Tag Archives: I Can

A Design for change

17 Oct

In early 2009, Kiran Bir Sethi launched her biggest initiative to date, a national campaign that encourages school children across India to participate in a one-week project to change some aspect of life in their own communities. With only a few months’ lead time, she bravely vowed to involve 20,000 schools and 100,000 students. In fact, 32,274 schools across India participated in the “Design for Giving School Contest”, and hundreds of thousands of school kids were involved. Participants entered as student teams represented through a classroom, grade, or school. Having been invited to “redesign” their communities, winners were chosen based on their projects’ impact according to the number of people affected, quickest impact, maximum potential for long-lasting change, easiest to replicate, and most environmentally friendly. A special Gandhi Prize was also awarded—all projects take place the week of October 2, the revered leader’s birthday.

The thousands of projects submitted to the “Design for Giving School Contest” ranged across nine languages and diverse imperatives. Among them: Save Our Mangroves, Help Reach the Unreachables, Avoid Transgender Discrimination, Care for and Protect the Homeless, and Stop Child Marriages. Also proposed were Collect Plastic Bags Week, Playground for Children, Dignified Attire, and a Stop Spitting Campaign. My favorite proposal came from a village where the crematorium was located next to the schoolyard. Children who had clear sightings of burials during recess organized to petition the town council to erect a wall blocking their view. The wall doubled as a space for posting public announcements. Per the contest’s stipulations, this project too was accomplished within a week.

The Bishop’s Co-ED School was one of the school that made its way to the submission:

Directed & Produced by Aarti Shrivastava

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“Every Child an Entrepreneur”

14 Oct
The idea of “Every Child an Entrepreneur” came about when the kids desired changes in their school in the form of computer education. Since the school did not have funds for a computer, the kids initially decided to raise fund by donation but coming from low income communities, they were able to raise only 3K which was not sufficient to buy a computer. Despite the set-back, the children turned it into an opportunity by coming up with a brilliant idea to organize themselves in interest groups and work over Saturdays to produce artifacts for a Fun fair using the initial 3K as seed money. The idea was that they wanted to create a market where they could sell their goods and hopefully raise enough funds for a computer.
On 2nd October 2010, the Sunrise Team organized SUNFEST – A FUN FAIR!! The Fun Fair was Phase 2 of the “Every Child an Entrepreneur” program wherein the school children tried to raise funds for buying a school computer; from a fun filled event featuring games, prizes, music, delicious food and art+crafts made exclusively by the kids over the past few weeks. The event was a huge success with more than 20 stalls put up by the students attracting more than 1000 visitors. The event made a profit of 13K which was enough to buy a computer as was the original objective of the “Every Child an Entrepreneur”.
The most heartening aspect though is the fact that it has given the kids the confidence of “I CAN” and they are already planning for a larger “Annual Event”  with the objective of raising funds for a water purification unit in school. As was apt on occasion of 2nd October, “The Children became the CHANGE they want to see in the world”


Directed & Produced By Aarti Shrivastava


Empowering the impoverished

3 Oct

The students of Jamnabai Narsee School have taken up this project with the help of Navjeet Community Health Centre which is an outreach of the Holy Family Hospital. This centre has served poor slum communities since 1978. Thousands of lives have been transformed through Navjeet projects in integrated health care, education, community development and empowerment of women.

These students have been visiting one such municipal school, identified by Navjeet,  daily since the last 10 days and undertook various activities like teaching prayer singing, dance, making cards, paper bags, puppet shows, lessons from relevant academic course, importance of hygiene, etc.

The objective was to:

· Animate the disadvantaged sections of our society in order to tap their potential

· Enhance the quality of their life thorough Education, Health, Advocacy and Community Development to place them on the path of quality living.

These five students touched the lives of around 50 slum children and left an indelible mark. This is the change they wish to bring in our entire society.

Directed & Produced By Aarti Shrivastava


Design is capable of igniting change !!

29 Sep

“The Idea of getting children to isolate a problem that deeply affects them, then find and implement a solution, empowers them in a way most people never enjoy. It is a belief that CAN and WILL build more just, compassionate and happier societies.”

– RAHUL BOSE, Actor/Activist.

Design For Change is the World’s largest contest for school children. 24 countries are a part of this contest where school children design simple yet bold solutions for some of the biggest problems that our world is facing.

In early 2009, Kiran Bir Sethi (Riverside School) launched her biggest initiative to date, a national campaign that encourages school children across India to participate in a one-week project to change some aspect of life in their own communities. With only a few months’ lead time, she bravely vowed to involve 20,000 schools and 100,000 students.

For the Design for Change Week, children are asked to design solutions for problems that they encounter in their lives, schools, neighbourhoods or communities, implement these solutions in a week, and then share it.

Akanksha Team, at Shindewadi School will be empowering children to do the same this week which is call “Joy of Giving Week.”

Akanksha Shindewadi Mumbai Public School in Dadar

They come from low income communities and the majority of them live in the adjoining neighborhood. They are saddened to think of the water, noise and air pollution. Images of the dirt but naturally haunt them, since they see it around them every single day. They express their anger towards people throwing anything to everything straight out of their windows, on cars, on the streets, on roof tops etc. While they sit out in the shade for extra class they are afraid some wrapper or fruit peel may fall directly on their teacher’s head. These bright children who are being educated in English medium schools and empowered to think and question independently, realize that it is this very act of their families and communities at large – act of polluting – that results in all the illnesses, which in turn results in absence from school and poor. This downward spiral seems but inevitable once begun. But our Standard 3 and 4 children beg the question – Why should this circle of dirt and pollution begin in the first place?

So children came up with a very interesting solution! A solution they believed will change their surrounding. Watch it to believe it. Very inspiring!

Please select 720p HD below YouTube window to view this video clearly!

Directed & Produced By Aarti Shrivastava

Edited By Pranav Patel

You don’t need to ask for permission to change the world !!

27 Sep

Design for Change is an innovative and exciting competition for young people that might just change the world! Young people who enter are asked to design a solution to a problem in their community and make it happen. Each individual change builds momentum and energy behind significant positive change driven by our young people.

The competition originated in India where it has had a massive impact. Design for Change is not just a competition; it will become an inspiring and empowering community that will help young people believe that they matter and they can make a difference.

Participants are given a simple task: design a solution to a problem in your community and make it happen!

The purpose of the project is to:

  • Help people believe that they matter.
  • Help them discover that change can happen and that they can become drivers of it.
  • Help them to believe, “I Can!”

The competition is designed to be flexible and ‘teacher friendly’ – allowing participating schools and groups to design their own project, in their own way, to fit with school terms, holidays, and other curriculum demands.

However, Design for Change is brilliantly different.

In this competition children are encourage to think beyond money, and fundraising. They are asked to get directly involved in designing and leading change in their local community. Hands on! In every case the participants amaze and inspire their teachers, parents and their communities.  They are transformed by this competition, and so is everyone connected to it.

Just watching the video on this page  – will inspire you to be part of this.

Directed & Produced By Aarti Shrivastava

Camera Work By Sushil

Edited By Pranav Patel