I first learnt about the energizer called banana dance in college during our rural camp. Fast forward to 2014 I relived the enjoyment of doing the same energizer during a training program on Volunteer management.
Just lately the banana dance was performed with 5th grade students at a school run by a NGO. There were 2 other volunteers in the classroom who joined in conducting it. They belonged to the group of 17 volunteers from a corporate company as part of their Corporate Employee Engagement Program facilitated by iVolunteer. The children loved the banana dance and remembered most of the lyrics when we did it for the second time.
So the children were excited. We continued their excitement by engaging them in games that were planned. The sheet of instructions on playing jumbled words on Indian sports was handed over to the teacher. She wrote them on the board. But wait there was also the 6th grade with 3 corporate volunteers! I had only one sheet of the activity! It was not easy to remember jumbled words and write them from memory. After all they are jumbled with no logical sequence!
On visiting the 6th grade I found the volunteers informally interacting with the children. They were getting them into smaller groups as discussed. So time was right to jump into the activity. How about playing ADZAP ? Before coming to the class I carried the chits for the activity. All the children had to do was to plan an Ad on a thing mentioned in the chit that they select. For example advertising a toothpaste, soap or a bicycle. Well it is another story how the word bicycle got misunderstood by one group, or rather by one student as recycle! Having got this started I made my journey to the 5th graders.
5th graders were all busy deciphering the jumbled sports’ names. They were also learning about new sports such as tennis, badminton. The 6th graders were busy too discussing with the volunteers on creating the ads. Shunting between the two classes made me miss some of the ads being performed in the 6th grade. But then it was all worth it as the activities went well and the volunteers spent good time with the children.
Few learning’s for me from the entire episode – the kids like the energizer called banana dance. So it is a safe option as an ice breaker next time there is an activity with children. Also, It is alright to have more activities planned as one never knows when it may come in handy! Do you want to try banana dance with your kids ? Here are the lyrics. You can add actions and tune to it to make it more fun! Note: The lyrics might be slightly out of order :)
All the bananas of the world unite
Peel banana, peel peel banana (2)
Slice banana, slice Slice banana (2)
Squish banana, squish squish banana (2)
Eat banana, eat eat banana (2)
Shake banana shake shake banana (2)
Go banana go go banana!! (2)
Our initial work in Uttarakhand on Flood relief has come to an end. Now what is left is construction of a house that we promised in a village.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to our relief work in Uttarakhand. A report on the work that iVolunteer did can be found here. Uttarakhand Flood Relief Initiative – iVolunteer and Himjoli
Interacting with young minds can not only be energizing but instills a sense of responsibility. What you say and do can influence them greatly. This is something that my colleague and me experienced when we had college students from a nearby university at our office. They were required to complete their 25 hours of internship with us. They were just straight out of high school and in their first year of college education. One of the students who interned with us has shared a blog on her experiences. Sharing her thoughts with you…
I am Yasmin Naaz. I am pursuing BBA from Christ University, Bangalore. I love reading books, listening to music and enjoy the beauty of the nature. I like helping others so when the opportunity of volunteering came up I just could not let it pass. We were required to spend 25 hours with an NGO as a volunteer for our Social Responsibility Project.
Volunteering is about serving others and giving whatever you can without expecting in return, wholeheartedly. I and my friends chose the NGO – iVolunteer, for our Social Responsibility Project. We were intrigued by the name of the NGO; moreover we saw good feed-backs from people who volunteered there. The fact that it was nearby was an advantage for all of us.
iVolunteer is an organization which helps in promoting volunteering and encourages the volunteers. It renders its services to other NGOs by providing the volunteers they need.
None of us had a clear idea about volunteering and how a NGO which helps promoting volunteering works, but we decided to give it a shot. We were nervous about what would we have to do or if at all we would be able to do the tasks, but in the end it was worth it.
On our first day, we were asked to search stories for children on moral values like humility, honesty, service, dedication etc. Though the task seems small but it revoked forgotten memories of our own childhood and helped in remembering that no matter of what age we were these, morals will always guide us. We had fun while finding good stories. The next task for that day was to make a poster for an upcoming event for the NGO, which was equally fun. We actually got to imply what we learnt in English all these years.
The task for our second day was to write about volunteering, different kinds of volunteering and recognizing the NGOs which support and promote volunteering. While doing this task we got familiar with what volunteering means for different kinds of organization and the kinds of volunteering that exist providing a wide range of choices for people to choose from if they are interested. Last but not the least, we got to know different NGOs around which promote volunteering. This task was an eye opener for us, as we all weren’t familiar with how an NGO works which promotes volunteering.
On our third day, each of us was asked to pick two NGOs and write about its vision, mission, and causes it supports, kinds of volunteers it needs and how it operates. After this were asked to work on iVolunteer’s database (of NGOs) in terms of removing duplicate data and filling the missing information.
All in all, it was a learning experience for all of us about how an NGO works and the importance of volunteering.
We had a enjoyable experience with you Yasmin! Here’s wishing you and your friends a brighter future ahead :)