BLC takes off pan India

By BLC Team

A three- days National Workshop on Born Learning Campaign was organized by Center of Excellence (CoE), United Way Bengaluru from 3rd to 5th August 2017 at United Theological College, Bengaluru. Participants from six United Way Chapters (Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Vadodara, Chennai and Bengaluru) with United Way India and BLC NGO partner’s field staff at Bengaluru attended the workshop.

United Way Bengaluru’s Born Learning Campaign (BLC) was announced as the National Campaign in 2016 and with the strategy of scaling up the program at National level, this workshop was organized.

The objective of the National workshop was to provide tools and training to the participants to implement the program in the field across the six states. The session plan captured the conceptual and operational details and framework for the program.

An ice breaking session in progress
A participants sorts out the feedback given by the team

The event was inaugurated by the chief guest, Mrs. Kripa Alva, Hon. Chairperson, KSCPCR (Karnataka State Commission for protection of Child Rights) with Mr. Prashanth Prakash, Chairman, United Way Bengaluru, Mr. Saleem Khan, Head, United Way India, Mr. Sanjiv from Deloitte, Mr. Manish Michael, Chief Executive Officer, United Way Bengaluru.

Mrs. Kripa Alva, Hon. Chairperson, KSCPCR lights a lamp on the occasion

The event was inaugurated by Shrimati Kripa Alva, of President, KSCPCR who said “Children are like buds, they need to be blossomed to their full potential as they are the future of our country. It is very important to take care of the children as they are going to lead the country, especially during the age group of zero to six.” She concluded her speech by with a heartfelt message with reference to the anganwadi children, “I urge everyone present to remember that others children should be as important to us as our own children. If my child gets the best of everything then it is important that the other child gets the best of everything too.”

Mrs. Kripa Alva, Hon. Chairperson, KSCPCR delivers an impactful message urging participants to care and support the holistic development of anganwadi children through BLC

Mr. Prashant Prakash introduced the campaign as a social entrepreneurial venture, since it was built upon the combined efforts of the community, government and corporate partners. He said, “I’m a big believer in giving. But while giving, if you can create a system, a model that can be scalable which can change not one anganwadi but a lakh anganwadi across India then it is a social entrepreneurial venture. This Born Leaning model is both scalable and sustainable.”

Mr Prashanth Prakash, Board Chair, UWBe spoke on the importance of a program to be scalable in order to be successful

The sessions were conducted by eminent resource persons working in education and early childhood learning including Christ University, KIDO Enterprises, Restore Design, Sutradhar (NGO), Maarga (NGO) with CoE, UW Bengaluru team.

Participants listen attentively to a resource person

The participation from Women and Child Development Department, Government of Karnataka was represented by Mrs. Ratna Kalamdani, Joint Director, ICDS, WCD. She presented the scope of ICDS in Karnataka and opportunities for United Way Bengaluru to support the ICDS program through Born Learning Campaign.

Mr Manish Michael hands over a memento to Mrs. Ratna Kalamdani, Joint Director, ICDS, WCD who shared an effective presentation on ICDS

The workshop depicted the active participation, discussion and interactive sessions through various group activities, working stations and team building activities.

Participants engrossed in a session

(The core team of UWBe BLC staff is led by Smita Sharma, Manager- Campaigns and supported by Bhagya and Ruchira both BLC co-ordinators)

SESSIONS
Day 1:
• The workshop began with an inauguration by dignitaries such as Smt. Kripa Alva (President, KSCPCR), Mr. Mariaswamy (KSCPCR) and Mr. Prashant Prakash (Chairperson, United Way of Bengaluru)
• Mr. Prashant introduced the campaign as an entrepreneurial venture, as it was built upon the joint effect of the community, government and capital. This model is both, scalable and sustainable.
• Smt. Kripa Alva introduced services provided as ICDS & ICPS as the largest publicly funded services. These ensure holistic development of children ages 0-6. She acknowledged the gaps in the schemes and services and the complementary efforts undertaken by NGOs.
• A fun and enriching ice breaker session was conducted to enhance inter and intra-participation engagement amongst attendees by Asher, Discovery village.
• Manish Michael (CEO, United Way of Bengaluru) led the CoE team by introducing the campaign’s vision and mission. He discussed the queries participants had regarding this workshop. This is provided as a separate attachment
• Participants were grouped under 4 concepts (preparatory work, safe and conducive environment, learning outcomes and community engagement) to list respective task processes. The key points from each group were collated and displayed for knowledge sharing.
• The second half of the day was led by Mr. Antony on Learning Framework Analysis (LFA). This was a tool which enabled connecting essential components of a program based on its need, input, (immediate) output and (long-term) outcomes. This enabled scope for accountability, clarity, monitoring and evaluation.
• Ms. Gayatri Kiran closed the session for the day by discussing the objectives and contents of the reading resources participants were provided.

Day 2:
• The second day delved deeper into the program. Doubts and queries posed by participants regarding the program and workshop were discussed individually.
• Ms. Gayatri Kiran provided clarifications on the questions raised by participants prior to the workshop. She conducted an informative session on ICDS which discussed:
Services:
– Immunizations
– Supplementary nutrition program (SNP)
– Health check-ups
– Referral services
Beneficiaries:
– Children aged 0-6 years
– Pregnant and lactating mothers
– Adolescent girls
Structure:
• Participants were grouped in 4. They rotated between 4 stations; which were workshops led by area experts on one pillar of the program
• Station 1: This was ‘Preparatory work’ led by Dr. Victor Paul on:
– Gaining Government approvals
– Approaching corporate sponsors
– Finalization of clusters
– Building rapport with stakeholders
– Needs assessment and Detailed project report (DPR)
– Designing the Learning framework analysis
– Modules for program training staff
• Station 2: This was ‘Safe and conducive environment’ lead by Lisa and team on:
– What constitutes an ideal infrastructure
– Strength and quality of teachers and staff
– Child friendly equipment and materials
– Provision of educational mural art
– Provision of clean water (RO purified)
– Ramps at entrance for inclusion of children with special needs
• Station 3: This was ‘Learning outcomes’ jointly led by team Sutradar and KIDO.
– Age appropriate learning materials
– Impact on cognitive, gross and fine motor, social and psychological skills
– Significance of puzzles, puppet shows, audio visuals, storytelling for holistic development of children
• Station 4: This was ‘Community engagement’ led by Bhagya and Krithika (United Way of Bengaluru) and Mr. Prabhakar
– Advantages of conversing in local language
– Attitudes and approaches which foster community mobilization
– Appropriate apparel for field work

Day 3:
• A recap of the past two days was conducted by Ms. Smita Sharma (Campaigns-Manager, United Way Bengaluru)
• Program members from other cities briefly shared their experiences on having initiated the project, challenges faced, implementation and solution strategies.
• Ms. Smita conducted a brief session on hiring, training and monitoring project related personnel to manage resources efficiently.
• Manish Michael led the session on financial management and reporting. The key takeaways were:
– Authentic, accountable and original reporting style
– Justifiable and judicial usage of resources
– Structured and transparent budgeting system
• The third day was drawn to a close by Smt. Ratna Kalam Dani. She discussed the geographic reach of ICDS Karnataka. She cited supplementary nutrition program and Mahila supplementary production center as few of the many efforts taken to achieve their goals.
• Participants were provided with feedback forms to capture key takeaways and gaps in sessions, and suggestions for improvement.