Nobel Laureate: Kailash Satyarthi

Let us unite the world through the compassion for our children.
-Kailash Satyarthi

 

On Friday April 7th, we were fortunate to welcome Nobel Peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi to AES. Kailash Ji is working to end child labor in India and around the world, and has already saved 84,000 children from bonded labor. He has started a campaign called 100 million for 100 million – to help end child labor and provide an opportunity for all children to have a quality education.

Kailash Ji enters the gym and greets children.

Kailash Ji embraces Aarav, a student whose family is close with his own, volunteering at the ashram and working together on the same mission.

Introducing Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.

He spoke for 45 minutes directly to our students. He talked about their bright faces, their energy, their joy, their dreams….he called them the true heroes and heroines of this world who are full of light. He asked our students if they dream. Do you dream in the night? Do you dream in the day? Do you dream of your future? Do you dream of the future of others? He explained to our students that they are fortunate- they have the opportunity to dream, they have the opportunity to go to a phenomenal school…and there are millions of children who are as fortunate as they are. And there are also millions of children who are not as fortunate as they are.

Kailash Satyarthi speaking to the children of AES.

You could see the love that Kailash Ji has for children.

So inspiring to hear Kailash Satyarthi speak to the students at AES.

Kailash spoke about the fact that there is one earth, and we all walk on the same earth. We are all connected, and it is not okay for there to be 170 million children in the world who are not in school, and instead engaged in child labor. Especially when there are 210 million adults without jobs. Satyarthi stated that it is these children who are not in school who are most vulnerable and the most likely to be radicalized. It is our job to protect our children, as all children must be protected from all dangers.

Satyarthi then told our students about his 100 million for 100 million campaign. He said that he is looking for 100 million children to be the spokesperson, the change-makers, the champions for the 100 million children who are left out.

Students inspired and pledging to help.

Ellen Stern presents Kailash Satyarthi with gifts and gratitude.

Kailash’s final message to us was powerful, the Three Ds:

  • Dream big – not just for yourself, but dream big for all of humanity.
  • Discover the power inside of you, and the possibilities and opportunities outside of you.
  • Do something – act now.

After school, Kailash met with a small working group of students. There were questions and answers for about 20 minutes before Mr. Satyarthi had to leave AES. And then our students engaged in a letter writing exercise and researching addresses of Heads of State for letters that Kailash will be sending out in a week or two.

Small working group engaging in letter writing and researching addresses of Heads of State for Kailash Satyarthi.

********************************************************************************

The following video gives an up close account of the kind of work that Satyarthi has spearheaded in India since the 1980s. There is video footage of child labor raids/rescues, which shows how dangerous, heroic and influential his work has been to so many children.

TED Talk: How to make peace? Get angry.

Indian Republic Day 2017

This morning we celebrated Indian Republic Day as a middle school. Our goal was to deepen appreciation for India and celebrate the amazing diversity and gifts that India offers.

First, we clarified the difference between Independence Day (celebrated on August 16th) and Republic Day (celebrated on January 26th).

All throughout India, children participate in poetry competitions and drawing competitions for Republic Day to share their vision of a progressive and unified India. While students listened to beautiful Indian sitar/flute music and viewed images representing the diveristy and magic of India, we asked students to:

  • Think of words and images that represent Republic Day and a peaceful, unified India to you.
  • Capture those words or images on your flag.
  • This could be poetry, pictures, symbols, small moments, powerful words….

Check out what students came up with in the slideshow below.

HOPE Club Visits Tigri School

Our students were pretty amazing today. They had planned 3 phases of activity for 1.5 hours–reading/literacy, science, art. They were so good with the Hope School students who remained totally engaged and focused. The art section involved drawing a self-portrait while engaged in one of the morning activities–have attached one with a lovely sentiment. One of our middle schoolers said she was struck with the contrast between her and her classmates grumbling about homework while the Hope School students were overjoyed with being at school and having the chance to learn.

diver1 learning1 tornadotube1

First Hope Club Trip of the Year

The MS and HS Hope Club had their first trip on Saturday. Rino and Daniel represented the middle school on this trip.
Making friends and spreading happiness is what Hope Club is all about. Among the many benefits our visits bring to the Hope kids is the special opportunity to practice their English.
It would be wonderful to have a larger group of middle schoolers for the 15 October outing to Lodhi Gardens. 100 students from the Hope School are expected to meet us there. This trip is such a treat for the children from Hope School who rarely have the chance to travel outside their neighborhood. We will plan a variety of outdoor activities for them and treat them to a picnic. I hope AES Middle School can plan and run an activity station. One year m.s. students taught a karate routine and some dance moves. We have also led nature/tree/bird and butterfly walks. Last year we constructed kites, flew them and air pressure-water rockets (that had been built by AES 7th graders!). What are some ideas you all have? Talk with Dr. Frazier if you are interested in joining these great trips! Spread the word. Bring your classmates and friends.
Check out the photos below.
 [slideshow_deploy id=’3595’]

Independence Day Celebration

On Wednesday, August 17th, we used our weekly middle school assembly to celebrate India’s 70th Independence Day (August 15th). Students watched a brief video, heard about India’s path to Independence and then enjoyed a lovely performance by our middle school Teaching Assistants and office staff. Many students and faculty joined in the dancing fun. Check out the pictures and video below!
[slideshow_deploy id=’3521’]

Faculty Orientation

Teachers, new and returning, have been a-buzz on campus for the last couple of weeks. New faculty have been learning about AES and India, and all teachers have been excitedly preparing for our students to return.

In one exercise, new faculty were asked: What
 do
 you
 want
 the
 children 
we
 are
 teaching
 in 
our
 schools 
to 
be 
like 
as 
adults?
The answers they came up with are inspiring…
[slideshow_deploy id=’3491’]

Our new teachers also started to get a taste of the magical gifts India has to offer, through an India Meal during the New Teacher Orientation. They were able to sample delicious treats, get mehendi tattoos, and try on Indian attire.
IMG_7300 IMG_7301

And when our full faculty returned, we start the year with a Havan. This is a traditional Hindu ritual to bring positive energy to the start of our school year.
[slideshow_deploy id=’3501’]

It has been an exciting and positive couple of weeks, and now the only thing missing is students. Looking forward to seeing all our middle school kiddos on Tuesday morning at 8:30am in the Hall of Peace!