Empathy:"Tangible Approach to Learning"

Empathy:"Tangible Approach to Learning"

Saint LuciaCastries, Saint Lucia
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

A theater/puppet company which provides an alternative to truancy or high-school drop-outs.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Bullying and domestic abuse has been a cancer in our school and society as a whole. It affects the cultural and social development of my country. Domestic abuse refers to “all forms of violence against women and children in the home. It happens anytime. People use their size and authority within the family to control others, to inflict pain or cause discomfort” or even death. Students therefore, come to school unfocused and afraid because of their inability to cope with the issue at home or even report their demise to an authority. It is those same students who end up being bullies, sometimes, they are bullied. There is no avenue to deal with these issues, the students have also lost hope in the school counsellor.The issue of abuse must be eradicated.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Therefore, my contribution to help alleviate the problem of abuse is to sensitize the community through the arts. 1.Increase public awareness of the vast number of women and children caught in this cycle, and cause the need for intervention through the appropriate channels. 2. Reduce dependence on society and institute honesty by providing the necessary tools and skills for success. 3.Increase the confidence level of children and women supposedly trapped so that they recognize that they can be helped and make a difference in the world around them through academic counseling with the right motivation for encouraging success. roleplay 4.Improve social and moral responsibility amongst all concerned {that is, everyone (puppets) 5.Embrace high-school dropouts, reform them, and teach them survival skills through the arts. (Use media,allow students to lead) 6.Aid in the enhancement of self-motivation, communication skills and creative thinking skills. (use entrepreneural techniques)
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

I am convinced that Theatre can transform lives. It is a tool that connects the "circle of life" and effects a magnanimous transformation in the mind. Having worked with youth for over 20 years, and recognizing an evolution in behavioural practices, it is crystal clear that modelling activities through the arts will evoke learning. I call it the "Tangible Approach to Learning". Theatre has allowed students to reveal deep truths about themselves that open the door to understanding their behaviour-through "emotional recall". One incident which is etched in my mind is the "Engaged Incident": a very disruptive student revealed to a class full of 12 students that she had been raped by a relative. She reiterated that she had told no one in her family about the incident and this was the first reveal. May I add that this was a grade 10 class of Theatre students. The student's classmates were so deeply engaged that their eyes were filled with tears when the revelation was complete. As a teacher, I understood the reason for her truant and uncouth behaviour in school. The event that occured after, touched my core. All the students rallied around the student and hugged her.This exercise was therapy for each student. This was an "AHA" moment for me. This is the midway success train. At the beginning, the student was not very trusting. She was first attracted by the puppet who spoke candidly about herself; then the bold actors created an atnosphere of trust, where they acted out the pending social and cultural issues; the freedom of speech allowed her to climb out of her shell.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Unfortunately, Silverliningz is the only organization incorporating Arts for reform using puppets. Other companies use technical skill building to prepare the youth for jobs, but at the end of their programs some are still left unemployed. My organization offers the youth team building and an opportunity to be self sufficient. They experience empathy for others because they understand the "ensemble" principle. We also propose that the program is a slow process because we are dealing with the human emotion.
About You
Organization:
Silverliningz International
About You
First Name

Esther

Last Name

Matthew

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Silverliningz International

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX, Castries

Your role in Education

After-School Provider, Coach, Teacher, Other.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with

Public (tuition-free)

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Innovation
How long has your solution been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

Silverliningz provides an integral arts program which promotes emotional and social stability to marginalized children and youth.

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

We allow the students to use and create their own puppets, and film their own stories. They may choose to sell their own work.

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Women and children from all over the island were affected by the excerpts from the "Vagina Monologues" which I had directed with my young theatrical group of 5 actresses from different jobs, backgrounds and religious affiliations. We went into communities notorious for domestic abuse and the community appreciated the performance as well as responded to emergency aides.

Young men(probationers) took to the streets to sell their "animal balloons" in order to create some form of income for themselves.

All students who began this program in January of 2011 were unruly and aggressive. To date, they are almost settled, sewing their creation of puppets, creating their stories, developing amateurish films, and some have been employed into firms outside our company. They are striving to be uphold the laws and rules of society.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Long lasting social and personal change in those who are a part. The
participants will have displayed greater self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment, and purpose. Thus, rehabilitating juveniles and those at risk of being offended will be my focus. My studies will benefit any transformational program in any country because the expected outcome of the work will result in:
Increasing number of law-abiding citizens
Improvement in the employment skill level of the participants
Improved coping skills and a sense of responsibility towards themselves and the community
Produce theatrical performances nationally, regionally and internationally
Participants will have a sense of purpose and direction
Reduce number of drop-outs

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Lack of adequate funding: As a result the economic down turn, funding to NGOs have been discontinued. Therefore, we plan to continue fundraising activities to aid in our drive, such as, dollar day/nights; youth talent on parade; bake sales; etc.

Lack of volunteers (skilled professionals): Most professionals would like to be paid for their hire, already we do not have the funds to compensate their valued contribution; we may therefore develop a network of professionals to enhance their careers; possibly provide tokens of appreciation.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Increase public awareness; by conducting productions/puppet shows,monthly or bi-monthly

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Contact participants and guardians and link volunteer leaders to specific communities.

Task 2

Provide resources, food and training within the households.

Task 3

Rent an open space to accommodate participants.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Improve social and moral responsibility by using specific truthful past instances to highlight present issues

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Provide and present materials to participants and observe development (grant some kind of autonomy).

Task 2

Closely observe participant behavior while "owning" the materials

Task 3

Take participants into the community to showcase their progress and recruit other interested participants.

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

Theater has allowed students to reveal deep truths about themselves that open the door to understanding their behavior through "emotional recall". One incident which is etched in my mind is the "Engaged Incident": a very disruptive student revealed to a class of 12 students that she had been raped by a relative. She reiterated that she had told no one in her family about the incident and this was her first reveal. May I add that this was a grade 10 class of Theater students. The student's classmates were so deeply engaged that their eyes were filled with tears when the revelation was complete. As a teacher, I understood the reason for her truant and uncouth behavior in school. The event that occurred after, touched my core. All the students rallied around the student and hugged her--this exercise was therapy for each student. This was an "AHA" moment for me.

Also, I was part of a similar program from the time I was 6 (six)years old. I acted and also was led to create my own puppets.

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

We have merged with one governmental department; Division of Human Services, Court Diversion Department. Our role is to guide the probationers through drama;
We also volunteer our services with Hope Academy, a NGO which is committed to keeping potential drop outs in school by providing after school assistance in various areas using puppets and drama.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]

Volunteers are definitely a must. But, we will also need resource personnel to train staff. Therefore we will need paid staff, and staff who are full time and part time workers. Crew members and actors/actresses for productions will create a heightened awareness for the public attendance of plays.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

We have recognized that there is much talent among our participants as well as resources. We are rich with talent. Many of our participants already can vocalize like puppets, creating a special form of entertainment for their listeners. Some can also use a needle and thread well, or even sewing machines. Our personnel can also create new ideas to help better another idea or activity.