School for Changemakers
Initiatives of Change Malaysia
School for Changemakers
The School for Changemakers (SfCM) is a residential leadership development initiative for high potential people who want to explore inner and outer dimensions of change. It is centered around an annual conference every summer in the UK. The alumni form a fellowship group that stay in touch throughout the year.
Program Report By Dheeno
3rd Jan 2020 to 10th Jan 2020 Asia Plateau, India
School for Changemakers Program is one of the best programs I have attended so far. It has good balance between inner self development, leadership and socio political discussion. Among the topics raised by the facilitator are, health, politics, arts, animal welfare, social cohesion, education, media and communications, equality and environment.
The participants come from different types of background but with a purpose, to make the world a better place by creating a world that works for everyone. In the world of where most of the ideas/systems have been put into reality, as shared in the program, will eventually fade away. Such events should be allowed to take place on its own and allow new ideas to rise gently into reality. A series of questions like is it kind, is it true, is it necessary should be considered in order to create a sustainable action for change. Constantly looking for answers and believing what you think as true will solidify your purpose and plan of action. On top of that, building a community that shares the same idea will create a solidarity for the idea. However every initial step requires courage and identifying the meaning of courage for oneself and the source of courage will help along the idea implementation. The courage includes being clear on what you want, trying to change the situation and not bluntly accepting things as they are.
Some very humble sharing was done by Grampari Team which consist of several good guidelines such as Don’t teach quiet time, practise it with them., You are not bigger than them., Don’t go there to do work, motivate them to do work., spirituality and action leads to faster change. In Statemenship Session, lots of sharing was done covering the global citizens such as too much of hate and less liking among the citizens. Some global citizens came up with thoughts what if certain groups don’t exist. As no one is pure evil, knowing the presence of others and respecting their rights may lead to a world that works for everyone. In order to draw strength through this effort, we should remember people who have faced greater pain and we should also strive to find the strength through pain, beyond pain. Genuine interest in other person connects people. Having self-awareness of own shortcoming creates compassionate environment for discussion. All of this leads to a common identity of purpose.
Leadership program conducted was very much on self leadership. Understanding the type of personality (Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic & Melancholic)you are, leads to the role you plan in a team and how you manage your life. This leads us to understanding how different types of personalities will bring different aspects to the table. I have also learnt the usage of language on what we are going to do displays pain and subconsciously showing others how we feel about it. We may start by not using “I Have to …” and start using “I Want to…” phrases. Coaching technique was well demonstrated during this session in which the coach understands the parameters and start working on top of them rather than commanding actions that misfit the parameters. Coaching has a lot to do with goal setting and the learning ladder which is Unconscious Incompetence, Conscious Competence, Conscious Competence and Unconscious Competence.
Overall, this program covered self-awareness, self-improvements, community work connection and global citizenship. It was well structured and inputs from participants and facilitator helped me figure out what I can do for myself and for my community.
Program Report By Bavani
3rd Jan 2020 to 10th Jan 2020 Asia Plateau, India
I consider myself as a hardworking person with big dreams and high motivation. I work 6 days a week full time and part time and it’s been the same routine for the past 10 years, till I forgot all the beautiful things I used to enjoy when I was young. Things changed early this year, when I was offered to participate in a program called “School for Changemakers” in Panchgani India. I didn’t think much, just packed my bags and made the trip. After nearly 15 hours of travelling by flight and driving through Indian traffic, I finally reached Asia Plateau.
What a great beginning it was for me, the 10 days I was there was just amazing. Every morning I was awakened with cool fresh air, sound of birds happily singing, monkeys jumping from tree to tree and beautiful blooming flowers around the places. Asia Plateau once just rocks and mountain now absolutely gorgeous with entire view which is simply “Breathtaking”.
More than 80 people participated in this program. Most of them were from all around India like Delhi, Jharkhand, Kashmir, Nagaland and Ladakh. There were also participants from outside India like Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Portugal. Since School for Changemakers is a UK based program, most of the workshop was conducted by the group Changemakers UK in a fun and interesting way. The 4 temperaments scale give me an idea to understand more about myself and the qualities in me to be a good leader. I like the way Gemma Perkins from Self Leadership Initiative UK explained it with some interesting and joyful games.
During my stay in Asia Plateau, a visit to one of the “Grampari” supported Villages (incredible innovative Eco Project with local farmers) was part of the program. I was amazed on hearing the local communities stories and how regular quiet time had helped them to make important changes in their self, families and their communities. I was also impressed to see a clean village where recycling plays an important role. Women and men from the village joined together and worked as a team by cleaning their village and also the neighbouring villages.
Though I was specially enjoying delicious traditional North Indian vegetarian foods, mesmerized by poetic form of Ghazal songs like “ Ganesh Vandana” and “ Vaishnav Jana Tau” by the Bhajanavali group and impressed by the talented Singer and Guitarist Vasu Dixit, I was disturbed with some of the political issues that happened during my stay in India.
The implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) by Indian Government has ignited fear among the people of India and most of them were against it. It was really heartbreaking to read about students and professors beaten with rods in campus area itself. Due to that, security was very tight at the Delhi Airport and also on the way to Panchgani. It was really scary because I never experienced such incidence before.
The demolition of Babri Masjid (Ayothiya) In 1992 which was targeted after political rally by the Hindu nationalist organisations turned violent and later in November 2019, the supreme court ruled that land must be handed over to the Hindus to construct a Hindu Temple and a separate land was given to the Muslims. This was also a hot topic discussed very much. I knew about the issue when I was in Malaysia itself, but when Supriya Gandhi explained it I had a better understanding.
While I was at Asia Plateau , I made lots of friends. All of us had the same passion which is helping people to unlock their potential and to uplift their lives and become CHANGE MAKERS to create a better world. Fauziah from Kashmir, a place which is a subject of dispute between India and Pakistan was one of the courageous lady I met there. She was not just a caring mother and good wife, she was the first to represent Kashmir in the First Child General Assemble under the union and she also works with multiple NGOs both at national and international levels. She chose to stay there to support her husband in his social work and to help people of Kashmir even though she knew she could live a better and comfortable life outside Kashmir.
Vanitha Prabhu and Anushia Bharathwaj from “Voice 4 Girls”, which is a social enterprise that educates and empowers marginalized adolescent girls in the state of Karnathaka are doing wonderful work to break the perpetual cycles of poverty and social inequality in their community. Shohini Chakrabothy, a dancer and sociologist who helps human trafficking survivors to heal from trauma through “Dance Movement Therapy”. These are just some of the enlightened people whom I met there. I also met Professor Raj Mohan Gandhi the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Kalpana Sharma an independent journalist, Pooja Bhale director of Procterra Ecological and many more.
Professor Raj Mohan Gandhi
Overall School for Changemakers is not just a program to motivate, increase knowledge and skills and self awareness, it is where one learns how to make a choice in one’s life whether to help or ignore others. With continued awareness and guidance, I can bring about a change in myself, my family, my area of work and my community. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Mrs. Tia and IofC Malaysia for giving me this wonderful experience which I will cherish forever.