At SJBHS we believe that no education is complete unless students reach out to those less fortunate and early in life, learn to give back.
Spreading the cheer of the joyous season Teaching sensitivity and empathy to our students is the underlying message of Christmas and so on the 23rd of November 2019, the CLC Outreach team invited the inmates of Jeevarathni and Jeevan Lakshya to a morning of fun in the school campus. Both homes cater to the needs of the underprivileged children. With Rev Fr Sunith Prabhu SJ, Rev Fr Sunil Fernandes SJ and Rev Fr Alwyn D’Souza SJ as the guests of honour, the stage performances with songs, dances and a skit reflected the cheer and joy of Christmas. Children from the homes also received gifts from Santa.
Reaching Out to Others Outreach Stds 10 B&C visited the Samarthanam center for physically and mentally challenged children on 28th Nov, as part of their Outreach programme where the school believes that interaction with the underprivileged builds empathy. It was a very enriching experience as the boys got to interact one-on-one with the inmates. They helped in making paper bags, enacted skits, assisted the children with their computer games and served them lunch. They joined a sign language class and listened carefully to the staff who explained about the Center, its activities and plans.
A Student Perspective Outreach Programme We the boys of Stds 10 A & E went on an Outreach programme on 28 th November, 2019. At Vidyaranya in Mandur, we met people rescued from the clutches of starvation, human trafficking, abandonment and poverty. Their new home was a well equipped multistoried building with sincere and kind people managing the place. Together we danced, sang together and lived the world through their eyes for those few hours. Staying true to the Josephite spirit we contributed to the goodwill of the people with as much as we could in the form of groceries etc. We learnt that life isn’t rosy and full of sunshine for everyone, but the misfortune of disability cannot weigh down a soul brave enough to challenge it. By Aarush 10A & Zoheir 10A
Empathy can be Taught Outreach The students of Stds 5 & 6 were taken to the Association for People with Disabilities (APD) between the 18th and 22nd of November 2019. Part of the group visited the APD school to interact with students who were differently-abled while others went to the Horticulture centre which is maintained and managed by the association. As a good-will gesture many students bought a variety of plants and contributed to the cause of reaching out to the people with disabilities. They visited the physiotherapy center and saw the equipment utilized by patients with disabilities, and they were given a chance to empathize with the patients by using walking aids such as the wheelchair, artificial limbs etc. They were shown videos of the founder of the association and various other APD establishments around Bengaluru. The Josephites came back enriched with the experience while thanking God profusely for the gift of their limbs.
Teachers’ Outreach Programme
Seeing with New Eyes
A group of 40 teachers led by Fr. Alwyn D’Souza SJ, Administrator of the Primary School headed to St. Joseph’s PU College, Anekal on the 26th of October 2019
Their mission was to interact with the students in the village college but when they entered the premises, their image of a village college was to change forever. With the festival of lights round the corner, the special assembly was based on the joyous celebration. The teachers sang a couple of hymns and presented a speech in English and Kannada to put forth the message that Diwali is the festival of lights not crackers and hence the students should refrain from using fireworks.
The teachers were then allotted to different classes to interact with the students - to encourage them to study, tell them the different ways of studying and help them to plan their future. Most of the students were from areas in the vicinity of the college and had quite a few plans for further studies. It was heartening to hear the animated plans of the young citizens of the nation.
The next halt was at the CIRW (Centre for Integral Rural Welfare) Office. Pastoral care, education, social action and formation of the young in 52 villages is part of the work being done by the Jesuit Fathers and Brothers in Anekal. The change was visible with woman empowerment through tailoring and beautician courses, self-help groups, small-saving groups, children clubs, study centres and mobile health centre programmes. The teachers from SJBHS were, by now, a changed lot – a group in awe of the extent of involvement of the villagers in their own welfare guided by the selfless efforts of the Jesuits.
Halt three was at the Balajyothi Girls’ Hostel run by the Sisters. The interaction with the girls was an eye opener. They danced and sang like their counterparts in any big city. Once they had found their comfort zone with the SJBHS staff, they were all out to please.
The next stop was one of the villages adopted by the Jnana Jyothi group of Institutions run by the Jesuits. The coordinator of the village group told the teachers about their life, education, resources and future plans.
All in all it was an eye opener and deeply fulfilling trip and we hope to make many more.
Growing in Empathy
On their very first Outreach for the academic year, on 29th June, 2019, CLC boys were filled with concerns, questions and a lot of excitement. They were on their way to Jeevarathini - Home for abandoned children, at Nallur Village, Hosur Road. They were welcomed with enthusiasm.
The grounds of the Home were laden with fruit. The SJBHS boys helped to pluck the harvest while enjoying the fruits of their labour. They helped to plant a few saplings, cleaned the gardens and folded a few clothes. There were a number of games organized by the staff wherein the children bonded with each other. The bonding continued during the sumptuous fellowship lunch. The Josephites were a contented lot as they said their goodbyes.
The CLC Outreach programme is meant for students to engage and understand how the less fortunate live. Jesuit education must equip them to regard the lost, the least and the last as brothers to whom they owe their service, and CLC trips aim to do just that.
The inauguration of the CLC on 20th June marked the beginning of activities chalked out for the academic year 2019-20.The Chief Guest for the occasion, Rev Fr Praveen, blessed the CLC badges as well as highlighted the principles of the community. With a prayer, a solemn prayer song and words of advice by the Principal Rev Fr Sunil Fernandes SJ and the coordinator Mr. Brian McKertish, the CLC was formally inaugurated – an effort by the management to cultivate awareness, sensitivity and empathy in the Josephites.
We strongly believe that education and learning also happen beyond the walls of the classroom. And so, outreach programmes to expose and sensitise our students and staff to the wider social realities, is key to our educational objectives. The entire school is involved in visits and interactions with those less fortunate.
Our Christian Life Community (CLC) programmes take our students and teachers into homes for the less fortunate. Our students are encouraged to mix and learn about the lives of others. We hope for a change of heart in the person of the educated and the educator himself, turning them from selfish concerns to unreserved generosity to God and their fellowmen.
Great value is attached to the CLC. Our outreach to Jeevarathini Home for Abandoned Children in Nallur, outreach programme to Snehadaan, home for HIV infected children and a two-day outreach programme to Manvi, to visit schools run by Jesuit seminaries is along these lines. Those who are unable to travel outside the city are taken to homes and shelters for abandoned men, women and children.
Every effort is made to build awareness, sensitivity and empathy in our students.
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