It is rightly said that “All the best things happen unexpectedly!”, and joining Apni Shala Foundation (ASF) was such serendipitous experience for me. Right from my day 1 to this moment (which is nearly 3 months), my journey as a Program Fellow has been enrapturing!!!
The best thing I feel about working here is “Work just doesn’t seem like work anymore!!” and office is where I’m eager to go, cause it’s the hub where we ASF family share our crazy conversations; funny incidents, personal learning, ideas and opinions, besides food, fun and laughter!!
The crux of this Fellowship (and my personal favorites) are, sessions on SEED (Seeking
Educational Equity and Diversity, Narrative Practices, and Mentor-Mentee Meetings; which consist of topics and activities that focuses on a Fellow’s personal and professional development, which completely aligns with Apni Shala’s catch phrase- “building skills for life” And I must admit, I have learned lot from it!”.
Adding to this, to provide us an atmosphere of holistic learning, Apni Shala invites people from various fields, to give us the first hand glimpse of their work. Through such interventions, I have got chance to learn about Developmental Theories, Expressive Art therapy, Responsive classroom techniques, Movement and Visual Art therapy, Storytelling, Theatre workshop,Theatre of the Oppressed, and importance of Mental Health. In the last month we visited “Meditation and Mindfulness Workshop”, and that was soothing and relaxing experience. I consider all these efforts as “Extra Sweet Bonuses” that Apni Shala has given me apart from comfort and care!!!
And lastly, how can I end without talking about “Schools and Children”! They are the essence of my Fellowship sail!! Being with them, I feel like I have got a chance to revisit my school days and emancipate the child inside me! (which most of us disregard whilst “growing up”!). Their weird questions and funny answers; their innocent mischief and careless laughter, all unduly have taught me to forget and eschew my maturity and practicality!!! With them I am silly and stupid, and I enjoy it!! And that’s not all, unknowingly, yet beautifully, I have realized that I have become a part of their lives, and they have become part of my story!!
“And thus, an Unthoughtful Venture turned out to be a Delightful Adventure…!”
About the author: Aangi Desai joined Apni Shala as a programme fellow after finishing her Graduation in Psychology. When Aangi is not in class building life skills with children, she enjoys art, movies, music, food and conversations.