© 2021 GRASSROOT SHILLONG
Date: April 21st 2018
Venue: St Joseph’s Higher Secondary School, Shillong
Organised By: Grassroot in collaboration with Young Indians, Meghalaya
Supported by: The Chief Minister’s Youth Development Scheme (CMYDS) 2017-18
We have taken efforts in organizing this series of Session for Breaking Free. However it would have not been possible without the kind support and help of many individuals. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of them.
We acknowledge the District Level Empowerment Committee on Chief Minister’s Youth Development Scheme for their support and assistance in organising this Breaking Free Programme which is a girl centric programme on adolescence.
We are highly indebted to St Joseph Higher Secondary School, Shillong for providing us the space for the event and also indebted to all the speakers who came and made the event successful.
We are also grateful of all the participants who came and spent their Saturday with us, and also to their parents and family for supporting to be a part of the day.
We also acknowledge the efforts of the entire team members who were constantly there from start to end.
Our thanks and appreciation to those who arranged the lunch for all of us.
To all those who directly or indirectly supported the cause.
The team of Grassroot
The International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated annually on October 11 to highlight issues concerning the gender inequality that young girls still face.
The right to live free from violence is a basic human right. Yet, gender-based violence—be it state-sanctioned violence (such as laws and policies that repress or harm women and girls), threats from fundamentalist forces, or intimate partner violence—persists in every country of the world and affects women, girls, and trans people of all ages and backgrounds.
It’s small initiative in the direction to aware and motivates girls in the direction of self-awareness self-defence and self-loving.
There were six sessions for these school girls who were from standard 7& standard 8 of St Joseph School, Shillong. The sessions were conducted by Miss Beverley Kharsyntiew, Young Indians (YI) Meghalaya and Managing Director Mahindra Holidays, Miss Bari Laloo and Peace Marsharing, Faith Foundation, Miss Hasina Kharbhih, Young Indians (YI) Meghalaya and team leader, Impulse NGO, Miss Tipriti Kharbangar,Lead Singer, Soulmate, Mr Mark Laitflang, Young Indians(YI) Meghalaya and Managing Director Avenues, and a session by All Meghalaya Karate-do Association.
The major focus was to channelize these girls with dreams to become visionary women of tomorrow.
M/s Beverley Kharsyntiew : Leadership
Profile: She is an experienced Managing Director with Club Mahindra, with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry. She is Skilled in Market Planning, Business Planning, Management, Sales and Hotel Management. A strong Professional with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Marketing/Marketing Management. General Human resources from SRM school of Business, SRM University Chennai. She also chairs the entrepreneurship chapter, Young Indian, Meghalaya.
The session began with a warm welcome and then Miss Beverley Kharsyntiew moved towards kids with a question “Are you a leader?” and “Do you want to be a leader?” It took a bit for the girls to break the ice between them and Ms Beverley Kharsyntiew but they eventually answered what they of themselves.
To lighten the activity she presented words like- Brave Energetic Assertive/Ambitious Unique Talented Important Fabulous Unequalled Love and requested the girls to identify the word with their personalities. . Followed by the activity where kids were asked to frame a sentence.
I am (name)………………the quality…………..(words from above). I aim to achieve………(their desire) and at age of……..I will make it.
Voluntarily girls started coming forward and participated in the above activity. helped in generating confidence in these kids about themselves.
To explain this section Miss Beverley aided the session by showcasing an animated movie by Disney movies-“FROZEN” Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee.
She focused on some lessons that this movie teaches us about life which is very important for every girl to understand it, no matter what her age be.
Lesson 1- Out of your comfort zone.
She take reference from the dialogue “Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know” initially said by the King to Elsa, and later used in the song “Let it go”. Where she says that one should always acknowledge ones power and should at times test their limits. You can’t be guarded always.
Lesson 2- Ignore the Haters.
Whatever you do, good or bad, people will always have something negative to say. Don’t get down because of haters hating use it as motivation to shove your success in their face.
Lesson 3- Face your fears
She takes another reference “where Olaf enjoys the summer”- though Olaf being a Snowman knows that the heat of the sun can melt him but the whole idea of summer in his heart is so colourful and warm that he was even ready to face the fear of melting-”some people are worth melting for”.
Lesson 4- Know your strength
Elsa was afraid of the curse of magic, but that was her strength. Do you know your own strengths, things you enjoy things you are good at.?
Lesson 5- Dream big
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Dream big because dreams do happen!
Lesson 6- Support (Good support system)
Do you know which the best part of life is? When your Family understands you as a friend and your Friends support you as a family.
Lesson 7- Be your own happiness
Lesson 8- Think like a leader
Lesson 9- No mountain high enough
Lesson 10- Take responsibility
Lesson 11- Bring out the best in people.
With this, she ended her presentation and all the girls stood up to sing the song from the movie
“Let it go”. At the end she made the girls realize that “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle”
Every girl is BEAUTIFUL- – Brave Energetic Assertive/Ambitious Unique Talented Important Fabulous Unequalled Love.
The impact of the previous session was quite strong and now girls were moving out from their cocoon and one girl volunteered to sing a song for all her friends and most importantly for herself and the choice of the song was also equally beautiful it was “ You are not alone by Michael Jackson.” Moving ahead the girls were engaged in fill up where they played a small game of relaxation and easing out- “Do the Boogie woogie”.
Girls having fun time
Session II: Personal Safety
Miss Peace Marsharing and Mrs. Barida Laloo
Profile: They are the founders of Faith foundation. Faith Foundation works on four major issues- Human trafficking, child sexual abuse, Substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. Both the women are trained and skilled Personnel’s in the field of Child sexual abuse and orientation on the personal safety education for children.
There were a bunch of cue cards which have some jobs described on it. Now the participants are asked to pick these cue cards one by one and read it and according to his/her pre knowledge sort them in two groups i.e. either male section or to female section.
Cards like- Growing beard, Getting Pregnant, Driving motorbike, Crying, Joining the army. Winning a beauty contest etc etc…..
When the sorting of cue cards are done on the basis of job description which fits more for male and which fits more for female. The participants were asked to rethink upon it and now re-sort it but this time with three groups, male female and both.
This activity helped the participants to know and understand that apart from some biological differences, there are hardly any difference between a man and a woman. They both are equal.
Gender equality, equality between men and women, entails the concept that all human beings, both men and women, are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without the limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles and prejudices. Gender equality means that the different behaviour, aspirations and needs of women and men are considered, valued and favoured equally. It does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female. Gender equity means fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs. This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities.
My body my boundary
An evaluation form was distributed to the kids and was asked to fill it with their prior information about the questions in the form.
Girls were now asked to make a pair with their friends in room and touch each other body parts. Like head to head, arm to arm , leg to leg, cheek to cheek, knee to knee, nose to nose, ear to ear.
This activity gave an insight and openness to talk about the personal body space, the comfortable and uncomfortable touches and gesture.
In this activity, volunteers represented two situation one a public scene and a personal scene.
In public scene they enacted the scene of using a share taxi and still people can molest you or harass you. You need to understand the situation and response accordingly.
In personal scene they enacted a situation of a house where you can be molested and harassed even by the known person.
This activity was quite sensitive to discuss as it talks about the safety of the girls lies in its own hand and if your attitude defines your personal space and boundary it will somewhere help you in keeping oneself safe.
The RO read out a story and a situation of a young girl. Later the participants were asked to interpret the story and figure out some disturbing or weird things that they feel was inappropriate.
This activity helped the girls to understand even better about different ways of being harassed or tortured.It helped them to understand that one should always speak it out the discomfort to any trusted adult person who can help you out of the situation.
My safety network
In this activity kids were asked to trace out their hand and write the name and relationship of five adult people whom they trust the most.
All the above five activities helped them to understand the safety rules of the self
i) Say no to bad touch
ii) Shout and get out of a situation
iii) Do not keep a secret
iv) Always share things with your trusted adult …keep on telling…make them believe
v) It’s never your fault.
Session III: motivational talk on doing what you love
Ms Hasina Kharbhih
Profile: Hasina is the founder and chairperson of Impulse Ngo Network. Having spent over three decades in this sector, She is considered one of the leading figures in the fight against the human trafficking in India as well as South and South East Asia. She is a Ashoka Fellow, a FullBright Scholar, as well as a Fellow of the Aspen India Leadership Initiative.
She began the session with the warm greeting and tried to make all the girls (participants) comfortable. She basically gave an open motivational lecture. Where she talked about how a caterpillar turn into a butterfly where how one have to push the limits to become the extra ordinary in life nothing is impossible in this world and everything can be achieved if you have a pure and strong heart and full determination to do so. She gave all the examples of her life and asked the girls to reach out in the community look for opportunity which all their next to them. All they have to be is consistent with their work and should enjoy their work, they shouldn’t take it as a burden they should love it and enjoy the process of becoming the butterfly. In order to achieve all this one should never lose the confidence and its identity because that is something which will determine the foundation of your success in life.
She encourage girls to go beyond the classroom and look for opportunity look for something which inspires them and will help them in becoming the unique one. She in fact talked about her journey and how the idea of Impulse started and the seed of all this was sown long back at her school days when she started taking responsibility and acted as a leader.
figure 1 Ms Hasina Kharbhih giving her talk
Session IV motivational talk on doing what you love
Miss Tipriti Kharbangar
Profile: She has earned her name as one of the finest female singers to have emerged out of a Shillong and India as a whole and she got the Blues Tipriti has won the best female vocalist for 2009 in the Jack Daniels Rock awards. She is one of her own and her inspiration as a songwriter /musician/singer is drawn from her roots, Shillong.
She started her session in Khasi. As she feels that her language is magical and has power to connect very easily and mostly she was comfortable in her native mother tongue. She talked about the life journey all the ups and downs that she had seen have somewhere groomed her of become who is she is today. She also shared that how affection towards music turned into her liking then into a hobby and eventually the passion of her life which has provided her the identity of who she is now. She also acknowledged the people that she encountered in her life and how they all have played their role so amazingly in grooming and polishing and giving her opportunity to explore the world.
Later she performed for her cute little audience along with Rudy Wahlang from Soulmate.
Self-defence by All Meghalaya Karate-do Association
Profile:Ten members of the All Meghalaya Karate-Do Association lead by Mr. Donbok Ryntathiang and Arjun Sewa as Coach and Manager.
The team demonstrated some of the moves that they have learned in their process of getting different belts. They also performed MMA (mixed martial arts) and also with props such as bamboo sticks. Their performance was reflecting discipline dedication respect and calmness in them. They also trained the girls some of the moves and tricks to do in case of attack or if a person tries to molest or harass them.
Self-defence, especially for women, is of utmost importance in the kind of the world we live in today. Women, usually referred as the weaker sex, are considered easier targets. In a country like India where the cases of gender violence are on rise, out of which many go unreported, self-defence for women has become a necessity more than ever.
Team of All Meghalaya Karate do association
Members demonstrating their defence act
Session VI pockets of happiness
Mark Laitflang Stone
Profile:Mark Laitflang Stone is an award winning youth entrepreneur committed to social Enterprise and is the founding Chief Executive & Managing Director of Group Avenues-a brand synonymous with youth empowerment and human resource development in North East India. Headquartered in Shillong, Meghalaya Avenues is recognized as the region’s Leading Grooming and Communications skills training initiative. He is an active member of civil society and the founder of Avenues Youth Icon Awards (an annual exercise instituted to recognize and celebrate the work and achievements of role models and unsung heroes in the field of work that impact Youth and future of Meghalaya and North-East India.) The recipient of Rotary club’s Vocational Excellence Award for human resource development and a noted Motivational speaker, Mark’s session across the region have engaged and inspired thousands of young adults over a decade.
The entire session By Mark L Stone was to introduce these girls to themselves. He had a series of session with some small activity along with them, with support of some sound effects. He narrated the stories and played with the minute emotions of a human being and in each proceeding step he was introducing the girls that who they actually are. He also managed to explain the girls the true meaning of trust, faith, love and emotions in a very creative way. He asked girls to write what they feel is the best quality, the best phrase about them.
He also trained the girls how to control the anger and sadness if they encounter it in upcoming life. He also shared the methods of how to channelize the energies that they possess in the right and positive direction. And most importantly he made girl believe in their dreams and their existence there importance in this universe.
He did smoothly managed to let girls figure out their strengths and weaknesses and how they can use their weaknesses as their strength, was something that even we adults found interesting and learned about.
His session was full of mixed emotions as it was something very new for this adolescent girls and now they were like shedding off their old skin old they and moving in the direction of more pure and positive one which is full of hopes and success.
All the participants were asked to form a close circle and hold each other’s hand tightly and with full belief and faith in oneself and others repeat the following lines.
“Start Now…Start where you are, Start with fear, Start with pain, Start with hands shaking, Start with voice trembling…..But Start….Start and don’t stop, start where you are, start with what you have….Just start….”
Session taken by Mark Stone Girls and Mark Stone inspiring each other.
The Day ended with a vote of thanks from Miss Salome Suchiang thanking the participants and resource persons and hope that this workshop break more barriers among girls to become who they are.
Inspirations are not only for artists or those with creative skills to motivate them and complete something. We all need inspiration to free our soul from the bondage of worries and give us directions in life. Inspiration is food for our soul that desperately drives us to be better and be the person we want to be. Nobody can tell us what should and should not inspire us because it is a personal journey that sets our soul free.
Today these girls got a hint about all these things which are very essential part of life and will help them in growing as a better human being. Today no one was going home empty handed. They all are filled with emotions courage and inspiration, yes they did had a wonderful experience also I bet.
Life is all about choices. If you think, your life is awful, it will be. Stay positive. Don’t bring yourself down by dwelling in the past. Switch to the future and envision the possibilities. If you need an inspiration, it will find you if you are receptive and detached from negative thoughts.
© 2021 GRASSROOT SHILLONG