gift unwrapped

Some of you may remember the very special gift I had sought this year for my b'day. Yesterday was unwrapping time as team project why gathered for a day long workshop and everyone read their essays ( for want of a better word). I must confess that I was really thrilled as everyone, even those who were illiterate had made the effort to produce a page.

When I began the workshop by asking each one to read what they had written I was met with a volley of giggles, exclamations and no ways! But I held on and soon everyone settled and one by one they read what they had written. Some in barely audible voices, some with theatrical aplomb, and some amidst giggles. I wish i had done this exercise before as those few paragraphs were a deep insight into each and everyone. Having known most of them for many years now, I could validate much of what I had till then just felt intuitively.

They had been asked to write about how the years in pwhy had transformed them, it at all, and why should anyone one 'love' them. Some felt is necessary to eulogise pwhy and ma'am. Others were bold enough to state that they should be loved for this or that reason. Some went back to their school days and their relationship with their own teachers. There were even one or two who delivered a passionate speech on the state of the country.

There were however some heartwarming and even poignant common threads: new found self confidence, ability to talk to foreigners, realisation that they could achieve what once seemed impossible. All in all it was a great experience and one that met my secret agenda: that of getting each one of them to take on the running of their own centre. I explained to them that i wanted each one of them to feel responsible for the work they were doing, to make its budget, to list its assets, to maintain daily accounts and above all to state its relevance.

There were raised eyebrows, incredulous looks and much whispering. But step one had been taken towards a change in roles and I knew that this was a great moment for all of us at pwhy.

(to be continued....)