Project LAPE was conceived out of the dire need for a change in children’s learning environment and to impart value based education in children. It is our aim to raise learning outcomes and standards by promoting a school ethos which is underpinned by core values. These values support the development of the whole child as a reflective learner within a calm, caring, happy and purposeful atmosphere.
During Project LAPE Phase I, we adopt a lowest-income government school and paint all its shared spaces with highly inclusive and interactive curricula.
During Project LAPE Phase II, we facilitate need-based interventions with respect to the values that need to be revived among children in the schools.
Project Bastar Ta Poloi
Bastar Ta Poloi is an endeavour to provide an authentic counter-narrative to the predominant stereotype around violence in tribal and naxal-affected communities of Chhattisgarh.
We at Labhya believe that art is the strongest medium through which schools can build values like empathy and compassion among children. It encourages healthy risk taking, helps kids recognize new skills in themselves and others and provides a way to differentiate instruction. Thus, the first phase of Project LAPE involved budding artists in our endeavor to create a highly engaging environment for students in low-income government schools. We adopt a lowest-income government school and paint all its shared spaces with highly inclusive and interactive curricula, with the support of our Troopers (volunteers).
Labhya Foundation reimagines the role of communities in education through Project LAPE Phase I and involves students, teachers, parents, volunteers, skilled labourers of the community & local governments to:
- Understand the context and challenges of partner schools & our students' communities;
- Curate inclusive and interactive content for students;
- Identify forgotten art forms of the community and revive them on school walls;
- Spread awareness about sensitive issues across stakeholders.
We believe in involving every stakeholder in our endeavor to create a process and not just a project, details of which are as follows:
spend up to six hours of their day in school. It is, therefore, extremely vital for them to have access to learning in every corner of their space. Through LAPE, we not only transform learning but also encourage students to take risks. Our artwork is simple and inspires students to express themselves through drawing and painting. Unusually coloured regular figures, for eg. a blue giraffe, heightens children's creative expression which makes them grow exponentially.
Through Project LAPE, we aim to build and take forward an initiative that the Government of India proposed and implemented in 2006 called Building As Learning Aid (BaLA). LAPE, however, focuses on developing highly inclusive content for specific spaces in low-income government schools in order to benefit teaching for educators, as well as self-awareness for learners. By making their workplace more colourful, we impact how teachers approach their classrooms everyday with a more positive attitude. LAPE provides an alternate method of teaching children values and academics together, thus evolving how lessons are being taught in classes.
Education is a spectrum of which parents are an important aspect. It is, therefore, essential for children to explore every aspect of their potential in totality. The Labhya Foundation takes an initiative to involve parents in their children's school education. We welcome parents to take a tour of our work during Parent-Teacher Meetings. Many parents have come forth and painted walls with us. This encouraged dignity of labour among children.
The Labhya Foundation attempts to create a coexisting environment with the existing communities near the school. We invite children to contribute to our paintings during weekends and our volunteers have engaging interactions with them. Since these children come from an amalgamation of Public, Private and low-income Govt. schools, they together and along with each other by expressing their emotions on the walls of their choice. Elderly people of these communities also join us and even assist us in various ways, thus creating a co-dependent, inclusive and serving ecosystem for all.
Through Labhya, we wish to create an environment for our volunteers, where they grow as individuals, while creating a ripple for a common cause. We aspire to build a space where everyone believes in empathy and expression. Hence, we put all our effort in maintaining a healthy environment where individual expression was given a lot of importance. Further, we try to assist them in identifying their niche as creative professionals in the future and also counsel them with respect to their interests in various aspects of social and development sector.
If one comes to closely analyse, the current education system only works on the correlation between work and education. Work has defined the scope of education. As we transition into a more automated world, we narrow the scope of education further.
As we see it, values will become a major portion of what we call education right now. We intend to uproot how we look at education, as it has become a marker for one's potential by creating competition and self doubt. The need of the hour is making our children's moral fibre so strong that we are able to nurture empathetic leaders of tomorrow who are able to make decisions on the basis of sound moral principles.
The big realisation after our first phase was that we were able to facilitate change and could witness the learning that our Troopers went through.
Therefore, in order to extend our belief in a core value system, we began Project LAPE Phase II. We are working in order to counter the absence of quality value based education through
- Reflective thinking;
- Action Immersion, and
- Inclusive and nurturing environments.
Self-reflection is vital as we transition to an almost fully automated world. We do realise that values cannot be “taught” to kids. They can be imparted or iterated on and children can be enabled to iterate on them. We believe that the harmony of our society can be preserved only through a strong core value system.
As they growup, children embody values and learning for the environment they are exposed to. Educational Institutions are expected to impart values in individuals by having a moral ethos embodied in rules, rewards, consequences, styles of teaching, extra curricular emphases, art, and in the kinds of respect accorded students and teachers.
Since it is difficult for teachers, especially in government educational institutions, to infuse values with everyday lessons, Labhya Foundation wishes to step into these spaces and create a way for future empathetic leaders to flourish from a young age.
Bastar Ta Poloi means "Stories of Bastar" in Gondi, a language widely spoken in tribal Chhattisgarh. In alignment with it's title, Labhya Foundation's latest campaign is an endeavour to provide an authentic counter-narrative to the predominant stereotype around violence in tribal and naxal-affected communities of Chhattisgarh.
Throughout this online and offline campaign, we aim to introduce authentic experiences of our co-founder, Adarsh, who has been relentlessly working with the remotest tribes of Narayanpur and Sukma, Chhattisgarh since 2016.
The term Naxal derives from the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the movement had its origin. Naxalites are considered far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. The popular narrative about regions affected by Naxalites, also declared as "Red Corridor Zones", is thriving on various assumptions based on the highly sensationalized media representation of these regions.
Not only are these areas hard to access due to limited road and network connectivity, but also are extremely hard to serve in due to extremely low population density because of geographical terrain of Chhattisgarh. One of our communities is in Abujmarh which also called the "the unknown hills" or "no man's land". Geographically isolated and largely inaccessible, the area continues to show no physical presence of the civil administration, and is also known as "liberated-zone" as it is an alleged hub of Naxalite-Maoist insurgency, who run a parallel government in the area.
We hope to document and represent the Chhattisgarh that is usually veiled across various mainstream media platforms, not-to-push an agenda, but to give India an opportunity to explore what they probably have not seen before.
Labhya Foundation's purpose of beginning Bastar Ta Poloi is to
- Highlight and normalise the everyday sustainable and marvelous practices of our tribal India.
- Represent the Chhattisgarh, that is usually veiled across various mainstream media platforms, not-to-push an agenda, but to give India an opportunity to explore what they probably have not seen before.
- Nurture a friendship across different cultures and help the new generation get rid of stereotypes around each other's communities, while also embracing each other's diversities. This will enable them to easily understand the reality of today's Chhattisgarh through other children of their age.
Bastar ta Poloi will run as
- An online campaign, where we will be covering everyday stories of tribal communities on social media platforms, and
- An offline project, where we will create pen-pals across low-income government schools in urban India and children of rural and tribal Chhattisgarh.