Friday, February 12, 2010

Our responsibilities at RSO


Our main responsibility over the next two and a half months at RSO  (Rising Star Outreach) is to help teach responsibility and ownership to the 180 children at the school.  One of the biggest problems here at RSO is that the kids receive things and do not take care of them…  so our task is to plant ownership and responsibility in their minds.  We have already found that this will be no small task.  It involves changing the way the teachers, staff, and children think about their things, their lives, and their futures. 

We are currently interviewing and observing housemothers (the caretakers while the kids are in the dorms) and the teachers in order to implement a simple “Ownership Stars” program.  We will model it after Tal’s parents “family economy” system that taught ownership to his family as he grew up.  The program will allow the children to earn a star a day by correctly performing tasks throughout the day.  Some examples of the tasks are: getting to school on time, having good behavior in class,, doing homework, and getting to bed on time. 

These stars will accumulate in  each child’s individual “Star Bank” account.  The children will be able to save their stars, with incentives for saving, or spend their stars to buy school supplies, computer time, shoes, and even a trip down the road to get some ice cream.  

Our other responsibility is to teach the “Moral Science” class to each grade level (Kindergarden to 8th grade) every week.  This teaching started this week and most of the classes went… okay.  The third graders were very difficult while the 5th and Kindergarten classes were quite good.  We are teaching them about ownership and responsibility in these classes, which ties in nicely to our “Ownership Stars” program.  

Here are some pictures from our past week at RSO…

RSO had a “Sports Day” on Saturday (in honor of Tal’s birthday…ok not true, but fun anyway) and it went really well.  Many of the leprosy affected parents came from surrounding colonies to see their children compete in the 100, 200 and 400 meter races…



The opening ceremonies were intense.  They included a very focused, military style march with steps synchronized to the sound of a large drum.


A torch was even lit…


The races were quite competitive…


We have found that being a teacher is really hard work!  We were exhausted after the first three classes.  Here is Anita giving some instruction…


All of the children now call her “Auntie Anita”.


This is the Kindergarden class. Luckily we get the help of the regular teachers Kala and Shama, who translate for us every now and then, as the children do not understand everything we say in English. And our Tamil is pretty much non-existent.


Lunch… This is a typical scene as the boys gravitate to Tal and the girls to me.

tal with RSO Kids

Walking to Lunch…


We took some time one morning to visit a local bird refuge and we had never seen so many large birds in one place!  To be honest, we thought it was beautiful but a bit overwhelming…




My dad was quite intrigued by the birds and we liked his observations.  He thought that storks and pelicans were named well… they really fit the look and sound of their given names.  He also observed, “storks are clumsy on the ground, but are quite the opposite in the air”…



Anita was slightly overwhelmed by the masses of birds so she took some time to walk to the edge of the refuge to see the quiet rice fields…

Anita in Rice

Not a bad idea by Anita because those rice fields were beautiful…


This was our beautiful pathway at the bird refuge… rice fields on the right, masses of large birds on the left…


In the meantime, my mom could not get a good picture of a monkey.  She must have tried 10 times, but the monkey would jump back on the roof before she could get a good shot! We thought it was pretty funny.


It was so much fun to have my parents here for the past few weeks.  They were able to really help RSO with some some great ideas, books and teachings.  We loved having them around! 

fam at RSO

1 comment:

  1. LOVED seeing sports day and Parents Day! Did any of the parents or grandparents who showed up show signs of having struggled with Leprosy? I would loved to have seen them and congratulated them on the most difficult job of giving up their children who they love so a good education and a way out of poverty!