“Am sorry, you had informed me on Friday, but I forgot to tell you that we have exams in the morning”. I appreciated the Principal mentioning this to me on Monday morning. Her chance meeting with one of the core organizers from the corporate team on a local train resulted in the postponement of the morning session to afternoon. The session on Hand washing techniques and Hygiene was conducted by the volunteers later in the afternoon that day. Here’s what the Lifesaver volunteer has to say:
“Got a good feedback from Headmistress saying children are washing hands with soap before lunch and after they come from toilet. It’s really a positive sign… Everyone remembers “No Good” who is villain and no one likes germs. Everyone wants to keep away “No Good”. Almost all of the kids knows when and how to wash the hands with Soap. They got the enrollment card signed from family and friends..” Hope all the kids follow forever and be role model for others in their community…in keeping oneself clean and healthy…
However that could not be the case with the two other schools where sessions had been planned for the first half of the day. Three sessions had been conducted so far with minimum hitches in terms of venue, time and support from the school authorities. But then that Monday morning had something else in store for us!
One of our representatives from iVolunteer reached a school on time and found that the exams were due to start in half an hour’s time. A volunteer group arrived by then and conducted the sessions.
“The session went well and the children responded to the questions. In future we can plan for some activities for the children during the third and fourth session and complete the story telling in the first two sessions” – expressed one of the Life saver volunteers.
The other volunteer group arrived 10 mins before the exam was to start. Hence there was just enough time to distribute the goodies brought for children and collecting up all the collaterals that were kept at the school premises .
The third school asked us to come a week later to conduct the final session. Exams had started and they didn’t want the students to be disturbed during the week. (Though I contacted the Principal on Friday for firming the session timings I didn’t receive the communication about the exams beginning on session date itself. He also conveyed that many companies had been approaching the school which causes a dent in the teaching hours.)
The entire episode reminded me of the trainer’s words in our GYAN training sessions on ‘Project Planning’ – Plans are meant to change and so you can use post-it notes for writing them. When a program runs successfully it is easy to work as everything falls in the right place as planned. However when things move slightly in wrong direction it is an opportunity to learn about alternative planning and not losing focus in times of stress. Hope to carry this learning forward.