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

Self-worth, shaped by the lens of ELE (Embracing Life Enrichment), leads to the power of strength in numbers. There is a secret to every happy employee – an employee who is continuously making an impact to one another and to one around them. An employee who is totally engaged on what they do to bring out the best of their vision every day. To reach every kid, our employees collaborate towards the best possible approach in bringing out the skill of self-discovery within each kid.

The Discover Magazine, the first publication of Hope torch dedicated to recognizing the kids, was a huge challenge for the last quarter.  The ELE culture enabled us to deliver the expected contents from program admins and kids. For me, one major challenge was that it was my first time editing a project this big.  Somehow we made it to the launch day and were able to celebrate with our caretakers from our partnered chapters and the kids who we work with.  The happiness and pride on the kids face is thanks enough for all our hard work.  We had two major causes of celebration:

  1. Kids really took pride in seeing their work recognized in the magazine,
  2. The content provided by the program admins showcases the holistic work we do at Hope Torch

Of course, one wish would have been to have more knowledge into editing, layouts, and tools for magazine publication. Something to keep in mind for next time.  This journey of the magazine, from planning to publishing, was a humbling trial and error experience.  I equally celebrate each milestone in the process.  This has brought a different vision for the upcoming edition.

Part of my role in managing the team is to ensure weekly program meetings are effective and bring out the best from program admins in their weekly activities at their particular chapter.  Various initiatives are always taken during weekly meetings with the program admins.  This ensures the attainment of program and self-worth objectives.

Supraja, one of our program admins, realized that one child was not able to retain content like the other children.  For seemingly simple tasks such as 0+2=2, she was not able to recall the basic calculation. Supraja first tried different techniques but they didn’t work as she expected.  After bringing the problem to the team, she was empowered to attempt a different step through a special needs worker.

Teams in such an ELE environment are already motivated and just need to unleash their motivation.  An employee who is truly inspired by the common vision of self-worth resides within the team, all of whom call themselves self-worth ambassadors and everyday are tackling kids self-worth challenges.

This quarter we conducted many events designed to overcome the challenges of different groups within our organization.

  1. Tutors Training Workshop – This training was for our tutors at our chapters.  We at Hope torch, believe that education should be an enriching experience.  A student should learn and grow everyday at whatever they do.  We want our tutors to embrace this vision as they work with each child.  This 3-hour training focused on different aspect of effective teacher, classroom management and advance coaching.  
  2. Caretaker workshop on “ Why does your child need you?” – The workshop aimed at training the caretakers on different developmental needs of children.   We asked the caretakers to join us in signing up with Hope torch as we pledge to seek the well-being of the children.

These are some examples of the steps we take as a team as we seek to deliver our program and self-worth objectives to the kids.

 

 

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

Self-Worth Sightings…

Workshops and Training

Tutor Training

Address & Directions : HT Office Byrathi, Kothanur Bangalore

The aim of this training is to train tutors for effective advance coaching implementation.  Our proposed training consists of different sessions and a very customized agenda.

 

Facilitator: Renesh

Session 1 – HT INTRODUCTION AND PROGRAM INDUCTION

By Niveesh

Advanced Coaching Introduction

Implementing the advanced coaching module

 

Session 2 – Teaching Methodologies/styles/strategies

By Anisha

Classroom Management

Becoming an effective Mentor

Evaluation and assessment

 

 

                                                        SNACKS AND TEA BREAK

 

Session 3

1.Tracking the tutor’s effectiveness: We would want the tutors to write a weekly report on what they have taught in their classes. We can have separate registers for the weekly report, which would help us to keep a record of what the kids are learning. In the meeting, this would be communicated to the tutors. This would encourage the tutors to be accountable for their roles as teachers.

2.Formulating Questions: I need to make a common question bank that can be used to evaluate the kids. I would require some help from the tutors in order to accomplish this.

3.Tutor Feedback: We want feedback from tutors every three months. That would be communicated.

4.Challenges and difficulties faced during tuitions: We are going to discuss concerning common struggles during tutoring and come up with solutions for them.

 

 

 

 

Join Us at Summer Camp 2019!

Address & Directions : Don Bosco School, Narayanapura Contact: Aneesha - 88842 60762 Niveesh - 73380 62036  

You Are What You Think: Growing Mindsets at Camp

It’s Brain Science!

Psychologists have now learned that the brain is more like a muscle — it changes and gets stronger when you use it. If we take a peek inside the outside layer of the brain — called the cortex — we find billions of tiny nerve cells, called neurons. These nerve cells have branches connecting them to other cells in a complicated network. Synaptic communication between these brain cells is what allows us to think and solve problems. When we learn new things, these tiny connections in the brain actually multiply and get stronger.

Summers have always belonged to children whose school vacations often carry the connotation of being unlikely places for learning. Yet, camps and the summers they occupy have served as landscapes for learning for many generations of campers. While schools have traditionally been charged with academically enhancing our capacity to live and work in an ever-changing society, camps are vital venues for growing the brain, most notably because, as Bill Gates has recognized, “research illuminates how our beliefs about our capabilities exert tremendous influence on how we learn and which paths we take in life” (2015).

 

The Mindsets

In fact, scientists have been able to show just how the brain grows and gets stronger when you learn, and we now recognize that intelligence can be developed.

Carol Dweck (2006) is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of psychology. Her findings suggest that almost every moment of your and campers’ experience this summer can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. According to Dweck, people with a fixed mindset — those who believe that abilities are fixed — are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset — those who believe that abilities can be developed. In other words, the brain is malleable, and doing challenging activities is the best way to make the brain stronger and smarter (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007). At camp, every moment of every day of every summer contains challenges — big and small — for children and youth to develop new friendships, resolve conflict with others, and take responsibility for their camp community.

 Promote a Growth Mindset

√ How to look at failures & successes and cultivate a positive mindset for better results

√ How to self-motivate and motivate others for better outcomes

√ How to make use of the immense capability of the brain and achieve full potential

√ How to plan, execute, manage time and stay resilient

√ Complimentary Talk for parents by expert on Growth Mindset

Walking the SW Journey

Instagram Higlights

Our self-worth motivation quotes have been a hit!

At Hope Torch, we believe “self-worth begins at home”. Hence, our happy hours are the best moments where we focus on helping our HT family rediscover its self-worth.

Facebook Highlights

Thanks For Your Support!

The response we have been receiving has been amazing!


We are especially grateful for the constant support from our family member, Idhiya Raja.

Priscilla Sam
Program Administrator