Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A facilitated workshop

It was Anjali's idea to be a faciltator. We were crafting in the evening as usual, Sophia had yet to wake up. Husband had helped Anjali make a paper wallet in the afternoon and she was painting it with water colors.

"Mom", she said. "Why dont we have a place over there so that everyone can put the wallets that they make?"

"Who will make the wallets?", I asked

"Everyone", she said, in that offhand manner of hers. "Like all my friends"

"Do you want to teach your friends how to make paper wallets?", I asked.

"Yup", she said. "They can give us around fifty cents to learn how to make a wallet"

"fifty cents.", I repeated, quite blankly, as I didnt realize that Anjali had grasped the concept of giving workshops and asking money for it.

"First they have to make a piggy bank from January to February and then they can take the piggy bank home", she went on. "Then they must help their mummy and daddy do work and earn fifty cents. After that, they should come back from March to December and make wallets. They can then put the money in the wallets and then I will have a lot of money. Then next time I go to a poor country, I will take all this money and give to the poor people. Mom, can you tell me the name of a really poor country?"

"Why cant they just ask their mom and dad for 50 cents? It is not a lot of money"

"No", she said quite firmly. "If they just ask their mom and dad, they wont know how it is to work hard for money."

The dialogue around the workshop matured as we planned it out. I thought that it might just work out.

"What do I do to organize a workshop?", she asked.

"First, you need a publicity flyer", I said.

She finished painting her wallet, set it to dry and then began to work on the publicity flyer (seen above). I helped her with the spelling.

As she was working, I could see that she was brainstorming.

"Mom", she said. "I am thinking - some children, like Sophia may not have 50 cents. They can pay less. Others if they have a lot of money can pay more"

"I think you should keep the price fixed", I said. "It will give you more control"

"But if they can give more, they should give more.", she said "But even those who pay less should pay something. They can give anything, but they should give something. It gives respect"

You cant argue with such simplicity and logic. Where does she learn this stuff?

"Well", I said, "You can have a pay what you like workshop. Like Annalakshmi"

"What is Annalakshmi?"

"Its this restaurant where people can eat what they want and pay what they like. One of our friends is having a wedding party there end of the month, we will go"

She continued working. ten minutes later

"Mom, do a lot of people go to the restaurant that you were talking about?"

"I think so. I always have to make a reservation when we are planning to go. Why?"

"So that I know whether a lot of people will come to my workshop"

She is very excited about the whole idea.



For your little notes and ideas