Kendra Updates

KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 15 March

We had a very warm and exciting day at Kendra this week, based around life in a cold climate. Baalako learned about life for people and animals in the world's coldest places, like Antarctic, the Arctic and in the mountains.

The day began with a Zumba session for Vyayam to warm ourselves up, and we played Bacteria (fittingly!) and Ketla ne ketla.

In our Spiritual session after Gujarati classes, the baalako learned about Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first people to reach the top of Mount Everest and their resilience and camaraderie in such freezing temperatures. We also had a fun, interactive talk to explain the Coronavirus pandemic and show baalako how to keep themselves and each other safe.

Baalako also spent time with their dastas, learning new games and playing with adults, teens baalako of all ages.

Nehru Gooch, Shishu Gooch and Giju Gooch learned about how animals in the Arctic and Antarctica are adapted to the freezing temperatures and why this helps them survive. Subhash Gooch baalako played a Monopoly Live game - they were stranded in Antarctica and had to work in teams to figure out how to survive and overcome challenges.

"Today we learnt about how to wash our hands," said Rishibhai, aged 8. "We had a challenge where we pretended to be an Antarctica animal and the animals had to do different actions to win the game. I liked when we played dodgeball and my favourite part of the day was when we sand the songs in Prathna."

KENDRA UPDATE: 9 February 2020

We rounded off the first half of Spring Term 2020 with a fantastic day at Finchley Kendra. Baalako came in bright and early and kept up their energy all day despite Storm Ciara.

Our theme for the day was wood and forests. We had a spiritual session exploring to all the sounds of the forest and recreating the peaceful, tranquil feeling of sitting in the middle of the forest.

Baalako spent the rest of the day in their age groups. Older baalako took part in a Baudhik (children's story) about shelter, while younger baalako learned about the Australian bushfires and imagined what life is like for people and endangered animals in the affected areas.

Giju Gooch and Gandhi Gooch baalako also developed their public speaking and critical thinking skills with debates about deforestation.

Shishu Gooch went on a trip to the Natural History and Science Museums, travelling on the London Underground with 18+ volunteers.

We finished the day with a big nasto of pasta and salad, made on the day by our brilliant ShiPA team, with all our baalako sitting down to eat lunch as a family.


KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 26 January

This week's theme was 'water' and our activities were designed to show baalako how important water is for the world and how it affects people's lives in different ways. 

In Nehru Gooch and Shishu Gooch (our youngest baalako), we learned about the water cycle - where rain and the water in our taps come from and how they get back to the sea. Baalako put together speeches and posters and got the chance to stand up and present their work to everyone else.

Giju Gooch played a memory game about the water cycle and Subhash Gooch tried to filter dirty water to get clean, drinkable water.

Gandhi Gooch baalako played a water transportation challenge and had to make tough decisions about how to use water when they have a low supply of it.


KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 19 January

This Sunday was filled with Dasta sessions, with baalako of all ages working and playing together.

After a very energetic Vyayam session and Gujarati classes, we had a brand new Spiritual session with yoga for the whole Kendra. Two young beno rose to the challenge of leading the singing in Prathna, bhajans and dhoons.

Our teenage workforce organised a series of activities to show baalako how tackle the biggest problems in the world today. The baalako were grouped in their Dastas, with 11- and 12-year-olds leading the younger baalako to complete the challenges.

Each dasta tried to complete an obstacle course to get an idea of the obstacles people face when migrating. We also had a cooking class to tackle world hunger, and each baalak got to make a piece of mithai by themselves.

Our workforce designed an escape room to show us the challenges of escaping poverty. And baalako also took part in a debate about the different types of education children access around the world and its importance in their lives.

Baalako were excited and keen to learn throughout day and despite the freezing weather, the energy levels across the whole Kendra were absolutely fantastic.

"We played Games and we did teamwork in that. And we made mithai - it was fun when you had to feel for the coconut and milk," said Riyaben, aged 7.



KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 5th January 2020

We started off 2020 with breakfast - our whole Shishukunj family eating, talking and laughing together to welcome the new year.

After Gujarati classes our baalako came together for an asano (meditation) session - something completely new for most of our baalako.

This week's theme was Space and the Solar System, and our baalako teamed up in their dastas and imagined what it would be like to live on a different planet.

In their gooches, younger baalako designed their own planets while older baalako braved the cold to learn new games.



KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 24th November

This week at Kendra we started with an energetic vyayam session before everyone went off to Gujarati. After Gujarati we had a short prathna session before moving on to a fun dasta session. The dasta session was very competitive with all the dastas trying to win the quiz. Then we had a Samuh games session before moving onto one of the last gooch sessions of the term where many people enjoyed playing games.

KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 10th November

We started Kendra with all our baalako and parents together for breakfast as one big family.  Our prathna session was full of energy and baalako sang a lot of bhajans and dhoons, and then baalako made their own, unique tribal dances in their dastas.

Subhash Gooch played a game in which they were split into teams representing different countries and had to complete tasks to earn money. This was a brand new game invented by our 13-17-year-old workforce. Shishu Gooch learned about Indian culture and Gandhi Gooch explored their families' migration histories and thought about whether they'd ever migrate themselves. 

"Today was an excellent start to the half term with jalebi gathiya for breakfast, something we haven't had for a while. Everyone was buzzing with energy and catching up with their friends. The dasta session was one of the highlights of my day. Especially seeing everyone working together in their dastas to come up with their dances and creative freeze frames," said Dillonbhai.

KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 20th October

Our baalako kicked off Kendra this week by making rangolis in their Gujarati classes.  Meanwhile, our workforce learned more about the history of Shishukunj.

After Games with the whole Kendra together, we split off for Gooch activities.
Nehru Gooch painted diwas, Giju Gooch baalako designed outfits and Subhash Gooch had a debate about whether religion can be a benefit or a harm to society.

"Today was very energetic and upbeat, and everyone was having fun. I handled Subhash Gooch and I noticed the baalako have really improved at Games. One of the games we played was Doughnut Dodgeball - something new, but everyone was taking part,"  said  Diyanbhai.



KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 13th October 2019

This week we had a day jam-packed with games despite the wind and rain keeping us indoors for most of the day. We played Games in our gooches (age groups) and brought all our baalako together for a competition - which Dasta 1 won! Nehru Gooch baalako made rangolis out of felt and card and Gandhi and Subash Gooch baalako enjoyed baal vartas (children's stories) about communities and identities.

"My favourite game was King. People who are It have to roll their sleeves and throw the ball at other people to get them out. I was one of the people who were It and I got lots of people out!" said Myaben, aged 8.

"In the last game we played you have to race and turn the cones over. I really liked it because it was a mix of two games that I like," said Nimaybhai Chotai, aged 8.



KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 6th October 2019

Joint Kendra Day! Harrow Kendra joined us at Finchley this week. Baalako learned garba steps, ready for Shishukunj Raas Garba next weekend. Harrow Kendra baalako practiced Kawayat while Finchley baalako had Gujarati, and we then came reunited for a beautiful extended Prathna, Bhajan and Dhoon session.

And together we relaunched Life4Children, Shishukunj's own charity to help children in poverty around the world. L4C is partnered with Mary's Meals this year.

"Today was a fun and educational day learning about other people and places," said Leoniben

"I learned that some people don't get meals so they can't survive and they have to drink dirty water. My grandpa gave me lots of money so I'm going to give some of it to Mary's Meals," said Krishbhai


KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 6th October 2019

Joint Kendra Day! Harrow Kendra joined us at Finchley this week. Baalako learned garba steps, ready for Shishukunj Raas Garba next weekend. Harrow Kendra baalako practiced Kawayat while Finchley baalako had Gujarati, and we then came reunited for a beautiful extended Prathna, Bhajan and Dhoon session. And together we relaunched Life4Children, Shishukunj's own charity to help children in poverty around the world. L4C is partnered with Mary's Meals this year.

"Today was a fun and educational day learning about other people and places," said Leoniben

"I learned that some people don't get meals so they can't survive and they have to drink dirty water. My grandpa gave me lots of money so I'm going to give some of it to Mary's Meals," said Krishbhai


KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 29th September 2019

This week at Finchley Kendra the baalako began with a dance session in vyayam to get them energised and awake for the rest of the day! Following gujarati and prarthna, we had an arts and crafts dasta sessions, creating masks out of bottles and paint to represent their tribes. 

Alongside the kendra day, we also had a great parent’s session which started off with a JAB bhangra session. From debates to games, the parents seemed to have a fantastic time and were able to experience our weekly kendra day.

KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 15th September 2019

56 new baalako joined us today for their first ever day at Shishukunj. Our new baalako learned some classic Shishukunj games and made music out of buckets, pencils and dandiya in a 'stomp' session. They've already made new friends and were sharing their things and teaching each other new games all day.

Our older baalako also had a brilliant day - Shishugooch made puppets to enact human evolution and Gandhigooch made shelters out of rope and tarpauline, fit for real humans to sleep in.

KENDRA UPDATE: Sunday 8th September 2019

This week we welcomed back our baalako for the first day of term. We started the day by sitting down to eat breakfast together, prepared by our tireless ShiPA team. Baalako also met their new Gujarati teachers and got back into the swing of Kendra with a high-energy prathna session.

We spent most of the morning on the fields in the sunshine, getting to know our new dastas, swapping stories about our summer holidays and playing fast-paced gooch games. Baalako managed to keep up their effort and energy all day and our new term is already looking fantastic!
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