Six students from St Kabir School, who visited Norway and Switzerland as a part of an international delegation, have not only learnt to adjust in a multicultural environment, but have also become confident and developed a positive attitude.
Under the CISV (Children International Summer Village) programme, the students are given an opportunity to volunteer in community-based activities across the globe. Organised at various places, including Finland, Switzerland, Singapore, Magnolia and Jordan, the programme was attended by students from USA, Canada, Guatemela, Germany, Austria, Spain, Lebanon and Croatia.
CISV is a global organisation dedicated to educating and inspiring students by nurturing inter-cultural friendships, co-operation and understanding for peace. Founded in 1950, today CISV is a federation of 60 member associations with over 200 chapters.
The St Kabir School students from classes IX to XI, who went for the programme on July 9, have returned to the city with varied experiences to share with their peers.
The theme of the programme was to give the students an exposure beyond education and make them aware of the current issues like sustainable development.
A student said what they saw in Switzerland and Norway was an eye-opener for them and has brought a positive change in their attitude towards various aspects of life. Prannay said: “Children in India are heavily dependent on their parents for every small thing. During our stay at a camp in Norway, I realised that the children from other countries were independent in their approach.”
Another student, Khushi Gupta, said: “The camp laid strong emphasis on encouraging students to be themselves. After my visit, I feel I have grown in confidence and no longer afraid of interacting with anyone. I also got a sense of how to lead a team of students belonging to diverse cultures.”
The best experience they got was about the hygiene level maintained in Norway. “97per cent of the waste material is recycled there. They also have containers in different colours outside their homes and pathways to dump specific kind of waste material in each. Nothing is thrown out in the open and this rule is followed one and all,” said students Vardhan Aggarwal and Pranav Gupta.
The students also revealed that they also realised some of the harsh realities that are being faced by people of certain countries. “A refugee camp-like environment was created to give us a feel of the situations and difficulties faced by the people migrating from Syria and Cremia to Europe in droves,” said Japjot Singh, another student.
School administrator Gurpreet Bakshi was happy with the way the students conducted themselves during the programme and was of the view that children should take up these kinds of opportunities to learn and explore the world outside books. “Hopefully going by their experience, we will be able to do something like that in our city,” he said.
The CISV experience has given the students a new confidence, helped overcome their fears and apprehensions of staying with host families and travelling alone. “Not only did it give them exposure, but also encouraged them to exchange ideas for a global learning, using creative and cooperative approach to problem-solving and resolving differences that can arise from healthy discussion,” said Bakshi.