It was Bramble’s first official outing on October 6, 2018, and it turned out to be a productive and memorable one as well. The vibes and the energy buzzing throughout Freedom Street, Manaveeham was from a great portal of people from diverse walks of life with different kinds of disruptive and responsive ideas that would revolutionize the world for the best.
It was also the first International NGO fair in Manaveeham, Kerala and the whole staff and participant body of the kanthari, an International Institute of Social Change, stood up to the task of organizing such a wonderful event that brought Bramble to the limelight of recognition among International Social Change Makers. For us at Bramble, this event was designed to perfectly put us at the core of social issues and at the helm affairs as regards to using Alternative Education to change the learning narratives all over the world.
The aim of the festival was to bring together social changemakers from around the world to showcase their ideas and the problem it addresses in their communities. The event featured 23 Changemakers from 14 different countries. The organizers sectioned the festival engagements into five Thematic Areas that are very pivotal to making the world a better place:
- Critical Thinking
- Disability Rights
- Women Empowerment
- Alternative Education
Bramble was a major part of the group championing Alternative Education Theme and the tag of the focused on was Learning Revolution.
There were young and old people from different discipline involved with us in the engagement at our stall. We had creative games and exhibitions.
The first was a game was titled “What I hate most about schools” and it involved asking children to share what they do not like as a student. They were excited and willing to give us an audience and responded to our questions. Some said they hate punishment; some hated exams, Homework, Bell, Hindi, English, etc. To make this fun, we created a crossword puzzle with the answers given by the participants and we asked everyone who visit our stall to cross out the words hidden in the puzzles.
The second was an exercise called Tree of Ideas – it is a tree made from fabrics but initially without leaves. After making the tree, people would write what they want to see added or improved in education system and paste it on the tree as leaves.
The third was an exercise based on Albert Einstein’s quote– it involved pictures of different animals scattered all over and identifying their natural habitat. What would have happened to them they had found themselves in an environment that do not support their living or survival. This is a simple way to drive home the fact that every student is unique in their own way and the educational system must be designed around this unchanging reality.
As the frontier of the Alternative Education Theme, we had volunteers from Kerala University, Sree Narayana College, Chempazhanthy, Ananthu from Fine Art College of Kerala, and some Children who worked with us to create the games and make the engagements fun and successful. Interestingly, we also had Elizabeth Johnson, Babitha Mariam Jacob, Nisha Thomas and Manju John working with us. They are great educators who also are invested in Alternative Education and are doing something together towards this cause.
In the end, we were able to proper orientate people and open them to the world of Alternative Education/learning and the positive possibilities that could come out of it. We had engagements and productive discussions with journalists and media houses. Participants were really enlightened about Alternative Education.