As part of our commitment to promote healthy, holistic and thoughtful living, I Say Organic was proud to collaborate with the Delhi based NGO Manzil, an afterschool learning center for students near Khan Market, to host a workshop promoting nutritious eating and environmental consciousness. Manzil is a fantastic organization that focuses on helping their students develop into motivated, inquisitive, kind, and employable young adults through programs in English, computer skills, mathematics, and more. There is a void in terms of environmental education in the Delhi government school system, so we were thrilled to give back to the community and help teach these students a little more about the planet we all share. This workshop was organized by Ronita Choudhuri, a core team member at Manzil, and Tulsi Kohli, a coordinator at Manzil. We were thrilled to have 22 bright, engaged students ranging from 8 to 18 years old attend our two-hour workshop!
The focus of the workshop was promoting and fostering consciousness concerning current environmental challenges we face, and working to envision and discuss how humanity can carefully and thoughtfully interact and engage with our planet, a mantra of our work here at I Say Organic. We began by talking, in both English and Hindi, about some facets of nature and the environment to help our learners develop well crafted and nuanced viewpoints on the topics. After helping to solidify our students’ base of knowledge on the subject, we set their creativity loose and had them draw, in colored pencil and oil pastels, their interpretations and mental images of what nature means to them.
Some of our students struggled at first, as they weren’t used to this type of creative freedom, something absent in the school system. Rather than tell them what to draw, we worked to help them brainstorm and create the images that meant something to them. Once we worked past some of their initial drawer’s block, beautiful, intricate pictures started to emerge, dance, and come to life on the students’ papers. The breadth of topics was incredible, as the students drew everything from mountains to monkeys, fish, bathing elephants, and buffalos, parrots, peacocks, butterflies, ducks, trees, lakes, rivers and more. Once our learners were given the space and encouragement they needed their imaginations flourished, and all manner of flora and fauna sprung to life by their hands. And, they had tons of healthy I Say Organic snacks to help keep them energized!
The feedback from the students after the workshop was overwhelmingly positive, so many of them wanted to have another session! I Say Organic is so grateful to be able to work with these learners, to help provide the environment, topic, and materials for them to thoughtfully engage with complex topics like nature and sustainability. And we were so happy to bring the students closer to one another. As one of our youngest artists said, “drawing together brings me so much happiness.” We would like to thank Manzil for giving us the opportunity to work with the learners and are overjoyed that we could help to foster the young, bright minds that will push India forward over the years to come. Our commitment to creating a better society through food, outreaching, and education, is the foremost aspect of our culture and identity here at ISO, and there was no better place to continue working towards this future than with Manzil. And if you want to come see the beautiful pieces our students created, come on over to I Say Organic where we’re proudly displaying all the gorgeous drawings!
Learn more about Manzil at: Manzil.in