Looking back, we’ve come a long way from where we started with our ninth graders in their leadership journey. They have come a far way from being confused about what they wanted to do to becoming self aware. And not only have they developed self-awareness, they have also become aware of the problems in the society they live in. This is reflected in the leadership projects that they have been working on for the past few months now. They have taken these social issues so seriously that they decided to make documentaries on them to spread awareness among people.
Eight of our ninth grade students decided to make documentaries on three different issues, that they felt, affected women’s lives the most:
- Sexual abuse among children
- Female-selective killing
- Views on working women Vs views on working men
Initially, when the girls started working on their leadership projects, they faced multiple struggles. To start with, they couldn’t decide what topic to choose, what exactly they wanted to do with a topic, and who to team up with. Once they decided that they wanted to make documentaries, they were still unsure of who they wanted to work with and how to start making a documentary. After watching some documentaries, small group discussions and additional support from their teachers, they finalized their groups and started researching on their topics. Researching hasn’t been easy for them. They had to learn what counts as reliable sources, and how to look for them, what information to look for, and how to organise and use that information in their projects. After weeks of researching, the students started finding different ways of presenting their work in a documentary. They are currently working on creating their storyboards and learning different styles that they can choose for their documentaries.
Additionally, balancing exam pressure, school work, studies and creating these leadership projects has been anything, but easy. Despite this, the girls have shown the value of perseverance and integrity by respecting the responsibilities they have undertaken and working relentlessly to work towards their vision. There have been additional challenges that the girls have faced, but they haven’t stopped them to continue working hard.
Alisha and Leslie share their reflections below about their leadership project (via email). They are creating a documentary on female-selective killing:
“It has been a really tough time for us before taking this topic that is the documentary on Female Infanticide, like before taking this topic we were really thinking about different things which were not even connected to this topic… We were very excited in the first when we took on this topic, we actually came forward a topic of which people are aware of but fail to think about how we can solve this????? when we started with our project, the first thing that we started to find were picture!!! but when we started our search it was really really very bad to see that how worse the condition of India`s girls have become… and as we moved on with our project there were many difficulties that we faced, like there were many corrections to be done then there were many things that we didn`t understand etc.. but we still enjoy while we work on our documentary. And there are many more things still to be done to complete our documentary a successful one!!!! We really love working on the documentary!!!”
Aarti, Ankita and Sweety Mishra have been working together on a documentary that compares the attitude and views towards working women and working men. This is what they have to say:
“At the starting of this project we were really confused with this project because it is different everyone else. So then tanushree miss helped us to understand and overcome all the difficulties. Nowadays we were really confused for the ending message but that too tanushree and tamara miss helped us to get it. Now we got our message and we hope our project is the best.”
After changing the topic multiple times, Mitali, Disha and Allysin are currently working on the story board for their documentary on child sexual abuse. Here are their views:
“We had many worries to choose our L&E project but when we heard about child sexual assault, we decided to work on this project. First we had many difficulties in finding data about our project but as the days passed we have successfully collected our data. We have a learned a lot during our research. We are not looking forward to start working on our documentary and try to bring a little awareness in the society through our documentary.”
We cannot wait for the girls to finish their documentaries and present their hard work in front of the world. We hope that their projects are able to create a positive impact in the lives of the people around them.