The 5 Pillars of Creativity Model is used by Protsahan as a tool to help bring children out of their shells and into a healthy learning environment. The model combines the study and use of five creative concepts of Design & Art, Photography, Digital Stories, Technology, and Cinema (films, Music, Theatre). These tools and concepts once woven together spark the interest of young children rescued from vulnerable and abusive circumstances. The children we help have usually never attended a formal school. By using innovative and hands on approaches to teaching them social and educational skills the children start learning and adapting unconsciously, all while having fun! These techniques are used to teach the children a ten month long bridge course. Once basic training is complete, the young child is put in a government school and is usually able to join the 5th or 6th grades directly. While attending the government school the child can choose to continue to attend Protsahan, which is right inside her slum area, and can continue to learn creative arts in a supportive environment. These skills include Madhubani and Warli art, working with IPad apps, Bharatnatyam traditional dance, film making, zoom and aperture in DSLR Photography, theatre and the understanding of gender rights and menstrual hygiene through cartoons and digital stories.
The various creative arts taught at Protsahan help to teach the children basic primary school level material while learning valuable artistic skills. The children learn about the basics of symmetry and colours through Madhubani and Warli art. Basic geometry, such as the shapes and properties of triangles, chords, circles and basic mathematics are also a huge part of the art forms taught to the children. We find that with children who have learning disabilities such as dyslexia, hydrocephaly and other learning disabilities are more receptive to learning conventional educational skills through therapeutic art. Abused children seem to find comfort and pleasure in expressing themselves through colour and shapes. The children are encouraged to create art that tells stories from their still difficult lives. The art the children create is used by Protsahan to spread awareness of their conditions outside of their communities. A lot of the art is sold to provide a source funding for more projects and activities for the children in our care.
Protsahan teaches high quality photography to children using DSLR cameras and teachers who have a passion for the art. The children enjoy being able to capture snapshots of their lives with the cameras we provide them. We want people to see the world that our children see, as these stark realities are so easily obscured by the very different lives the privileged in our societies lead. Photography helps to open a window between the slums we teach in and the wealthier urban jungles we live in. The children learn valuable lessons in communication and storytelling and astonish us with their creative ideas. A little 16 year old girl, Suman, who cannot speak or hear, is being trained as a micro entrepreneur in the field of photography at Protsahan.
Using the latest technology, such as iPad apps and games, digital equipment, etc. Protsahan is able to help children with hearing or speaking disabilities to learn valuable educational skills. We also use technology to teach more widely available material that would not normally be accessible to anyone in the slums. For example, we use computers and tablets to show educational videos and play interactive games with the children to teach lessons in Maths and Science. The children learn how to use these devices at an amazing pace and thus learn additional skills that are technology related, something that would be unheard of in the past.
Protsahan uses cinema, theatre and music to teach our children basic educational skills in a fun and interactive way. We hold plays, musical recitals and other events to help boost confidence in our children and encourage them to come out of their shells. India is a nation of great music from different genres, so music seems to flow in the veins of our children and provides us a great means to fill them with useful knowledge.
After two years of training in technology and design, the children are able to pick a vocation of their choice, and they are professionally trained as a micro entrepreneur for another year. They may choose to be photographers, creative school teachers, artisans working with Protsahan Handicrafts, film makers or simply computer geeks in their community. The Creativity Model uses sustainable readily available materials to encourage our street children to learn and create while they are in a supportive and empathic environment. The 5 Pillars of Creativity Model gives Protsahan and the children we help the power to break the extreme cycle of poverty and fight abuse through creative means.
Creativity being the essence of Protsahan, we take keen interest in alternative methods of teaching the basics to the kids. Games like Scrabble, Crossword help the kids improve on their English, whereas Sudoku and Puzzles help develop logical reasoning and interpretation skills. Games are designed to convey complex ideas easily, and practice them repeatedly. Outdoor games encourage teamwork and collaboration and help cultivate a problem solving attitude that help our adolescent girls in every aspect of their lives. Various knowledge based apps on iOS and Android help them learn about human anatomy, science, universe and social issues. Corporates like Google, Deloitte and Accenture have partnered with us and led educational sessions. This exposes the girls to advanced technologies through the workshops, where they learn to use high end products like iPad, Computers and the likes. This instils not just the application of a technology based product on socially relevant issues but more importantly, empowers them with the confidence that a child from slums or low income backgrounds will never be subjected to.