Monday, 3 August 2015
In the spirit of International Friendship Day, which had taken place over the weekend, we spent our first few lessons celebrating the meaning of friendship. We begun with a day of creative writing, with each girl producing an illustrated story about her best friend at the Veerni Institute. It was great to see such an array of work produced, with Deepika’s story particularly standing out, as she cleverly incorporated a well-known Indian fable about a rock and a leaf weathering a storm together into a metaphor about how friends look out for one another. Beading on Wednesday allowed the girls the opportunity to create friendship bracelets for each other. By the end of the day, each girl had produced a beautiful assortment of bracelets and necklaces, using lots of the heart shaped beads we had brought with us. They were all eager to run off and present their best friends with their colorful creations!
In addition to beading, we took Wednesday as a chance to sit down and work on presentations with Veerni’s head girl Niharika and Worship. Niharika is a senior who is set to leave Veerni later this year, and Worship is a new girl, having only joined in July. These facts meant their personal accounts provided insights into life at Veerni from contrasting angles. Worship’s was predominantly centered on discussion of the initial impact of Veerni on her life, particularly in relation to her previous situation, whereas Niharika’s focused on reflections of her overall time with the project and how it has shaped her goals for the future.
The end of the week saw lots of fun for both us, and the girls. It was finally time to teach our group of girls the dances we had been performing with the rest of the school. They took an instant shine to the Macarena dance and threw all their energy into learning it. It was wonderful to leave the girls at the end of the day with such large smiles on their faces. Friday was a very special day for it was Worship’s birthday! We turned up, ready with cake and fifteen candles for her to blow out. The girls sung Happy Birthday and Worship did a great job making sure each of her friends received a piece of the large fruit covered cake. The day was also spent doing a drawing competition in order to find a new logo for the Veerni institute. With determination, the girls set to work, resulting in an impressive variety of drawings to choose from, which included maps of India, illustrations of books, the school and their friends. We left the girls with the promise of a prize for the two winners and we certainly had our work cut out for us over deciding who these girls would be!