– Zubin Balsara – Projects Director of World Centre for Creative Learning Foundation
Already, Snehadhara is seeing the potential for this mix – of learning from its own work, and advocacy for implementation in a large scale. Support for Snehadhara at this crucial junction will help keep this focus on course, and ensure that the public education system’s capacity for mainstreaming children with special needs is increased.
– Ashwin Mahesh – Social innovator, Editor- India Together, Founder- Mapunity, Ashoka Fellow, and Urban Expert
The children have shown a clear improvement in the social domain through the activities introduced using ABT. As a team we have widened our horizons and become more confident than before.At a rudimentary level, we were incorporating art – painting and drawing – in the individual curriculum. However, the focus has shifted.Now, we have started using drawing and painting in the curriculum with the perspective of developing skills and according to individual requirements of every child.
With ABT, progress has been seen. Though it is working,we have to figure out how to link it directly and coherently to our curriculum. Moreover, it is too short a time to quantify improvements. We would require more time, at least a couple of years before we can explicitly state the progress graph. The creativity of our educators has also been goaded and we need to bring in more ideas which can only happen through thorough research and reflection, experimentation, standardizing and then incorporating new ideas with support from organisations like Snehadhara .
– Khusboo Welfare Society- Gurgaon
Our daughter Naina has been in Snehadhara for the last three years.We have noticed significant changes in Naina’s developments. She is a happier child, more peaceful. She is more interactive and is now able to go with us for social functions which was not possible before. She is now able to follow and comply to instructions given.
What made a difference for Naina was the approach Snehadhara followed of Art based teaching which believes that art plays an important role in the development children/human beings. Naina loves music and though her communication skills have not developed, her mind seems to follow music and she also tries to sing the tunes. She also has got interested in cooking and tries to assist in her own way and feels very happy doing it and being acknowledged for it.
I feel Snehadhara Foundation has a very innovative approach and would like to see that it reaches out to more children and being in this space of Education, Snehadhara Foundation could contribute a lot to other special schools or even to the other mainstream schools by their approach. I have been associated with Snehadhara Foundation since its inception not only as a parent but also as a person who wants to see a change in approach in the education system and I believe that with the necessary support Snehadhara Foundation could play an important role in this change.
-Alex Rodrigues- Parent
Gradually, the children were able to drop their inhibitions, looked inward and realised ‘there is no correct or incorrect answer’ . The topics were easy to relate and children were able to see the importance of the same with respect to their own self, family, society – life at large. The art based expression cut through hesitations made it possible to express themselves without being judged as the facilitators kept reminding the participants that the process was more the significant.The sessions brought out the best in each one and the entire group came together as one… especially as they performed together.
– Purva Watwe , facilitator at Brindavan Education Trust
“Considering that my six weeks at Snehadhara were technically part of an internship for my master’s degree, I wrote a lot of reflective notes – partially because I had to. And in the process, I did find that there were new and interesting things I learnt nearly every day, not only about but this field of work, but about my place in it. And so, professionally I have received more direction and inspiration here than I had ever had before.
But, Snehadhara is not a place I can talk about with such distance. One cannot have encountered it without having felt the warmth it radiates. And that warmth is intimate and personal, as has been every day I have spent here. Snehadhara is far greater than the people that make it up. In my mind, it is a magical land, like one from the stories we tell our kids, where people come and lose themselves – completely, without knowledge or warning. And in doing so, they find themselves.”
– Radhika Chandrashekaran, Intern, Christ University
Snehadhara foundation has partnered with the parents at every step keeping the readiness of the child in mind all along. The methodology of ABT pioneered by them needs to be used in education of not just children with various challenges but also in mainstream education. The possibilities are endless. They have brought about a paradigm shift in our concept is education and inclusion.
The non-demanding and non-judgemental approach makes learning more natural and spontaneous. environment) which marks a significant cognitive gain and social confidence.The program at Snehadhara Foundation is holistic in approach so all our therapy needs were addressed with added focus on social skill development and inclusion.
Spending a significant time of his day at the center along with the Friday night sleepovers at school have played a significant part in independence training. Kabir’s levels if confidence are higher and he is able to conduct himself in social situations and manage the activities of daily living with independently. Kabir is also getting formal academic education following the NIOS curriculum. The concepts are taught creatively through art and applied to formal tools like worksheets and pen and paper form of assessment. The learning of concepts is therefore more experiential and engaging.
For us as parents this experience has been nothing short of magical and the transformation in our child has been multifaceted.
– Vani Joshi, Parent
“My journey in Arts Based Therapy (ABT) began in the year 2011 in Ashramshalas of Bastar region with children affected by on-going conflict between the State police and Maoist in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh. These children had directly experienced violence in their lives. To help the children cope and also to overcome with their mental anxiety we facilitated ABT to Ashranshalas children. (residential schools for the tribal children). It was startling experience to be present there a midst children with such great capacity who taught me strength and gave me life to reason things differently. with a course of time as impact of art as a medium of change was immense and this was evident in these children. Usage of local art forms – music and dance was used exceptionally well in our therapy sessions.
After Dantewada, when I decided to practice ABT again, I could only think of Snehadhara Foundation in Bangalore. This time it was with children with special needs. My 10 days of volunteerism with Snehadhara was like opening a new avenue to my life. Every single session which I co-facilitated and facilitated were something extraordinary. I went into Snehadhara without having any experience of working with children with special needs and the amount of learning from children with I gathered was immense. The smile which they brought into my face every single morning when I entered Snehadhara home was like a lotus blooming in a pond. The children with whom I spent most of my valuable time – Naman, Archana, Nihal, John, Jagat, they all are extraordinary children with extraordinary skills who allowed me to be part of their wonderful life experiences and carried me along with them. How can I forget the smallest but most loveliest of children – Sneha, Akshita and others who are the personification of love and warmth. They taught me “the power of art and art has the capacity to change people lives” . Looking forward to be part of them soon again ”
– Swara Jayaram – Arts Based Therapy Practionner