Every leader in the world will agree that empathy and socio-emotional intelligence are the most important skills for the 21st century. Smart schools are recognising this and leveraging #DaanUtsav to incorporate these learnings into their curricular and extra-curricular processes.
See how children not only do good, but learn invaluable life skills in the process, from this video
For any queries or more ideas on how to organise an event for schools, get in touch!
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Why should schools celebrate #DaanUtsav?
Empathy, caring and citizenship are core values that every human needs. School is the right time to introduce the concept of giving and responsibility. #DaanUtsav is a wonderful opportunity for schools to give children a chance to showcase their skills – not just of problem solving, of managing or trying difficult things out, and of organising activities, but also of learning how to care for someone else and to your own gratification. These skills will help the kids grow evolve into wonderful human beings.
What kind of events work for schools?
A range of events have worked for schools. Starting from things as simple as a collection drive where they bring in toys, clothes, books, uniforms, etc, to wish trees to organising more complex events like taking part in the Design For Change contest or becoming Solve Ninjas. Some schools come up with innovative ideas that involve the children reaching out to their local community. Parents can get involved too in activities like fun fairs and Seva Melas at the school campus.
Click here for some ideas to get started with your event.
What can schools do if there are exams or vacations during #DaanUtsav?
Several schools have come up with interesting ideas of what to do when despite holidays during #DaanUtsav. One of these is to give children simple holiday “homework” where on each day from October 2-8, the kids have to do one small act of kindness at home. Not only does this help to develop phenomenal reflection and thinking skills in the child but also gives them the chance to experience empathy every single day during their holidays.
If exams coincide with #DaanUtsav the easiest thing for schools to do is to organise collection drives. The collection drives can be planned at least a month before the exams with information sent to parents well in time. The children can get involved in the actual distribution of collected goods once their exams are over.
How can schools get all of their students, teachers and staff members to participate in their #DaanUtsav event?
The easiest way to get strong participation support is when the principal or head of the school sees value in the event and decides it is important for the children to get involved. The principal or head then gets the teachers, staff and parents on board. Ideally, #DaanUtsav should be scheduled into the academic calendar.
Most schools that have celebrated #DaanUtsav have had very positive feedback from parents, teachers and staff.
What are some of the objections/questions raised in regards with celebrating #DaanUtsav?
Some schools have shared that they are not very comfortable with events that require parents to make a monetary contribution. The simple solution to that is to have collection drives. It’s also important for the school to stress that the Daan Utsav event involves voluntary participation and the no child will be singled out for not taking part.
How can schools get parents to support their efforts?
Many schools involve parents. For eg. Euro Kids gets the parents to become active participants in #DaanUtsav, where they volunteer with the school team to design their activities, plan and execute them.
What care needs to be taken when working with schoolchildren?
Safety of the children is key if events are planned outside the school premises- like a run, plantation or awareness drive. Ensuring there is adequate staff to child ratio takes care of this risk. Obtaining requisite parental consent is also important. Lastly, schools should stress that all participation in #DaanUtsav is voluntary.
How much time does it take to plan an event?
It varies upon the kind of event planned. For simple collection drives, it takes just 2-3 days to decide, send out a notice/circular to parents and for teachers to announce in the classroom.
To do something more elaborate like an awareness walk in the community, it might require 2-3 months of planning. For such events, schools typically create groups of senior students who take the responsibility of planning and execution. They sit together, work with a couple of teachers guiding them about the plan, how are they going to go out into the community and market the idea, and get more people to support them.
How do #DaanUtsav volunteers support in planning and/or executing events?
Volunteers help schools find partner NGOs to work with for their collection drives, shelter homes to visit (orphanages, old age homes, etc.), as well as other schools to partner. They can also help schools with ideas and examples of what other schools have done
What are some others tips/suggestions on celebrating #DaanUtsav in schools?
The best tip would be to get #DaanUtsav in your school academic calendar. Many schools have done it and found it useful to build empathy and socio-emotional learning as a key part of their curriculum, it helps you start planning in advance.
Here is a YouTube playlist which you can use to get more ideas and examples for organising your #DaanUtsav activity.
Click onicon to browse the playlist.
Be A Solve Ninja
Each student solves a social problem- like potholes or garbage collected or lack of lighting or dividers on streets, etc.
Design For Change is a contest where students use the FIDS framework to desig solutions to issues they care about.
Khari Kamai- Earn & Give
Students “earn” through everyday chores like washing cars and bikes, running errands, etc. and donate their earnings to a charity.
Gandhi For Gram
Identify a village nearby and get students/employees/members to visit and volunteer there for a day, to promote greater understanding of the challenges of rural life in modern times.
Gandhi 150 festival
Organise a festival in your school, college, office, club, group, association or apartment to celebrate Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. The festival can include debates, essay contests, Khadi shows, films and other activities that represent Gandhi’s values. Audience/ participants donate to take part and the proceeds go to Gandhian charities.
Organise a march/walk involving your students/employees/members and also other organisations near your institution, raising awareness about causes and inviting the public to contribute in cash and kind
Carry out tree plantation campaigns in nearby school/college campuses and grounds, parks, office campuses or in nearby plantation areas identified by environmental NGOs. Plantation can also be done in nearby rural areas.
Get participants to go on a run and collect all the plastic they encounter on the run, from the streets. The collected plastic is given to a recycler.
Seva Mela- Fun for a Cause
In a school, college, corporate, club or large apartment complex, NGOs put up stalls with food and games, and all proceeds go to charity.
Jail & Bail
Leaders (CXOs, Principals, Directors, Trustees, Office bearers) are “jailed for doing good” and others have to “bail them out” by donating to a charity of their choice.
Charity Raffle / Housie
A raffle, housie or “tambola” where members donate items as prizes (spare new phones, crockery, travel accessories, bags, watches, etc.), and everyone buys tickets with the proceeds going to charity.
Card Carrying Membership
Poker, rummy, bridge or other card games where everyone “buys in” and nominates a charity, money goes to the winners’ nominated charities.
Who’s The MasterChef? (MasterChef Kaun?)
in schools, offices, clubs, apartments, a Masterchef contest, where each participant creates, others “buy” food coupons, proceeds go to charity. The winner’s charity gets a special prize. Can focus on men cooking to change stereotypes.
Kara-OK Action (Kuch Achha Karao-ke)
Sing for a cause on karaoke, the audience buys tickets to listen, proceeds go to charity.
Preparing, collecting and distributing food to those in need on the streets or at shelter and care homes, or even to auto drivers at a stand, etc.
Set up a “kindness fridge” in a public place like an apartment, school, college, hospital and create groups of people who will ensure the fridge is stocked.
Record Audio Books
Everyone records an audio book for the blind.
In colleges, clubs, theatres, large corporates, large apartments, a TEDx/ Litfest type format featuring social enterprises, ticket donations to charity.
Bake Sale/ Art Sale
People exhibit their talents in baking/ other arts and sell their products, proceeds go to charity.
Adopt an Institution
Help a govt school, bus shelter, night shelter, newspaper stand, park get a complete makeover and take care of it through the year.
The Tiny Flea Garage Sale
Flea market within school, college, corp, apartment, club etc. where members bring items and others buy them, all proceeds go to charity.
Cycle/ Bike/Car Rally for a cause
A rally for a cause, where participants donate and fundraise to support the chosen cause.
7 Days 7 Givings
Pick 7 different acts of giving, one for each day of the #DaanUtsav week and get students/ residents/ employees/ members to contribute. The 7 acts could simply be 7 different items to be given (books on 1 day, clothes on another, etc.) or 7 types of activities (money, material, time, blood, skills, etc.).
Organise a collection drive for items in good condition, clean, mend and pack the donated items nicely and set up a “store” on a street nearby. Offer “coupons” to potential beneficiaries which they can use to “buy” the items that THEY choose from the street store, instead of being handed over something that someone else chose for them.
Pop-up #DaanUtsav booths in public spaces provide opportunities to donate for a particular NGO/cause.