Issue :   
Happy New Year 2020 to all Readers.          January 2020 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:Jan' 2020


Catch them young !

Rashmi Oberoi

Building Maya: A Dharwad event Just for Kicks: The game is open to all

Leadership is getting redefined. It is now all about youth leadership that supports students in developing the ability to analyse their own strengths and weaknesses, set personal and professional goals, and have the self-esteem, confidence, motivation, and abilities to carry them out.

Through leadership development, students can be mentored, guided, and trained to become dynamic personalities. Providing leadership training prepares youth to manage time, work in a team setting, set goals, start conversations, facilitate meetings, and make effective presentations; all of which are positive life skills that they will carry into adulthood.

For many years, leadership has been seen by most people as a role or a title in a business, organization or team. Recently, on my trip to Singapore, I met Aparna Nayampalli, who is the Director HR of Enabling Leadership Foundation. Her husband, Ravi Sonnad is the CEO and together with a fantastic leadership team who share their passion and vision for building leadership in today’s children, they have followed what they truly believe in.

Enabling Leadership (Dharwad) The Foundation believes that in order for today’s children to truly succeed at school, in their careers and as responsible adults, there is an urgent need to redefine leadership. One where every child is a role model, positive contributor and global citizen. Their programmes use a unique pedagogy and creative methods that enable leadership through building strong belief systems, excellent problem solving skill, and a keen sense of awareness.
The Foundation is a for-purpose non-profit with a mission to instil leadership qualities in underprivileged children through innovative and creative programmes, especially in Asia. They envision a world where every child is a leader – a role model, a global citizen and a positive contributor. And the way ahead for this growing leadership is through a shared love of music, football and creativity.

Learning the art of kicks Building Maya: A classroom interaction

Evidence proves that education can lead to improved human development indices like improved health, reduced poverty and child mortality. But what enables individuals to make ‘right’ choices – ones that take responsibility for improving our combined futures? This is at the heart of their theory of change. And they believe that strong leadership skills are vital to creating choices as well as making the right choices.

They believe children learn best through having fun and experiences, and so their programmes - Just for Kicks (football), Music Basti (music) and Build Maya (Lego) use a unique pedagogy to reach children in their early years, between the ages of 8 and 14.

Their curricula focus on teaching children to be excellent problem solvers, role models who contribute positively in their communities, and global citizens who truly care about making a difference in the world. They don't believe that any single individual or handful of individuals can make the difference we need in the world today. Every child matters, every single child is needed, every child can be this kind of ‘leader’.

It all sounds very challenging and that is why it is their mission to reach 1 million children by 2030. Today they have reached out to over 6000 children in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune and 15 villages in Dharwad and Kumta, in Karnataka, India. It is their goal to enrol at least 60 per cent of our students from rural India by 2025.

Basti programme : saying it with music A Music Basti event

Their programmematic strategy focuses on building meaningful and sustainable impact in each community that they serve. Programmes are implemented as at least three-year in-school interventions with students starting at age 8 years, in government or low-income schools. Each of their programmes, while engaging and fun, is also carefully designed to enable children to learn important leadership skills. Through providing up to 50 lessons each year delivered by trained teachers and coaches, as well as learning materials and opportunities to perform, compete and showcase work, students are able tocollaborate, reflect on and connect first-hand experiences and learnings from the classroom or playground with their real lives.

Their carefully designed programmes in music, football and Lego enable children to learn these valuable leadership skills. These mediums already have a proven range of diverse cognitive, behavioural, social and emotional, and academic benefits for children, therefore, serve as excellent vehicles for learning.

Just For Kicks is a football programme that enables children from under-resourced schools to carry their leadership learnings from the team sport into real-life situations and challenges. Through the programme, students work together as teams to learn football technique preparing them to participate in Just For Kicks' regional and national leagues.

Music Basti’s group-based music learning programme enables children from underresourced schools to tell the stories of their dreams and communities through music. Through its unique and bespoke teaching methods, the programme trains students in music fundamentals, writing original songs and giving public performances.

Building Maya in Dharwad Build Maya uses the pedagogy of play to enable children to create a world of their imagination. Using the principle of positive play, students design solutions using building blocks for real-world challenges in their home, school, village or larger community.
In 2018-19, each of Enabling Leadership’s programme outcomes were designed and implemented based on a common leadership framework. While the medium of instruction varied across the programmes, the shared goal was to enable positive outcomes related to developing strong belief systems, excellentproblem solving skills and a keen sense of awareness.
While it was the first year of implementation with their structured curriculum and pedagogy, there were many key programmematic learnings based on methodology and programme delivery, evaluation of impact and results, and anecdotal evidence from the programmes across India.
Anecdotal evidence based on feedback from and discussions with students, parents, school teachers and principals highlight certain positive behaviour changes in students, in particular, an increased sense of discipline, selfconfidence, and perseverance, as a result of participating in the programmes.
Many of these stories have been captured in a series of films created by Enabling Leadership over the course of the year. Noteworthy examples of engaging parents and local community members include ‘play dates’ set up in rural Dharwad through the Build Maya programme, with students leading parents through activities, or, more than 50 per cent of parents attending the Music Basti annual concerts inDelhi.

Transformation in schools and communities can only be possible with the consolidated efforts of parents and school authorities. While orientations with parents and schools are a part of the programme, they will be designed to be more effective and frequent in the next year in order to help them understand the programme objectives more clearly and support their children and students.

Enabling Leadership Foundation has been fortunate to work with partners – foundations, financial institutions, and brands – who share their passion and vision for building leadership in today’s children. With their support, they are growing their programmes in India, and globally. There are many ways you can partner to help them achieve their goals and supporting Enabling Leadership is a reflection of your values and commitment to philanthropy.