerve-wrecking (due to the weekends) and memorable. It taught me to be more caring, to be a better communicator, and more open-minded.