Fabric Painting Training

Course: Fabric Painting and Module 1 of MES Assistant Plumbing
Duration: 1 day
Total number of Participants: 12
Gender: 6 Female 6 Male
Number of first time computer users: 0 (All of the students had some experience with using the computer through their school activities; first time using SAVE application)

More than 20 years ago, the administrators of an orphanage for more than 500 children in the Kollam District of Kerala came to Embracing the World* (ETW) with a problem. They were out of volunteers, out of money and with bills piling up, out of time. Before long, the administrators said they would have no choice but to turn the children out on the street. Moved by the children's plight, ETW diverted the money that had been saved to build her headquarters' first prayer hall to adopt the orphanage instead.

After adopting the orphanage, when the first ETW volunteers went to inspect the facility, they were appalled. The children were living in utter squalor. The children survived on just one meal a day, and drank unfiltered, dirty water. Their clothes were tattered and worn. They had no hygienic means to take a bath or go to the toilet. Their rooms were dark, dirty and crowded. They had no books, no medicine, and no hope. Renovations began immediately. One by one, the dilapidated buildings were completely remodelled and in some cases entirely rebuilt. A septic and sewage system was installed, along with sources of clean water for drinking, cooking and bathing. A new kitchen was built where the children's food could be prepared in a hygienic environment. Today, the children receive three nourishing meals a day and have all their nutritional, medical, emotional and academic needs attended to. They attend the now highly competitive Amrita Sanskrit Higher Secondary School.

Some of the children, hailing from indigenous tribes living in abject poverty, do have parents but they are simply too poor to take care of the children. With the parents' consent, the children come to the care home to receive hope, wholesome meals, loving care and the education that they cannot get at home. Their caretakers take them to their villages on school holidays so the children's relatives better understand the ongoing relationship between home and school. Some children even become village "teachers." The sense of safety, security and support they receive at the care home helps the children to better concentrate on their studies and see that they fulfill a purpose. More than a third of our children even go on to earn college degrees. Those that don't, receive vocational training and job placement assistance from ETW volunteers.

SAVE conducted a pilot training of the Fabric Painting course in the Parippally Care Home for Children on Oct. 30, 2010. A total of 12 participants (students elected by school staff) of the 10th, 11th and 12th grade levels, attended the training.

The computerized portion was completed within approximately 4 hours. A practical session was administered in order to evaluate whether the course was effective in teaching students basic concepts that would enable them to translate knowledge gained through the computerized course to the real world. Each student received a 12 in2 piece of cloth to fabric paint and essential fabric painting materials. While a fabric painting resource expert was available, limited guidance was given. However, questions were welcome and answered as they arose.

Pre and Post course surveys were administered before and after the course in order to capture students' demographics, prior exposure to computer technology and then feedback on the course. Post course results revealed that the students found the course useful in supporting employment, generating interest in learning technology and new skill development. One student in particular was inspired to discover how the computerized fabric painting course was created and wanted to learn what it would take to learn computer programming and application design. Following informal discussions with the participants and feedback from the Paripally administration, it is apparent the course was highly effective in raising the self esteem of the students. The participants were in turn, fully engaged through out and revealed that they were extremely satisfied with the course.

This study demonstrated the varied impact computerized training has on individuals with higher levels of education and those who have prior experience with computers.

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