We did the pilot of the CLABIL project with Behrampur Blind School. The original idea was to cover the children one class at a time, starting with the youngest class identified for CLABIL – Class 3.
However, during the pilot, we learnt a lot of things. Am sharing the learning here for us,and of course, for volunteers who want to cover a blind school near them.
1. Not all children are equally interested in audio books. if we give mp3 players indiscriminately to all children, they are likely to lose them or break them. This impacts the usage among other children too. So we have now modified the approach. Now we identify opinion leaders among the children and start by giving the kit to them. This helps generate curiosity and interest among the other children and then, when they use the kits, they take care of them too. The adoption is also faster if we use this technique.
2. Class 3 children are too young to understand the importance of these kits. They are very likely to break them completely. We are still considering a workaround to that one.
3. Some of the kits we used were not as durable as we would have liked them to be. We will have to invest in better quality kits. This pushes up the cost of the project quite a bit, but better by far that we give them something that works, than that we give them something that does not.
In the next school, (Junta Blind Hostel near Railway Station , Gurgaon), we took requirements today. They will get their kits as early as Tuesday, and Friday is the first review. Wish us luck.