Share Stories Open Minds

A tie up between PeaceWorks and Kolkata Police project Nabadisha, Women’s Interlink Foundation, Hope Foundation and Vikramshila

Storytelling is one of humanity’s oldest art forms and an enduring educational method. Stories can spark social change. Since ancient times ideas and values embedded in stories have educated, inspired and motivated listeners.

This is what Share Stories Open Minds aims to do for street and slum children, who do not get the exposure and opportunities that are so taken for granted for children from privileged backgrounds. Exposed to crime, to violence, to abuse, these children are struggling for basic amenities. The state is facilitating basic education, however it takes so much more than a basic education to make a responsible evolved citizen. This is where our storytelling project comes in. Volunteer based so far, this initiative sparks the imagination and plants important ideas through fun and games and the powerful world of stories.

We sent out a call for volunteers in October 2010, to help us implement a project that uses the age old art of Storytelling. The response was tremendous. Homemaker, teacher, student, senior citizen, journalist, naval architect, illustrator—profiles of just some of the people who have come forward to commit their time and dedication to the project. It’s a wonderfully diverse group of people, bringing a tremendous amount of insight to the project, not just by reading or telling stories but also bringing valuable life experiences into their work.

We made a small beginning by launching the project in five centres: Disha Foundation, Child Care, Kalighat Police Station, Bhawanipore Police Station, Beniapukur Police Station. Currently we are working in nine centers.

We can only continue to take this project forward with your support.

If you have a passion for telling stories and have  2–4 hours to spare every week, call us today at 24556942/43 or write to peaceworks@seagullindia.com

Volunteer’s speak -

Using different forms of art to make a little difference that’s going to bring a smile and interacting with enthusiastic children who are brave enough to fight oddities with dignity. - Nabanita Biswas

Storytelling is one of the best medium to get the attention and interest of children… - Rita Raja

I have taught in schools many years ago, and have also worked as trained social worker and I wish to get back to teaching and this project seems to be interesting and different. - Chandanna Tandan

… now it’s my turn to give back to society whatever I can, as much as I can. - Deepak Mitra

I wanted to get back to interacting with children and thought this opportunity was perfectly right! I have done art activities with an experimental school called Shikshamitra in Calcutta, but that was nine years back and I didn’t want to get into formal teaching. I am looking forward to the opportunity to tell my favourite stories, spin some of my own, throw in activities as well. Fingers crossed! - Atreyee Dey