Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sambhali January 2009

Sambhali Trust:-

Wonderful News came from Monica (literacy project participant). She got award for being the best student of her class. We are very proud of Monica's achievement.
Smiling Monica :)

We also got invited by the New Divisional Commissioner Saheb Mr. J. P. Chandeliya on the occasion of Republic Day.
Here is the Invitation card and Our Sambhali Representatives all dressed beautifully in Indian costumes.



Report on market stall held in the Clocktower, Jodhpur 12-17 January 2009 Purpose

We held a stall for 6 days in the Clocktower selling items that the girls had made from the Sambhali shop to raise funds for 2 Health Camps we were going to hold, one at Sambhali Center in Jodhpur and one in Setrawa village in February.

Obtaining a site

We were kindly lent a space in front of a spice shop in the Clocktower. We rented a couple of trestle tables and had 2 Sambhali Trust banners and Sambhali India tags made. We also had 60 postcards made from 6 photos of the girls and Setrawa had put together a small album of photos from their project also. A wooden clothes stand was made to put the dresses etc on.

Daily routine

Two girls from Sambhali would help with running the stall along with Pinky and I everyday on a rota system. We would ask the girls to arrive at 10am at Sambhali; they would change into a couple of identical saris provided for them and then we took all the furniture and items to be sold down there at 10.15/10.30am. The main times that the tourists were walking around the Clocktower, were initially in the morning, more around lunchtime, but then it was very slow until about 4pm when the tourists had generally finished their sightseeing and were walking around the Clocktower until about 6.30pm when it got dark. We were fortunate that we could leave everything in the shop overnight.

Half way during the week, we needed to change out site and were able to use the corner spot by the gate nearest the fort which proved a slightly better situation as we had more passing trade and we were more independent. It also was in the shade during the day and had a street lamp at night both of which are very necessary! Again, we were helped by a nearby spice shop working with Baba Art Emporium who let us keep our items in their shop overnight and were very helpful.

Items sold

We sold a variety of items which had been made over the last few months. The stuffed elephants proved to be very popular and always attracted tourists and Indians alike to the stall. Bags also proved popular.

6 bags

2 small bags – including one with peacock feather

10 stuffed elephants

4 tablecloths – large and small

6 cushion covers Рunfortunately the appliqu̩ ones were not very popular

15 bracelets


4 small handmade tags

2 hand made paper cards

1 pink skirt (the only item of clothing that sold)

1 white Om scarf

I pink shawl

2 yellow bedside table cloths block-printed with elephants

3 letter wall-hangings

1 embroidered mobile

2 sets of coasters (generally people didn’t know what these were for)

Embroidered wall hanging of camel

3 stuffed bird keyrings


1 doll

2 drawstring pouch bags

20 bags from Setrawa village project + 2 mobile phone pouches

The cushion covers were the main items which didn’t sell, as well as the clothes, which are individual taste. Some tourists were checking the bags for zips/poppers, others asked for glasses cases and another idea suggested was a padded rectangular travelers money bag which could be put over the shoulder. The key rings looked attractive to the stall.

Everything sold was put into a sari bag the girls had made which were attractive and an added bonus. We had Sambhali Trust flyers and Sambhali Dreams booklets, which we added to the purchases as and when.

First impressions by Ms. Johanna Werz

Starting Date: 21st of January 2009

Ending Date: 21st of April 2009

From: Weingarten (Baden-Wuerttemberg) Germany.

Although I am here for only two days, I have made so many experiences as if I was here much longer. But in contrast, time is running and the days seem to be very short.

I can’t imagine that only three days ago I was picked up at the airport and brought to the guest house where the project takes place. Being very nervous of what might expect me it was really overwhelming how I was welcomed here. The girls of the project stood around the door, throwing flowers and Govind’s wife painted this typical Indian red point, called bindi, on my forehead. Govind, the head of the project, welcomed me very warmly. After a short talk Govind led my upstairs in the girl’s classroom. They were all smiling, gentle, and very nice. Like Govind also told me later, I always had the feeling that they could read my face and saw how excited and nervous I was (besides I was very very tired). Having told me their names and ages, the girls decided to show me a dance. At least Pinky (one of the other two volunteers) could stop the girls after their second dance by explaining them that I was very tired. She told me that dancing was one of the things the girls would like to do all day long if they were only allowed to. For this a new guest is always a good reason.

When I woke up after some sleeping hours Govind talked to me about the Sambhali Trust Project in Jodhpur, about the volunteer guidelines and what I was going to do. As the girls have just had some projects (they made various arts and crafts to sell them on the market) the plan is to bring them back to a daily routine. I am going to be the English teacher. Fortunately a girl is to arrive at the beginning of February, so we will teach together. I am very happy about this because I’ve never taught English before.

After dinner Corinne and Pinky (they are the other two volunteers in the project) showed me national Handloom, the very big store that is located just one corner far away. The store is very busy, full of all things you can imagine and confusing. These words are, as far as I have experienced until now, typical Indian adjectives. (Some more adjectives are friendly, hospitable, sociable, interested and interesting, colorful and many more. I can’t count them.) Very confused about how to pay and where and where to go, Corinne and Pinky brought me back to the Guest House, where I tried to realize what I’ve experienced during only one day.

The second day Govind told us that Sambhali Trust had capacities for more girls to join in. Thus we decided to split up into two groups and visit some areas of Jodhpur. There we planned to inform the families (but in fact it was especially the mothers we talked to) about the project and that their daughters could be given the possibility to take part in it. This was the time I got to know some more, sad Indian adjectives: poor and dirty. Not only the streets and the houses (from the outside) but also the people living there weren’t clean at all but dirty and come down. We were always surrounded by lots of children that wanted to speak to us. But indeed their only English word was “hello” so our conversation was restricted to say hello all the time. As nobody could understand English there, three girls of the project spoke to the mothers and daughters, Pinky who can speak some Hindi tried to help them and I stood around, smiled and said hello to all the small boys and girls that seemed to be very attracted by my white skin. It was a very strange, at the first moment shocking experience for me, although I’ve read a lot about the poverty, the smell and the dirt in many parts of India. But this never prepares you for seeing, smelling and feeling it in reality.

But above all, this was the moment I began to realize what the project offers to our girls, how much it helped and is still helping them. If it is only the very simple fact that they keep clean. (As Govind told us later the girls themselves were shocked to see their “brothers and sisters” in these surroundings!) Furthermore I experienced them much happier, less shy and much more aware of themselves and their capabilities than nearly all of the visited women.

In the next month there is a Health Camp taking place for the girls, where they will learn once more a lot about hygiene, nutrition or sex education. I am very looking forward to these days. But even more I am excited about my soon starting English lessons. I hope I am able to help the girls a little bit. And I hope that I will manage it in the way that I am content with myself.

Teambuilding exercises

On Friday 2nd January the girls took part in some teambuilding exercises in order to encourage them to work together as a group. There had been some concerns that the older girls and the younger girls (newer intake) were not getting along together, therefore the aim of these activities were to unite the two groups by bridge the gap between them through team activities and make them realise that they could work together.

The following is an outline of the exercises and the order in which they were done. The exercises were divided into those that were conducted inside (Part One) and those conducted outside (Part Two), to allow some variety.

Where the girls were required to pair off, the names of the younger girls were written on small piece of paper and put in one bag, and the names of the older girls were similarly written and placed in a separate bag. A person was chosen to select a name from each bag and therefore a younger girl was paired with an older girls. Where the girls had to work in larger teams, two pairs were joined together, so there was an equal number of older and younger girls in each team, where possible.

PART ONE: Inside exercises

1. The Trust Game – Backward Fall and Catch.


Groups of approximately 5-6 girls.


Trust games are constructive both for the individual and for the group as a whole and will help the group builds greater trust as it begins to crystallise. Participants need to rely on everyone's full cooperation and encourage support behavior. Trust games in general are fun to play because they are more physical. The movement and outcomes will ease tension and they are therefore helpful in enhancing group development.

In this particular trust game, working in small groups, one participant at a time stands apart from the group, with her back to the rest of the group. The distance between her and the group should be at a safe limit. Without looking back, she must let herself fall and trust that she will be caught by her group (i.e. before she falls on the floor). The moderator must ensure that everyone in the group has a turn.

2. Three Positives.


Girls need to work in pairs.


The participants have a few minutes to sit with each other and interact with their partner. Then they all sit in one large circle (next to their partner) and one by one, they say three things that they like about their partner. For example, I like her hair, her eyes, her dancing, her laugh, her dress. Try to encourage them to think creatively and try to avoid all participants saying the same things (ok, so everyone has nice hair and eyes – anything else?!) Maybe in future, some things can be excluded, such as nice hair and eyes. Perhaps this would encourage them to think more about their partner’s positive attributes. The main objective here was to encourage the younger and older partners to recognise positives in the other.

3. Blindfold Game.


One blindfold (the ones you get free on some airlines work well, otherwise a scarf or length of fabric works well). The girls need to form one large circle (standing). A volunteer is chosen who stands in the middle and is blindfolded.


The blindfolded volunteer is spun around on the spot until they are disoriented (in the centre of the circle) and then they have to walk forward until they reach one of the participants standing in the larger circle. They feel the person’s face and try and identify who it is. They have two guesses to try and figure out who the person is. If the blindfolded person is not successful after two guesses, then a new volunteer can switch roles. This exercise was more of an ice-breaker than a team building exercise. The girls managed to get a lot of laughs out of this one.

4. Name Game.


A chart of pictures/images needs to be prepared before hand and appropriate copies need to be made. We found that Google Images is a very good resource for this exercise. Just type in the name of the image (e.g. elephant) followed by line drawing into Google Images and you will generally find a simple drawing of an elephant. Please see the attachment for an example we used. A pen/pencil is also needed for the participants to write the answers.

Above: Examples of the two page Name Game chart created in Word.


Not all participants have the same level of language skills (especially because some of them are newer intake). Decide as a group the names for the images in both Hindi and English. When finished, the groups switch their answer sheets with another group (so they are essentially marking each others work). The ‘teacher’ asks all the groups at the same time what the first image is. When marking, the following instructions are given: For each word that is correct, one point is scored. However, if the word is correct AND the spelling is correct, then two points are scored. If the word is spelled incorrectly, but it is evident that they knew the correct word (e.g. writing spun instead of spoon), then only one point is awarded. The same applies to the Hindi word. Therefore a maximum of 4 points can be scored for each image. At the end, the points are tallied and a ‘prize’ (e.g. chocolates) is awarded to the winners.

This encouraged a little competition, as well as team work (as they had to pool their knowledge of spoken and written English and Hindi). At the same time, this had educational relevance, as the girls could practice their English and general writing skills.

Above: Photos of each of the four teams as they worked on the Name Game.

PART TWO: Outside Exercises


The purpose of all of the outside games was to show the participants that they needed to work together to finish the task. There was also a big element of competitiveness which helped to fuel teamwork principles in an effort to win.

1. Three-Legged Race


Participants need to be in pairs, and each should be given a length of fabric to tie their ankles together.


The pairs have to work together with their ankles tied, to get to the other side and back. Due to lack of space, we had three pairs race each other at a time, then the top three (one from each round) raced against each other to be crowned the ultimate winner of this game.

2. Ball Over and Under


Two teams and two balls (or a ball for each team if there are more than two teams).


Each team stands in a single line, each facing forward (i.e. facing the back of the person in front). The person at the front starts with the ball and passes it to the person behind them, by raising it over their head. The second person in line takes the ball and passes it between their legs to the third person, and so on. The ball continues to pass under and over until it reaches the last person in line. The last person then runs, with the ball, to the front of the line and the under and over passing begins again. This transfer continues until the person who was at the front of the line when the game started, ends up in the same position at the front. Thus, they are the winners.

3. Egg and Spoon Race (with a lemon)


An egg (or lemon) and a spoon per team.


Again, two teams. This time, they stand in a line and the first person in line is handed a spoon and a lemon. They have to run with the lemon on the spoon (or walk very fast!) to the finish line and then come back. The lemon has to stay on the spoon all the way to the other end, but on the return trip, them lemon can be held in the hand and the participant can run back very fast. There re many variations and stricter rules of the game. For example, if the lemon falls off the spoon, then the person has to return to the beginning and start again, or they have to balance to lemon on the spoon for the going and return journey. Once the first participant returns, the spoon and lemon is handed over to the next person in line and the pattern continues until all persons have had a turn. The first to complete wins.

Variation used on this sports day: place spoon in mouth, with hands behind back.

4. Relay Race

This was improvised, because the girls were enjoying the games so much.


Two teams and a water bottle for each team (to act as a baton).


Two teams racing each other. The first person of each team is handed a water bottle. They have to run to, and return from, a certain distance (marked by pots or the equivalent). On their return, they pass the water bottle to the next person in line. This continues until the last person in the team has had their turn. The first to finish wins.

Observations and conclusion

Overall, Corinne, Govind, Tamanna and I thought that the Sports Day was very successful. We addressed the problem of a lack of teamwork and unity through these varied and fun sports and activities. Although the girls were all quite shy and quiet at the start, they obviously had a lot of fun, there was a lot of laughing and, more importantly, a great deal of competition and teamwork. Perhaps this could be a weekly event, to ensure that this teamwork is encourages, developed and enhanced.

These exercises followed onto the second part of the project, where the girls had to work together in pairs and design and produce a pillowcase that would be judged by a panel at the end of 7 days. This will be further explained in a following report.

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