Published on 24 November 2008
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Indian Youth Intercultural Exposure visit to Brazil

Associated Central Topics: Education and responsibility .
Associated General Topics: Children . Education . Schools . Youth .

Horlicks Wiz Team - Post-gratification trip to Brazil

Horlicks Wizkids one of India’s largest literary and cultural events for schools packed with action, excitement and entertainment. Horlicks WIZKIDS 2007 by Activity was bigger than ever before, touching 27 cities across India, more than 3,000,000 students from 4500 schools. The event featured 40 different competitions for students from 1st to 12th Std.

Within the purview of the Horlicks WIZKIDS 2007 by Activity we conducted The Horlicks WIZTEAM Contest, a search for the Smartest & Sharpest Students of India. Students who are all-rounders and have the talent to inspire others will form WIZTEAM, India. The participants were tested at school and city level, and the grand finale in Bangalore, to find 4 students who formed India’s WIZTEAM 2007.

In the second year of association with of the Indian facilitation committee of Charter of Human Responsibilities (CHR), coordinated by Sudha.S, Horlicks Wizkids has sensitized more than 250,000 children about ‘shared responsibility’. Invited by hospitable Philippines facilitation committee of CHR under the coordination of Ms. Pinky Cuppino, the winners of 2006 visited Philippines and presented ‘Indian Children’s Charter of Environmental and Social Responsibilities’. It was an inspiring exposure for Wizkids and team to learn about culture and life of various urban and rural communities and the initiatives taken by Philippines Charter team.
This year again, through the Indian facilitation committee of CHR, Wizkids were fortunate to be invited by the Brazilian facilitation committee, coordinated by Ms. Isis De Palma, to Brazil for sharing consolidated ‘Indian Children’s Charter of Human Responsibilities’ and their projects and learning about multicultural Brazilian society. The Indian team is grateful to Ms. Isis De Palma and her team for their kind hospitality and for organizing several interesting meaningful exposure visits to them, which certainly enhanced their conceptual and humane capacities. The enriching experience has paved way in building friendship for peace and harmony between the youth globally.

The WIZkids 2007 and Brazil - report

WizTeam 2007, Cochin’s Anees Backer, Hyderabadi Afrah Saleem, Aishwariya Singhdeo from Bhopal and Mumbaikar Shrea Kapoor had what it took to win the chance to taste and experience the sand, surf, flavours and spirit of exotic Brazil. A country that is completely contradictory, literally poles apart, yet striking similar to India. The 4 ‘Wizkids’ were invited to Brazil to represent India at the International Youth Conference for the Charter of Human Responsibilities in April 2008 held in Sao Paulo.

The Wizkids’ 10 day Brazil tour started in Sao Paulo with a presentation in Uma Paz, the University of Peace and Environment located inside Ibirapuera Park where we met and interacted with a small group of university students and faculty as well as youth from several organizations such as Sao Paulo Youth Collective, Ashoka, an organization that supports social entrepreneurs which incidentally has its roots in India, ARCATI, an agency for social mobilization and ISPIS, the Synchronicity Institute for Social Interaction. The Students had a small question and answers session after presenting The Indian Children’s Charter of Responsibilities (ICCR) and their social projects. The day progressed with a visit to the Afro-Brazilian Museum highlighting similarities and differences between India and Brazil, a visit to a nature reserve to learn about tropical flora, fauna and the threats they face, followed by a vibrant, energy packed soccer match between Sao Paulo and Juventus. Evening found us at the local community centre the SESC where we witnessed a performance which was a fusion of Brazilian arts such as the Cabocolinho, the Maracatu, the Cavalo Marinho, the Capoeira and the Frevo.

The Students got an opportunity to meet Mr. Rai, Brazilian Footballer, who has an NGO which works for slum children and apart from regular education focuses on extra-curricular activities such as theatre, art, music, dance etc

Wizkids visited - Escola Vera Cruz, Sao Paulo. Accompanied by the school students and teachers the Wizkids took a tour of the school. Where the students, sang songs, performed “Capoeira”, which is a blend of dance, sport and martial art. Wizkids reciprocated the hospitability and the energy from the students and performed Indian traditional dances and presented the Charter.

At the Agora Institute in Defense of Voters and Democracy. The Wizkids were joined by members from the Brazilian Charter of Human Responsibilities and its associates such as the Agora & Polis Institutes, the World Network of Artists in Alliance, the International Alliance of journalists, NGO’s like ISPIS, ARACATI and the Sao Paulo Youth Collective and a youth magazine, Revista Viracao- Change, attitude and daring (Revista means magazine) and a mass media NGO with a very interesting name: Shut Up Already Died- Because we also have something to say! A discussion on responsibilities, projects, future processes and understanding each other’s work and presenting of mementos from The Activity ended the session.

At the end of 3 days, they bid farewell to Sao Paulo with an edu-cultural exchange fiesta at Vera Cruz School in true Brazilian style, but with a touch of India. The Members of the Charter Ms. Joanna, Ms. Marianne and Madam Rachel joined the team in the Brasilia appointments. While Joanna and Marianne are teachers who work with the Ministries of Education and Environment and are coordinators for the International Conference on Environment to be held in 2010 in Brazil, Rachel is the coordinator of national environmental education.

The Wizkids deserved more than just an overwhelming glimpse at a truly spectacular world heritage site’s architectural marvels. So they were given the golden ticket to the Brazilian Government, to make the most of a one day halt at the capital city of Brasilia. Starting with breakfast at the Indian Ambassador’s residence, the Wizkids went on for a tete-a-tete with Brazil’s Secretary of Education Mr. Fernando Andre. Wizkids presented their projects and there was a presentation of National Conference of Environment where the children of Brazil presented the Brazilian Children’s Charter of Environmental Responsibility to the President of Brazil. Mr. Andre expressed his views on the Charter and the good work it has been doing and well as the Wizkids by Activity Event which reaches so many students in India. He then spoke about the importance of environmental stability and stressed the need for universal action and invited Activity to implement the process in India and said that he hoped to see an Indian delegation at the International Conference on Environment to be held in Brazil in 2010. This was followed by a visit to Presidents’ Office and the Parliament house to witness a session between the Congress and Senate.

En route to Paraty, “a quaint, little sea-side town” in the words of our dearly beloved childhood authoress Enid Blyton, the Wizkids stopped at an ex-slave community at Campinho da Indepencia where another fervent info exchange followed (along with a local banquet). “Campinho da Indepencia” literally the “field of Independence” where more than 100 families lives on 237 hectares surrounded by the tropical forest. Campinho is actually an ex-slave community where after the abolishment of slavery women took the lead in taking the community forward. The students got an opportunity to meet the head of the community and interact with the children of the community with dance and songs.

Marcelo from Cairucu accompanied us to the community center. The NGO Association Cairucu is an active partner in the community and works towards sustainable development of the area.

When they finally arrived at Paraty, the Wizkids lived out every man, woman, child’s sea side fantasies – with a day long cruise through the crystal clear Atlantic Ocean, including a meal out at sea, swimming, snorkeling and diving through pristine waters.

The trip ended in Rio de Janiero, with a meeting with an invigorating discussion with Rio’s Superintendent of Education Ms. Claudia and Mr. Fabio from The school of inclusion. This was an institution whose concept of inclusion and fighting against all forms of discrimination was universal yet unique. After the preliminary introductions Wizkids got down to an engrossing exchange of ideas. Apart from their social service projects they discussed gender discrimination, child rights in India and also the concept of spirituality and religion in India.


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