Community Outreach Programme at Inventure Academy

2014: Our Safety, Our Voice.
“Our Safety, Our Voice – by the Children, of the Children, for the Children”, was held at the Inventure Academy campus on November 19, 2014. OSOV brought together 200 children aged 8 – 18 years from various backgrounds and across 10 Bengaluru schools, to voice our concerns about our safety in sessions facilitated by Enfold counsellors and Inventure Academy faculty. While children voiced their concerns and recommendations through the day, a student charter committee from Inventure Academy, documented them by themes and the commonalities and differences expressed.
The draft charter was then shared with the committee working on the Karnataka Government’s child protection policy. This charter has been drafted by a Charter Committee consisting of students of Grades 11 and 12 of Inventure Academy. Their efforts have been facilitated by Mr Gopalan Balagopal (former Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF), Feedback Consulting, Mundkur Law Partners, Enfold, and the schools which directly participated in the Our Safety, Our Voice event and the subsequent survey.
2015: Our Lakes, Our Voice.
It is our continued endeavour that students have opportunities to become socially responsible citizens who have a voice to recommend and make changes to the world that they are inheriting. Our Lakes, Our Voice was in collaboration with the AIF (America India Foundation) Youth Ambassador Program (www.aif.org).
Our other partners for this event included KK English School, Meghshala, Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF), Srishti School of Art, Technology & Design, and Whitefield Rising.
This specially designed two/three day event was a platform for high school students from India and the US to work together to understand the impact of human development on our natural environment, particularly with respect to water as a scarce resource.
Our case study was Varthur Lake, a 450 acre water body in our neighbourhood. The complexity and interconnectedness of social, political, ecological and economic issues allowed for a rich and wide educational opportunity. Varthur Lake as a case study will continue for at least the coming year, if not beyond.
The complexity of the Varthur Lake situation and the teaching – learning opportunity required us to use a variety of resources, resource personnel, partners and perspectives to uncover a deep understanding of the situation. This enabled us to work on myriad interventions from building awareness (of laws, health, etc.) to acting on this awareness, all the while taking the various stakeholder perspectives into consideration.
The AIF Youth Ambassadors, along with students of Inventure Academy and KK English School, engaged in examining the issues surrounding the degradation of Varthur Lake using participatory analysis tools. Students also participated in a Model Assembly session to ideate the change they would like to effect.
Through the event, students were exposed to stakeholders such as Justice Subhash B Adi – Upalokayukta, Professor Harish Bhatt – IISc, Mr. Sridhar Pabbisetty – CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF), Rizwan Ahmad – Youth Congress President, Meera K – Co-Founder, Citizen Matters, Latika Menon & Thomas Joseph – Whitefield Rising Leads for Education & the Environment respectively (also Inventure parents), to name a few.
Outcomes of the event included a resolution on defining roles for stakeholders (including students) in conserving water, design challenges and project initiatives, and will culminate in a ‘Kere Habba’ organized by Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) next year.
Such initiatives create opportunities for global communities of learners to collaborate together to prepare our children for our interdependent world. Inventure Academy will continue to invest in more such initiatives to give all our students a chance to participate and effect change.