Kehi Garoun has been working for the last ten years towards self-empowerment. Yet, somehow we are seen as yet another charity organization, adding to the very culture of dependence that we are trying to change. In our attempt to rethink our work, Nabin, Pravendra and Umanga attended a 3 day retreat on Reimaging Education in Ahmedabad, organized by movedbylove.org. The retreat was an experience of generosity, connection and learning. It was truly rewarding experience for our 'hands, hearts and heads.' Details of the retreat is here.
Inspired by our experience, we replicated a similar retreat for Kehi Garoun volunteers from January 27-29 to explore the potential of "inside-out change" - the social change that results from personal change. We did not have a rigid agenda, yet we had a prayer that each of us will get some clarity for oneself, and kindle heart-connections with others.
"EACH OF US GUARDS A GATE OF CHANGE,
THAT CAN BE UNLOCKED ONLY FROM THE INSIDE."
The retreat, thanks too all participants and volunteers, happened to emerge with a framework of how we can co-create possibilities of Inside-Out Change at the level of schools and colleges. There were many moments of inspiration and connections. Our first evening was rainy and cold but was made peaceful and warm by the volunteers who sat around, in the distant glow of a heater, to share their stories of inner change. Saturday was a busy day of breakout sessions and prayers and laughter. Many of us left at the end of the day with a piece of an inner sun shine. Sunday morning, a small group took a long walk through the flower-fields to Ichangu temple before saying goodbye to the inspiring location of Whitefield Residential School.
We believe that the retreat was meaningful for each of the participants. For Kehi Garoun, the retreat was a collective articulation of the model of change it has been exploring. We were reminded of how joyful yet difficult is the journey of self-care, social-empathy and humility. And in that spirit, we share this email with you to highlight:
The experience was so inspiring that Kehi
Garoun held a similar retreat on inside-out
change as soon as their team got back to Nepal.
The retreat started with simple introduction of all the participants and the volunteers. All shared their moments of joy in education. There were break out sessions on compassion quotient. We visited Sewa Cafe, an experiment in giving, and listened to Nemo's songs.
Annex: Kehi Garoun team stayed for an extra day to visit some interesting works in education. Our visit to the Riverside International School led us to integrate their "design for change" curriculum into our own Dignity Circle program. and also the "i can " challenge for the schools. We also heard about their salient lessons from Gandhian education from the Registrar of Ganghi Vidyapith.
We moderate dialogues on public issues to enhance collaborations and introspection.
Individuals are nimble and capable to play an enhanced role in social change alongside the institutional and state agencies. Dialogues can help them identify how to collaborate with one another to be an effective change agency. Dignity Dialogue promotes these two values:
Inside Out Change: A change-model where changes at a personal level ripples out as social change. This is in contrast to standard model where social, legal or governmental change channels person’s behavior.
Mindful Actions: Actions that combine inner reflection and outer engagement, as expressed by our logo. Such actions thus ripen positive changes at a personal level. There changes (wellness for oneself, empathy in relationships and excellence in work) ripple out as positive social change.
In our blog, you can read updates of activities conducted by our enabling team.