With schools having a break for the summer, CRS organized a “Shishu Jagat” (Children’s World) summer camp in late May. 30 children from the CRS education centres at BD Colony and Sukantanagar took part in four days of activities designed to give them an opportunity to explore and express their creativity in any form. Boys and girls tried their hand at different art and craft activities including painting pots, making decorative items with plastic bottles, learning to tie dye, and designing greetings cards. There were opportunities for dance, singing and recitation, as well as a talent contest. Games were also popular, including a treasure hunt and the parlor game of antakshri. The children participated with great enthusiasm and were really grateful for the opportunity to be creative.
With the children on their summer break, 17 teachers from CRS’s Education Centres gathered together on 17th, 18th and 20th May for a three-day programme of review, discussion and planning. Led by the CRS Director and the Coordinator of Education Projects, the group reviewed the teaching syllabus for different age groups, discussed the setting of test questions for each unit, and presented ideas for enhancing the students’ experience. CRS Education Centres prepare children for enrollment in mainstream schools, with a focus on core skills of Bengali, English and maths. There are currently Education Centres in 8 urban projects and 4 rural projects catering for almost 900 children across pre-primary and primary ages from 2 to 12 years.
It wasn’t a mass wedding; it was 81 girls from five CRS centres in Kolkata completing a practical test for their beautician course. Beautician training is offered as part of the women’s empowerment programme. During a year-long course, students learn a range of skills including skin care, make-up, waxing, manicure and pedicure, facial treatments and hair cutting. This year’s batch of students gathered on 16th May for their final evaluation. They had three hours to prepare a friend in bridal attire which included face make-up, sari, jewellery and hair styling. They also had an oral test about things they had learned in their course. Some students go on to set up small beautician parlours in their communities as a way to earn a living.
Rabindranath Tagore, the writer, poet, playwright, musician and philosopher, is much beloved by Bengalis. His work greatly influenced Bengali culture in the late 19th and early 20th century and he was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Bengali people around the world celebrate every year on his birthday anniversary in early May with a cultural festival called Rabindra Jayanti. This year children from the CRS Education Centre at BD Colony celebrated the day by performing some of Tagore’s songs and dances, and reciting select poetry and prose. One of the teachers also gave a talk about his contributions to society and culture.