As I write today’s blog I am preparing once again to depart this weekend for New Delhi, India. In October 2009 we launched our Children’s Resiliency Program in New Delhi, providing social-emotional, conflict management, and other life skills training to 55 teachers from 10 schools in 5 cities, serving over 1,000 youth in severely low-income communities. From all across the country teachers joined us for five days to kick-off the program through a vigorous intensive training. A wonderful informative video on the program can be found here. (Thanks to Dan Herz Productions, 24 Frames, and Laura Kudritzki for their great filming and production work!).
This time around, approximately 18 teachers from the first cohort will be joining me for a 2 day follow-up training, focused primarily on the use of Restorative Practices in schools. If you’re not familiar with this wonderful body of work, Restorative Practices is an exciting emerging field of study that enables people to build and repair relationships and community and effectively deal with conflict. Drawing upon theory, research and practice from the fields of education, counseling, criminal justice, social work and organizational management, Restorative Practices are used to help individuals and organizations build equitable social connections and achieve social discipline and effectiveness through an easy-to-learn participatory learning and decision-making process.
I’ll also be checking in on the status of our pilot research project with 100 schoolgirls at the Hope Project, a local nonprofit that operates in Basti Hzt Nizamuddin, a 400 year-old low-income Muslim community in the heart of New Delhi. Most of these girls, ages 12 to 18, are the first generation in their family to gain a formal education and many of their parents are illiterate. Health indicators in the basti are also very low. Its been an honor to work with such a dedicated group of teachers and students and I’m looking forward to gaining feedback on the program.