Making a Better World for Bosco Kids

Nidhiya V Raj

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Dinokidz

Webmaker is an initiative of Mozilla to teach the importance of web literacy and privacy. Webmaker has an ambitious goal in helping millions of people move from simply using the web to making the web a better place. Webmaker events organized by the Mozilla Kerala community gained media coverage and has helped in bringing up more volunteers for Mozilla’s mission. DinoKidz was such a Webmaker project organized by Mozilla Kerala exclusively for kids. Its aim was to teach them the basics of computers. i.e What is a computer, how it works, introduction to operating systems, introduction to basic softwares, etc. Webmaker at “Don Bosco Sneha Bhavan” has an amazing story. Let’s see how “BOSCO KIDS” became “DINO KIDZ”.

As a Mozillian, I’ve been to many places to promote web literacy and support the open-source projects. Apart from technical events, I never had an opportunity to be a part of some community services. Right after my university exams, I decided to join the “BOSCO KIDS” project to refresh myself. Despite of heavy monsoon downpour, I was so excited on May 7, 2014. It was my first class at Dino Kids. I was not familiar with the location of the venue. I decided to leave early from home, just in case I got lost on the way. But I didn’t. I happened to reach the venue almost an hour early than scheduled.

One of the Don Bosco authorities Job sir had an endless story to tell me when I asked about the Don Bosco – its mission, history, inhabitants, authorities etc. I was really inspired by their story. Their initiative and effort to support orphans, children from dysfunctional families, etc are heart-touching. I felt deep in my heart that someone should help them besides random stakeholders. I did appreciate the way they were committed to the society.

When the clock struck 10:00AM, Job sir invited me to class. I had no idea about the kids that were awaiting me – whether they were too small kids, how I would handle them, etc. But when I saw the kids, I felt myself so alive. I felt young again. After the prayer they all wished me “Good Morning”. It was elongated rhythmically just like a song (even I used to do the same when I was in kindergarten 🙂 ). All of them were from classes 5th to 8th. But most of them were as naughtier than KG kids!

Due to the heavy downpour, thunder and lightning we had no power supply to power the projector. So I decided to brush up what they had studied so far. And I could easily interact with them because they all were dynamic to respond to my questions. one of the kids named Alan was indeed very agile. I had to find a new seat for that super-hyper kid every 15 minutes. He used to poke someone and scream “Miss, he is poking me”. At last I gave him the best place to sit – in between two silent girls. That made everyone laugh.

Since there was no sign of the restoration of electricity that day, I thought of describing the various parts of computer it’s evolution, etc.  Most of the kids had not even seen a computer in their life before. By 11AM, though power was restored, we decided not to spoil their moment and started playing “Dumb charades”. Five teams were allied and game was started. And the fun began. We were all laughing the whole time. Especially when the weird and tough Malayalam film names like ‘Bhramaram’ were demonstrated in action. Kids were so mirthless to leave the class when it was 12. Most of the kids came around me to know if they should call me “Chechi”, “Miss” or “Teacher”. And I replied them that they can call me anything that they love to 😉 . And some of them wished me special goodbye too. So sweet and innocent they were!!! 🙂 ♥

For the next class, I started with Microsoft Office Excel and taught them the applications, data entry, sorting, graphs, etc. We had no shortage of fun that day too because most of them was running around at times. By the next class, I had covered Microsoft Office Excel and gave them some exercises to do. With the extra hour we got, We split them into two teams “The Boys” and “The Girls” to play “Antakshari”. With amazing singers like Ann Mary, Akhila, Abhilash, Karate Girl and of course Alan (was he singing/telling?? I couldn’t tell), we had very tight competition. But unfortunately my pretty girls were defeated  🙁  by my smart boys team 🙂 .

One thing I was sure : They love being the “Bosco Kids“. ”DINO KIDZ” or “BOSCO KIDS” was indeed a great initiative by Mozilla Kerala. After all “Doing Good is Part of Our Code”. And it was well done by Mozillians like Vipin, Shine, Praveen, Jithin, me 🙂 and many others. I was so happy to be a part of this project. I felt that I should do something for them. Meanwhile, I also got a chance to visit the “Don Bosco Sneha Bhavan” – where small kids resided. I had candies specially for them. They were so happy to see me. After meeting a former inhabitant of Don Bosco Sneha Bhavan I got to know how the real life at Don Bosco felt like. He was allowed to shift to a new home (sponsored by Don Bosco) after marriage. I could see the sublime gratitude in his eyes when he was briefing his story.

A single effort can re-build the broken hopes of many. Let us join our hands to make a better world for them. So who is going to add a new rhythm to the lives of the kids here at Don Bosco Sneha Bhavan??