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Familia Home  –   January – March 2008

In November 2005 Create was asked by Familia Home in West Bengal to run a series of programmes. It wasn’t until January 2008 that we finally arrived in Kolkata, the regional capital of West Bengal. We ran three programmes, two creative education programmes with children and a training programme for teachers and parents.

Familia Home is an alternative community, three large houses set in gardens amidst paddy fields, are home to some 64 children, a parental couple live in each house and act as guardians for the children in their care.

Working with Familia offered a rare opportunity to work with a whole community, parents, teachers, carers and the children themselves.

Teacher Training

An intense six-week training  programme was conducted, meeting teachers and parents three times a week, two hours per session.Key aspects of child-care were discussed and investigated. In light of the programme many of the working methods of the ‘home’ were changed or adapted.

Creative education programme 1

We worked with 30 or more children aged six to 14 years. Workshops were held three times a week for six weeks. Performance art was the main area of work, poetry, mime and acting. Basic photography workshops were held for both groups. Composition and light was discussed and visual exercises used to illustrate their importance. Disposable cameras were distributed and working in pairs children made photographs with the themes, Family, Friends and Home.

Creative education programme 2

This second group, made up of 15 to 20 year olds, met three times a week, in addition to a full programme of performance led workshops, a number of discussion/debates were held.

Community theatre

A key work was a community theatre project, largely run by Metasebia Ketsela, the Create Trust”s dance & drama person at the time. Friendship was the theme of this variety evening, poetry, short-drama pieces, songs and dance, with one of the children acting as compere the evening presentation to the Familia community was a great success.

 

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