Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In Delhi: first day working in the slum community centre

Mayapuri slum, where we are based, is immediately beside the main railway line heading west out of Delhi 
After a little time to adjust and familiarise ourselves with our surroundings, and to get to know our hosts, we started our formal schedule this morning.
There are three aspects to our work:
First, we spend the mornings working in the ASHA community centre: it has become a little run down in recent years, and the walls need to be painted: to add a note of extra brightness, we are painting a mural of Noah's Ark in the children's room. You can see the photos below.
Second, in the afternoons, we spend time teaching children - both specifically teaching them English, and also doing crafts activities. Today we made face masks with them, decorated with feathers, stickers, fake jewels etc. Again, a few pics below.
And third, we just interact with folk here. Our presence makes them feel less like "forgotten people", and they enjoy talking with us, playing with us and  just being together. It is difficult to explain the value of this - you really need to be here to understand.
One of us - Pete - is also doing a specific project - carrying out a questionnaire survey of street dogs and rabies here. You can read his separate blogs on this by clicking here.
It's busy - the days fly in - and it's an intense experience. More later!

Joyce getting started

Ella drawing around the notice board 
Mike, Emma and Gwen drawing the outline of Noah and his Ark

Linzi painting ducks

Joyce's tree is taking shape

One of the clinic walls that needs redecorated

Joanne and her English class

Rachel and Joyce teaching crafts

Mike has stripped back the wall already
A few of the many street dogs in the slum

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