SOGIVE – A Community Empowering Project by Twinery
SOGIVE is a community empowering project organized by a diverse team of individuals with different skill sets from Twinery by MAS Innovations. The initiative was targeted towards the Maha Bodhi Vidyalaya, located opposite the Twinery office down Foster Lane, Colombo. Having begun in September 2018 and running until August 2019, SOGIVE aims to uplift the school and its students and offer them better opportunities in education. The goals of the initiative are as follows;
- To generate greater access to educational resources and training.
- To offer wider career path options and build soft skills.
- To encourage the pursuit of sports and creative endeavours as extra-curricular activities.
Key areas that the team looked to invest into were Education, Infrastructure, and Curriculars, and different approaches were developed depending on the demands of each. The students from this school come from low-income families and are often raised in trying environments. These children are in dire need of a good education not only to successfully pass their exams but also in order to gain the knowledge and qualifications necessary for a better life. The team will also be running a mentoring and guidance program for the children to create awareness around what opportunities will be available to them once they finish their schooling.
As the team brainstormed over different ideas, it was evident that there were key subjects the students needed support in. Namely Maths, Science, and English. Classes were then organized three days a week to work on critical areas of these subjects with the students. All the tutors used in this initiative are employees of Twinery or other SBUs of MAS Holdings. The classes are held from 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM after school and are taught to Grades 9 and 10, as they need more assistance while preparing for their national exams. The classes were only focused on these grades as only 27 volunteers came forward, all of who have been assigned classes on a shift basis so that they may balance their work and teaching effectively. O/L and A/L seminars are also planned to be held for the students as their national exams approach, although these will be conducted by professional tutors as past papers will be reviewed.
As the team visited the school, they realized the need for many structural renovations as the building was not in an ideal state. The washrooms, cafeteria, IT labs, science labs and primary school playground all required renovations. Due to budget restrictions, the cafeteria was deemed a priority for the students as a hygienic environment in which to consume food is mandatory for any human being. This led the team to speak to contractors and put together a plan to build a new cafeteria for the school, one that is bigger and better equipped than its current one. Building of the cafeteria will begin in 2019 as time and investment have been pushed into the education aspect of the initiative for 2018.
School life has never been about just academics – there are other aspects that play a significant part in the all-round education of a student. The school currently lacks a curriculars program for their students, which doesn’t them an avenue through which to express themselves. The students of this school come from trying backgrounds and have been through hardships that more fortunate people like ourselves may never be able to relate to. This led the team to carefully design a comprehensive plan for all age groups to make full use of extra-curricular activities. The team has planned different programs aimed at different age groups, such as painting, poster creation, upcycling, and survival skills. The team was also able to secure a partnership with TAFA Football Academy to offer football as a sport for the children to take on and learn. The Academy sends over a foreign and local coach to teach the students the sports and allow them to play, have fun and enjoy their childhood while learning how to be a team player. A vocational development series has also been organized by the team to invite prominent personalities and industry leaders to come and speak to the students on a variety of topics that they can best relate to. Educational excursions have also been organized for the different age groups 4 times throughout the duration of the initiative.
The team has divided the project into 2 phases with the first phase spanning from September to December 2018. We are currently on the lookout for more volunteers who would like to invest their time or make charitable donations towards our cause. With that said, we hope that all the goals that we have set out to achieve will be met in the months to come, as the overarching aim is to enrich the lives of the children and to that, we hold true.