January Newsletter 2016
Storm Calms down
As the holiday season started in Chennai, so did the monsoons. What poured in as the usual drizzle, gradually evolved into a storm shaking the spirit of ‘Namma Chennai’. Water everywhere, people stranded in their own homes, houses wrecked, lives washed away, roads filled with water thigh deep, sunken buses, broken bridges, phones with no network, ATMs with no money, grids with no electricity, delayed media attention: water, food, shelter weren’t the most important things anymore, survival was the biggest concern.
Chennai’s worst in the past century, was actually a blessing in disguise. It brought out the youth to act collectively reiterating Blink’s strong belief that ‘youth of today are not the future, but the present’. In the right time, Blink collaborated with Agni Foundation to help the flood victims in crucial need. A team of Change Agents, went to the Agni Headquarters to assist with the sorting, placement, organizing and distribution of the relief materials. A total sum of Rs. 8 Crores mobilized through various sources of Agni Foundation was distributed to the flood victims. Tarun Murgesh, Blink’s Lifeguard and certified Lifesaver, with a few enthusiastic Change Agents, rescued 8 people, 3 Senior citizens and 2 puppies. Food, blankets, medicines, daily essentials and money were contributed in varying measures to different sources to aid. Blink and the city valued their observation during this time of crisis - with the right leadership and direction, youth can make miracles happen.
Learning with Disabilities Workshop
Blink’s Academic Director Mrs. Jayashree Ashok and Mrs. Renu Nair of CHILD had conducted a workshop on ‘Understanding Students with Learning Disabilities’ for the teachers of KendiraVidyalaya group of Schools. A total of 25 teachers from different parts of the country attended the programme. It was a half day programme, after which the teachers questioned on their difficulties in teaching slow learners in their respective classes. Following lunch, Mr. Arvind, Head of Public Relations and Finance at Blink, gave a talk on Blink’s activities and its impact in schools.
Advisory Council Meeting
International Vesti day
Jan 6th: International Vesti day is celebrated all over the world. Blink, in an effort to embrace differences in and around us, encouraged boys from different religions, caste and creed to wear a vesti to celebrate this day that is dedicated to ethnicity. Hearing this, News7 Tamil channel shot a small tit bit of the Blinkers in traditional clothing, telecast in their channel on the same day.
CSIM: Social Accounting and Audit workshop
Jan 8th: Impact measurement is an integral part of any Non-Profit Organization, be it for the stakeholders, venture capitalists, investors, donors or well-wishers. Blink’s representative, Mr Arvind participated in a 3day master class on Social Accounting and Audit hosted by the Center for Social Initiative and Management to educate and train participants to become social auditors. Thanks to the tools developed by SAA, UK, Blink’s impact measurement has been iterated and refined to global standards.
Top 100 Youth Icon Awards
Jan 12th: ‘Top 100 Youth Icon Awards’ was hosted by Take Care India organization to encourage the emerging youth entrepreneurs, who have shown perseverance amidst all odds. The dais seated esteemed members like Mr. Devasagayam IPS - Man of the millennium, Mr. Palam Kalyanasundarm – Owner, VGP Amusement Park, Tamil Editor in Chief – News 7 Channel, Mr. Bhagwan Singh – Actor, Mr. Sheik Salem and the Green Man, Mr. Abdul Gani. Blink’s Founder, Mr. Arun Fernandez and Blink’s Lifesaver, Mr. Tarun Murgesh were among the Top 100 recipients of Youth Icon awards in this edition.
St.Britto's Academy 1st Term review meeting
Jan 14th: The Pongal celebration started with Change Agents visiting the St. Britto School gathering at Blink to discuss first term’s review on the Change Class. Pre and post survey questionnaire had been used by the Change Agents to evaluate their students. Teacher feedback was also taken into consideration while formulating the next set of worksheet modules. The feedback from Change Agents’ gave new insights on improving the quality of teaching and level of transaction one can facilitate in the class room.
Youth Led Sustainable Development Conference
Jan 18th: Mr. Arun Fernandez, Founder of Blink Foundation, presented a paper on ‘Celebrating differences for social sustainable development’ at the Youth Led Conference for Sustainable Development hosted by Restless Development in Tirupathur. He joined other social entrepreneurs on the panel discussion on youth sustainable development.
Rotary Club of Anna Nagar meeting
Jan 27th: Mr. Arvind, Head of Public Relations and Finance of Blink gave a talk on ‘Celebrating differences on a societal level’, at the Rotary Club of Anna Nagar. The Rotary meeting was very fruitful to the 20 odd socially inclined Rotarians, who attended after their work hours on a Wednesday evening. The meeting threw attention on training college going Rotaracters and implementing Change Class programme through them in the Rotary funded schools.
Jan 28th & 29th: Blink’s Academic Director Mrs. Jayashree Ashok and Mrs. Renu Nair of CHILD had conducted a workshop on ‘Possible Selves’ for Blink’s core team members for improving their cognitive abilities and thinking clearer towards problem solving. The two full day workshop commenced with simple but powerful techniques of IE (Instrumental Enrichment) on organization, analyzing and mediation. Day 2 was on possible selves, which caters to all the possibilities of one’s own self. This was an introspection of one’s personality, allowing the participants to reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses. The workshop gave light to a lot of new strategies, and helped with understanding, identifying and confronting our fears and the possible solutions in the long run.