Unlocking potential, one workshop at a time: Hands-on learning for students.
Understanding the challenges of any community requires one to live with the members of the community to empathize with them. This is the essence of co-designing.
Here, we take you through one such immersive experience with a government school situated in the mountains of Pipli-B village of Udaipur, Rajasthan.
As a part of our School Impact Program, we collaborated with a Government Secondary School in Pipli-B village of Rajasthan. To understand the challenges faced by the students and the community, we prepared different questionnaires and engaged with all stakeholders involved. Among other sustainable development goals, our research was focused on the health, education, gender, energy, water and sanitation. We interviewed the principal, teachers, students, and other school staff to understand the challenges pertaining to above stated domains.
While interviewing one of the students, Nandini, we were advised to visit her home and to interact with her community. This was a turning point in our research.
Upon visiting Nandini's family we learned that majority of the community members are daily wage earners. Therefore, most of the household chores like cooking and cleaning are done by their children. In most of the cases, it is the girls of the family who take up these responsibilities. The only time they get to complete their homework or study for exam is in the evening.
Interacting with the community and analyzing the data collected from the field, we got to know that stable power supply was a significant issue for the village. This made it difficult for the children like Nandini to study in the evening. This affected their overall academic performance.
How to enable children of the community to study amidst power outages?
Brainstorming among our team-members, school and community led us to various solutions like installing solar panels in the village, discussing with the right stakeholders including government officials to maintain steady power supply, supporting the community with solar lamps, etc.
One of these solutions which called for collaboration of the school and the community was to train the students to design their own lamps. Skilling the youth to design something useful for their community was one of the desired outcomes.
We decided to implement a hands-on workshop in the school. To do this, we collaborated with Durga Energy, a women-led organisation based in Dungarpur, that specializes in providing sustainable solar solutions.
Ms. Rukmani Devi, CEO and Mr. Jugal Kishor Nuwal, the Production Manager at Durga Energy helped us by being an integral part of our workshop.
We were surprised by the fact that Ms Rukmani Devi also belonged to the community we worked with. She helped us in training these students to build their solar lamps. Empowering these students with technical and design skills, so they can become future design-thinkers was one of our intended outcomes.
The School Impact Program helped not just bring a change in the lives of students but also impacted the community. Students like Nandini, who were also part of this workshop can now study better. This workshop has enabled them to think beyond the books and to explore the realm of design and technology.