… says Vini (alias Shyamendra Singh), the owner of Ken River Lodge in Panna, talking about the children in Panna, a small town in Madhya Pradesh. Ken River Lodge is my home when I am in Khajuraho or Panna. I know Vini for more than 2 years now and I am very happy that he embraced our idea of building the we_school skatepark in Panna. In this short little video clip he explains life in Panna and why it is important for the children to get something like a skatepark:
A bit outside Panna is the land where we build the skatepark. It is provided by Sanjay Tawari, a business man in Panna and father of two children. He is very much engaged in the social development of his hometown. It’s a beautiful piece of land – just so typical of Madhya Pradesh. Some huge trees at the Western border of the land and surrounded by villages where Adivasi live. A school is near by, they say 160 children go there.
During our meeting yesterday – overlooking Ken River – Sanjay and I discussed the items needed to build the skatepark, we went over the materail list which was provided by our German partner skate-aid, the NGO which is supervising the construction process.
Special thanks goes to Rahul from Khajuraho our translator; and thanks to Google translator which really helped well in finding some specific construction expressions in Hindi.
The idea is not only to build a skatepark on this land but also a small we-lab with laptop computers, a cafeteria and 2,3 rooms where people can stay. The cafeteria and the rooms will be build by Sanjay and Vini, the rest we’ll do. The we-lab will be equipped with laptops which again will be provided by nextpractice … the program which combines skateboarding and learning will be designed by skate-aid and Nicola Claire. Can’t wait o see this entire thing taking of …
So the next steps will be to find the right guy to build the park – skate-aid is already looking for this person – and we at we-school are looking for more funds (another ARTBOARD/SKATEBOARD auction is on its way) and in addition we will raise money on social crowd funding platforms. But we have enough to start …
And here again a small chapter why we are doing this and why we think it is a good thing (by Nicola Claire):
The idea of combining fun with learning is not new, indeed, it is fundamentally the way children learn. We are taking this concept and constructing an environment which intrinsically combines an activity that is fun, but at the same time requires acquired skill, knowledge and practise, with a learning environment which provides that skill and knowledge. The young people will also have the opportunity to develop and extend their learning at a we-school hub on the same site. The young people who come to the skate-park will find everything that they need, from building their skateboard to becoming proficient users. Through the process they will learn English and maths. They will gain an understanding of force, balance and weight. They will experiment with art, colours, styles and design. They will discover body and muscle control, healthy eating and life-style choices. Above all, they will find ways to take what they have learnt back to their families and communities to support and enhance the quality of daily living.