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Dr. Neha Vakharia: Oasis Friendship Camps: Oasis Friendship Camps (Learning Responsibility through Freedom, Democracy & Community Living)

Presentation Abstract

Oasis Friendship Camps were originally inspired by principles of Freedom and Happiness of Summerhill School, London. However, the camps were also designed to facilitate the blooming of teenagers along with incorporation of other principles like - respect for potentials of children, enjoying & affirming them, self-reliance and overall independence.

Philosophy of Oasis Friendship Camp:

FREEDOM - Growth is utmost in a child if they experience an atmosphere of freedom. Imposing discipline or rules is deterrent and makes them fearful / dishonest.
RESPONSIBILITY - If entrusted with freedom, children are capable of solving their problems creatively. It also empowers their independence, decision-making ability and sense of responsibility.
LOVE & HAPPINESS - Create atmosphere of love & joy and promote fairness & equality

Key Objectives and End Results:

EACH KID is positively affirmed in the areas of Self-discipline, development, Self-Leadership & governance, Independence, Creativity & responsible – their happiness is evident.
They are overflowing with delight & confidence due to their achievements – they can’t stop describing the first-in-life moving experiences when back home – All become brand ambassadors of DI
Teachers & elders witness & shift their paradigms about the amazing strength of children’s democracy and the exciting community life ensured by the decisions through Parliament.
Leaders recognized and connection established with long term Oasis Kids

Key Principles of Oasis Friendship Camp:

Every child is good without exception
The School & Teacher/Facilitator is for child; the child is not for the teacher or school. (It is failure of school if a child doesn't want to go to school or attend classes.)
Learning is always a voluntary choice; one can’t force children to learn in a creative way. If we want children to attend class, it is our responsibility to make it interesting and meaningful to the child.
Children thrive and grow the most in the environment of complete freedom. Imposed discipline and guilt makes children fearful and dishonest about their feelings.
The role of Teacher/Facilitator is to enjoy and affirm children, to create an environment of freedom and to support and fulfill children's requirements for growth
Given freedom & opportunity, children are capable to sort out their problems on their own and that too, creatively.
A Very vital responsibility of parents is to nurture independence of a child and actually believe that child is capable of doing his/her own things