All of the children in Building Blocks come from extremely poor families. Before coming to Building Blocks most of them would be roaming the streets in very unhygienic conditions or taking care of their younger siblings. In either case they would have hardly any food while their parents, normally construction laborers, would be gone the whole day! Most of our children do not have access to clean water nor hygienic toilet facilities and are thus prone to all kinds of health problems and malnutrition. Most of these children would never have an opportunity to receive a good education as their parents only have one objective: to make enough money to buy food to survive!
Building Blocks Schools have a very structured program to educate children from the slums. Since the schools are purposely located near slum neighborhoods it makes it very easy for the mothers to walk their children to school every morning. This also facilitates a rapport between the parents and the teachers. When a child is coming from a home that has no electricity, running water or toilet, everything in the school is a learning experience. They learn to wash their hands with soap in the sink and brush their teeth for the first time. They look at books that have colorful pictures and use crayons for the first time and celebrate their birthday with friends by cutting and eating a cake! Attending school at Building Blocks is like a wonderful new world for them!
- Placement locations: Bangalore, India
- Types of care projects:
1) BUILDING BLOCKS PROJECT: Free Preschool Education for slum children. We give high quality preschool education for 2 years, and then help the children to get enrolled into good English schools, find sponsorship for each one until they finish high school. We have 6 preschools across Bangalore.
2) WIN PROJECT: Helping women in need from very poor backgrounds to get a vocational training: tailoring, and enable them to better support their families.
- Age of children: 1) 2 ½ – 6 years 2) women (all ages)
- Number of people cared for: 1) 600 children (one hundred in each preschool) 2) 30 women per course
- Role: Various possibilities available to choose from, according to the qualification, skill, interest and talents of the volunteers
1) Assisting local staff in playing with children, basic teaching and giving general help
2) Teaching children English
3) Teaching children Music
4) Teaching children any type of Sports/ PE
5) Teaching children Arts and Crafts
6) Teaching children cooking
7) Teacher Training (qualified kindergarten teachers only)
8) Help with preschool cooking (we serve breakfast and lunch to the children every day)
9) Accounting (appropriate qualifications needed)
10) Helping make video portfolios for each child
11) Medical camps (qualified volunteers only – any medical profession is very welcome and needed)
12) Content writing (Website and Newsletters)
13) Handyman work
14) SOP (standard operating procedures) system analysts
- Accommodation: rented room or apartment
- Dos and don’ts:
- Do dress modestly if you are female. No skimpy or revealing clothing. This includes strappy tops, low-neck shirts, long see-through cotton shirts (it’s regarded as nightwear by Indians), shorts and short skirts. And men do not wear shorts.
- Do not go out late at night alone, especially if you are female.
- Stay off the street after dark; always take an auto-rickshaw or taxi to and from a restaurant like Indian women do.
- Do not leave the team unannounced.
- Do not buy food from roadside stalls or mobile canteens. And do not drink local tap water; stick with bottled sealed water if you are out.
- Do not drink any alcohol or smoke in public. It’s offensive.
- Rented apartment (guest house): 36 CHF/ 30 Euro a day. Minimum rental: 10 days. Food: 15 CHF/12 Euro a day. Menu is mostly Indian.
- Rented room (can accommodate 2 people): 58 CHF/47 Euro a day. No minimal rental time. Food: same as above.
- All above prices are subject to change, depending on the currency exchange rates.
- What’s included? Transfers, induction and orientation, 24/7 support.
- What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money, transport.
- Length of placement: From two weeks
- Start dates: Flexibly
- Weekend fun:
- Below is a small sampling. There are many interesting things to do and visit that would make this list too long J
1) There are lots of parties happening on weekends at the Pubs.
2) Sunday Brunch at many Hotels are a popular weekend activity for many.
3) XtremeZone is a popular recreational adventure sports getaway just outside of Bangalore. Activities available: nature camping, paintball game, boat rides, bungee jumping, zorbing, motorized skate boards, Challenge courses, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, adventure travel etc.
4) Wonderla Amusement Park: Bangalore Water Park.
5) Botanical Garden
6) Pyramid Valley
7) Cubbon Park
8) Bannerghatta National Park: Zoo.
9) Many museums and historic places to visit
10) Any kind of sports available
ABOUT BUILDING BLOCKS PRESCHOOLS:
Building Blocks is committed to providing free preschool education to children from the slums. We believe in equality and a fair change for everyone. This is why our main objective is to give high quality education to the poorest, without bias, discrimination or lowering of the standard of education that each child has a right to receive, no matter what background they come from. We accept children from 3-6 years old, give them a solid basis of English language and a good foundational preparation in other academic skills through play-based activities with lots of room for exploration, experimentation and discovery. Our curriculum is a mixture of Montessori, Steiner, Reggio Emilia and IB techniques. After our children graduate from Building Blocks, we find sponsors for each child and help them get admissions to good English Medium Schools where they are encouraged to continue until at least 10th grade. Our graduates return to Building Blocks preschools in the afternoons for an ASP (After School Program), where they are given free tuition, helped with homework and encouraged in their weak areas of study. We hire local mothers as teachers for our project, giving them an excellent vocational and professional training as teachers and a chance to raise up in their society and bring in better support for their families. We closely work with the local community to help enhance the quality of life for everyone, such as hosting parent training seminars as well as free medical camps.