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Letter from the Director

If I’ve never told you about Provincidence (a word I coined), please let me know. Hope Torch had a very exciting provincidence happen in mid-August. I walked into the office on a Monday morning and got a phone call from out of the blue. It was Mr. Renesh Nathan. The first thing he told me was that he wanted a job. The second thing was that his CV would confuse me.

He was right and wrong. Renesh has 11 years of experience in large IT MNCs. Over the past few years, he has felt the call to switch to social work and to focus on helping people. His journey would seem very confusing if it were not so similar to mine.

Since mid-August, Hope Torch has been fortunate to have Renesh join us on a part-time basis. He has provided value in the form of guiding our team in designing a Tutorless version of Advanced Coaching, a Video Series branding our Vision, and he has brought us closer to partnerships that could take Hope Torch into schools and corporates. He has demonstrated that his primary focus is the kids, with a close second being the growth of each member of our team. As of October, I’m happy to announce that Renesh has transitioned into a full-time position as our Operations Manager for the Bangalore Office.

This transition is also a needed transition for me. I will still be directly involved in Hope Torch as I look to reach our vision into schools and other academic circles. Also, our Chennai team will be a focus of growth as Saranya (Program Coordinator in Chennai) and I rebuild the team there.

Sometimes these transitions are cause for concern, but in this case, the provincidence has provided a sense of security and trust in this new direction.

Sincerely,

Arun Durairaj

Managing Director

Hope Torch

Tackling the SW Challenge

DISCOVER (The HT Magazine)
In order to give the kids a platform, we have begun creating a magazine dedicated to recognizing the work they do.  The kids would be the source of the content.  In the process of collecting content from the kids, the kids were not so cooperative.  I had to chase the kids in order to get them to submit. Being kids, anything they do, the first time around it always feels like work to them and they gave many reasons to escape.

Finally, I left the decision to do or not to do to the kids.  I explained to them that we are doing it for them.  I asked them, “How much do you value getting recognized for your work?”

The results will be evident in the upcoming magazine.

Program Admin Weekly Meetings
It’s interesting how the same values we practice with the kids, we have to practice with each other.  In our Program Admin weekly meetings, we make sure that every Program Admin gets to express their ideas.  All need to be equally heard and equally appreciated. We practice non-judgmental listening based on the principles of dignity and self-worth.

Hidden Treasures Theme
In Hidden Treasures, this quarter with a bit of mentoring, the kids realized that the theme is very important to whatever project they come up with. Kids from Living Peace took their time to understand this.  They realized that their idea of a collective autobiographical book was not meant to just tell their own story but to encourage others to write as well.  They indicated to me that there is sense of contribution among them.

 

By Anisha Bhandari

Program Coordinator – Bangalore

Towards a SW Culture

When I was brainstorming on how to get people/companies to have a vested interest with Hope Torch apart from charity, I was stumped. It has been a huge challenge. We had tried different strategies like cold calling, roadside promotions, networking, employee training, nothing seemed to result in the support in reaching out to the kids that we wanted to generate.

In our group meetings, I realized the key is self-awareness because our vision of self-worth addresses a common challenge for all. The problem is, not many understand it or acknowledge it; I felt it personally too. So to market the vision (not Hope Torch), a small idea sparked which was to create and send a postcard with a message of self-worth. The idea grew into the Self-Worth Postcard campaign which many of you celebrated with us on April 14th. The goal was to launch the idea of the self-worth culture, globally.

We just finished our first campaign this past April 2018. The response was overwhelming as we did meet our objectives. The most obvious example of the success is that people started contacting us for ways to help the organization.

This initiative has now given me new ideas on how to engage companies effectively. It is leading to my next big project which is to introduce a mobile app that spreads the self-worth culture from individual to group and then to community. Already

We have defined the name and its a work of art. Hoping for the best. Grateful to Mrs. Lydia Durairaj who helped in making the self-worth postcard campaign a reality. And thanks to the Hope Torch team for their constant support.

 

By Niveesh Vasanthan

Client Engagement Coordinator

Shaping a SW Driven Education

If you use the word “YOU CAN’T” in front of kids, they wont accept that.  Immediately, they will start working to prove “I CAN.”  Their feelings and emotions immediately become obvious.  Quitting is not something that kids have build into them.  There are other factors in kids quitting in the classroom.

In my article “Tips for a Meaningful Education at Every Age“, there are three levels of education.  The kids at each of these three levels can learn by what they are seeing, learn by comparing with the real world and learn through fun.

Only at the highest level, the tenth standard kids, they no longer benefit from the comparison with others.  (Ironic, that it is the 10th Std kids who are facing the greatest comparative assessment in their 10th Std board exams.)  Instead, they prefer to enjoy every movement in their development.

Teaching alone does not guarantee the maximum benefit for their life and future career.  We should first understand that in the class room, there will be students getting high marks and low marks but that does not mean that the high mark student is brilliant and the low mark student is not brilliant.

We should work at the practice level of the student because practice makes perfect for the high mark and the low mark student alike.  Day by day we have to improve our innovative techniques for practice.

One kid that I work with is studying in 7th Std.  I’ve known him since 1st Std.  When I first saw him, he didn’t have any basics.  I was getting many complaints from the parents.  The parents were getting many complaints from the school teacher.  All of the complaining had not changes his situation in 6 years.

If I gave him something to write, he would go to his seat, and he will sleep nicely.  If I ask him to stand, then also he used to sleep.  Every day went on like this.

One day, I gave him a simple math numbers to write numbers from one to ten.  That day, he didn’t sleep!  Instead, he came to me show that which he finished.

I understood that he actually likes math if I concentrated on his style of learning.  I started appreciating (not complaining) about his efforts, even in front of everyone.

Honestly, he started enjoying to study.  He stopped sleeping in the class. I cannot say he is the very best student, but now he is OK to study.

Education is very important because they have nothing without education.  Whether shopping in the market or planning a journey, if a person has education (no matter how little), then that person can begin to take control of their own life.

This is how education can show us self-worth.  I discovered the self-worth in the boy in my example.  The same is possible for every kid at every level.

 

By Saranya Rathish

Program Coordinator – Chennai

Workshops and Training

Advanced Coaching Training Workshop

Address & Directions : Kothnur, Bangalore

The Advanced Coaching Training Workshop was conducted by the Hope Torch Admins for all the tuition teachers of the concerned Homes

Clear the Board Workshop

Address & Directions : Byrathi, Kothnur, Bangalore

The Clear the Board Workshop was conducted by the admins of Hope Torch, for the 10th-grade students

Summer Camp

Address & Directions : Bangalore

The Hope Torch Summer Camp is a fun time of learning through games

Walking the SW Journey

Social media is a place to express oneself. Below is a timeline of our best moments.

25th Aug, 2017 – Chennai
WordFrames

An easy technique to understand and learn hard concepts.

When we saw the subject of Vikram’s Wordframe, we just had to share it!

 

 

5th Feb, 2018
Self-Worth Quote

Inspired and created by our program admin, Niveesh Vasantham.

 

April 7th – 20th, 2018

Self-Worth Postcard Campaign

Self-Worth Postcard: A card reminding someone how they have helped you discover your self-worth or how you believe that they still have untapped self-worth.

Our self-worth campaign was a major success!

 

 

 

 

 

By Priscilla Sam

Program Administrator