Skandinaviska Institutet

Hanan, Indien

My name is Hanan and I am a volunteer from Sweden, with FSL-India. I have been living in India for about 3 months, and I really love being here. I love everything with India, it’s amazing!

For the last 3 months, I have been working in a kindergarten. My project is in Mavinakatte. It’s a very small kindergarten, with almost 40 children, 1 teacher and 1 teacher’s assistant. The aim for my work is to teach the children English.

So basically, before coming to India, I organised a collection of things and a collection of money from the people in my surroundings. The people donated some things that I brought with me to India, and also some money, and I decided that I wanted to spend that in my project, and do something with the children. The things I brought were playing cards, memory games, bingo, wooden blocks, pencils, pens, crayons, street crayons, erasers, gum sticks, beads, elastic bands and beads with letters. My plan was to use these things during my volunteering service, and afterwards, donate what is left to the kindergarten. About the donation of money, it was not easy to plan what to buy and do for the kindergarten. Because my teacher and I had different ideas, but in the end, we both agreed on what would be best for the kids.

I bought chairs, so all the children now have a chair to sit on. I also bought small tables, which they can use when they are drawing, or doing other activities. In the kindergarten, there is not so much space. The kids’ bags are always on the floor, and that takes a lot of space of the playing area. So, I also bought a bookshelf that we use to put all the bags on, their notebooks, other books and their water bottles. For all the toys in the kindergarten, I bought 2 drawers, so that it would take less place in the room. Lastly, I bought a speaker that we use daily to sing songs and also play games, and have dance competitions. All of the things I bought facilitate when playing games and singing songs, because it’s then we need the whole area of the room. These things take less room and for that reason, we can have more space to move around.

So far, I feel very happy that I bought these things and what I have been doing with the children because I see how my happiness reflects on the children, and many of them are more open now and want to be more active while playing games and singing songs. This is an incredible development to see and that makes me really proud of them. The kids are the main reason that makes me want to continue, and what makes this project fun.

My daily schedule is filled with activities with the children. But, it’s not always possible because of the lack of communication. However, we still manage to do it somehow, and there is one activity that the children really liked – we did bracelets together. They picked the colours they wanted for the bracelet band and the beads, and I helped them with doing the bracelets. So many of them were so happy and it was obvious that this was the first time they experienced this. At the same time, it was a lesson for them because now they know that they can do different types of bracelets. And it is great because this may be an eye opener for some new ideas that somehow can lead to new interests.