After a long wait, finally, the day of International Geography Youth Summit (IGYS) was here. 7th June, 2017 was the day we and 54 children from our partner schools were looking forward to. You must be wondering why? Well, this is the platform where our children get to present their research which they have been working on since the last couple of months. IGYS is an initiative by The Institute of Geographical Studies which was set up to help make geography education more fun, relevant, and exciting for all especially for school students. Every year, they hold a conference, particularly for young people. The first one was hosted in 2014.
Children from 5 of our partner schools participated in the Summit with topics varying from Taboos of menstruation to the plight of Uber cab drivers. These children spent a good amount of time finalizing these topics and doing their research on the ground. Their hard work was visible in their presentations and in their confidence in handling questions and answers from the audience. It was a beautiful sight to behold when children from our partner school Citizens’ High School went ahead and presented to the audience about the Taboos of Menstruation. It was great to see the ease with which they handled questions like “Have you spoken to your fathers about it?” And the girls boldly answered, “If we feel uncomfortable we don’t have to talk to our dads. We may have our mothers to help us but what about the girls who are not that lucky? We can’t imagine what they go through. And we should not feel uncomfortable talking about buying sanitary pads.” This got them a huge applaud from the audience and probably affirmed their belief in the fact that speaking about these topics is what is going to help break the Taboos.
Another marvelous event was when a child from our partner school Swami Vivekananda Rural Education Society, asked the audience if they knew what a “hypothesis” was. This was responded by the children from another partner school Sujana Convent and to cement the understanding Preeti, from Citizens’ High School articulated it with an example. All of this happened in 2 minutes.
It was like seeing an orchestra make its best symphony. Even our team members who had mentored these kids over last 2 months were amazed beyond words. At the end of the first day, our children had proven that knowledge is an outcome of hard work and it is independent of the background of a person. The confidence of facing the crowd came from a deep understanding of their respective topics. It was great to see the audience comprising of children and teachers from International Schools cheer and encourage our children.
We are eagerly waiting to witness the magic that these children unfold in the coming days. For this, we would especially like to thank Chandra Shekhar Balachandran Sir for being a constant support and making this possible. We are hopeful that this great opportunity will affirm our children’s belief that anything is possible if they put their head and heart into it.