Participants of the program, are teenagers who face significant challenges on a daily basis. Traumatic life event(s), cultural background/expectations, peer attitudes, the influence of mainstream media (for example: on-screen violence), the stigma around physical/mental disability, etc. are all factors that stifle their development into confident, moral and healthy adults.
Research has shown that these factors increase susceptibility to stress, depression, obesity and tends to make them victim to bullying, unsafe sexual activity, forced labour, drug and alcohol use and also internet (social media) addiction.
An example of an Ilanthalir session ..
Getting students to participate is always a challenge in a classroom setting. To counter this, staff/volunteers regularly conduct ‘SPEAK’ sessions, which involves the teens taking turns and choosing a topic from a deck of cards, on which to say a few words. The topics are usually thought provoking and of a sensitive nature. In the meantime, other students are encouraged to develop their ideas on the same topic and later contribute to the discussion. Rational ideas/arguments are promoted and belittling discouraged, thereby enabling all to overcome any intimidation of speaking their mind.
Tamil is a proud 4000-year-old culture which is noticeably fading away, because of negative effects of globalization. People are likely to adopt the concept of xenocentrism (the preference for the products, styles, or ideas of someone else’s culture rather than of one’s own) these days trying to move away from the classical tradition of ours.
The goal of the Thisai program is to rejuvenate Tamil traditions in art and science by teaching teens about our history and its relevance in the modern world. Area needs to work: What we focus Help them to understand science in tamil – most of them covered under superstitious belief Educate the importance of traditional food habit and medicines
Planting trees is one of the easiest and most sustainable ways towards a healthy environment. The Kaadu program focuses on the importance of ‘going green’ – to raise awareness about environmental issues and the means to reduce our impact on the planet.
We also teach about producing sustainable crop, through the use of natural fertilizers and techniques such as ‘seed-ball’ to enable plant growth in harsh habitats. In addition, children are informed about the need to properly dispose harmful non-biodegradable products.
We have made it our tradition (since inception), to encourage youth involvement in such activities. Aside from the environmental and aesthetic benefits, we believe this helps them cement their understanding of our lessons.