Soul and Substance interviews module goes beyond the traditional approach of data collection and offers a more holistic understanding of the beneficiaries’ perspectives. By adopting a person-centered approach, these interviews aim to delve deeper into the beneficiaries’ lived experiences, providing invaluable insights into the effectiveness and relevance of social development initiatives.
The interviews have been carefully designed to foster an environment of trust, respect, and empathy, ensuring that beneficiaries feel comfortable sharing their stories and perspectives. It aims to create a safe space where individuals can express their thoughts, emotions, and aspirations freely, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the impact of Smile Foundation’s social development programmes on their lives.
Here is the story of a carefree and passionate Khushi* (13 years) trained in our education programme, center located at Shri Ram J.J.Colony, Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi in her own words.
- Khushi, I just saw you helping others with their homework, you’re 13 years old and extremely intelligent. Can you tell me when have you been coming to this education center?
Oh, thank you so much! I come to this education center every day for around 4 years now, without fail. It has become like my second home, you know? Before joining here, I wasn’t really the brightest student in school. But ever since I started attending this center, things have changed. I enjoy learning so much. Helping my friends with their homework is something I really enjoy too, coming to this education center every day is like a part of my routine now, and I absolutely love it!
- What subjects or activities do you enjoy the most at the education center, and why?
English is my favorite subject and I do not enjoy math! I just love reading stories and we have these drawing activities at every festival so all of us get to be creative techniques. It’s not like boring lectures at school. We get to be creative and use our imaginations. Plus, we have a small ground here too! I really enjoy playing sports with my friends during breaks. It’s such a refreshing break from studying. So yeah, I have a blast with English, drawing, games, and sports here at the center!
- Wow, I’m glad to hear that. How about your family? Do you share your experience with them?
My family means the world to me, and I share everything with them! My dad, he’s mostly busy with work as a driver, so I don’t get to see him much. But I tell my mom all about my day at the education center, the fun activities, and how much I’m learning. I also try to teach her what I’ve learned. And when it comes to homework, my two elder brothers are my heroes. They keep asking me about my classes and are always curious about my studies. I also help them with the projects that they make in college.
- So, do you teach your mom? Is it fun? How does that make you feel?
Oh, it’s so exciting to teach my mom! (giggles) I started by teaching her how to read basic Hindi, and she’s learned quite a lot. I also tried teaching her numbers. She already knew basic addition and subtraction, but I helped her make it easier and more fun. But my favourite memory is teaching her how to sign! Seeing her learn signature was amazing, and then my mom asked me to teach her to sign in English too. She enjoys it a lot, and she does so much work at home so all of this makes me feel like I am also doing something for her.
- What are your aspirations and goals for the future? What do you tell your mom that you want to become?
I have big dreams for my future! One of my dreams is to become a pilot. I admire pilots because I will get to see the world. My teachers here at the education center have inspired me too. They not only teach us academic subjects but also share important lessons about health. They’ve taught us the importance of eating healthy food and taking care of ourselves. They also told me that if I want to be a pilot I should eat healthily. I also want to be like my teachers and help children study. I want to make a difference in their lives, just like my teachers have done for me.
*Name changed due to confidentiality reasons