Hey guys!

The DFC School Challenge has finally begun. This year DFC is reaching out to over 35 countries and 25 million children! – DESIGN FOR CHANGE is the largest global movement designed to give young people an opportunity to express their own ideas for a better world and put them into action. Using the simple 4 step framework, children across the world are saying ‘I CAN’ instead of ‘Can I’

It’s about the time of the year for Riverside students, teachers, and staff to pack up them kits and send them out to the schools all across India; we had about 45,000 packets done in 3 days!

If you haven’t watched this amazing TED talk of Kiran Sethi, who founded and owns both the Riverside School and Design for Change, then please watch now!


On July 15, 2012 I had the greatest privilege of helping lead a Parents of the Park at Parimal Garden:

Parents of the Park is an initiative where children can and will experience “childhood”. It is a partnership between the city’s volunteers and the Municipality. Once a week, the municipality offers the park for children and during this time children engage in activities that enable them to have positive childhood scripting. The activities are organized by the parents and citizens who live around the park area as well as Riverside students. This means that a school can adopt the park for a month and offer activities to the children!

From January 2011, aProCh has started organizing Parents of the Park events in Parimal Garden. Story Telling, art and craft workshops, magic shows and other creative activities that transport children into the beautiful world of imagination, curiosity and creativity. Citizens and experts in their fields are bringing the parks alive for children

As I waited for everyone to arrive I couldn’t resist taking pictures. The park is very beautiful and full of walkers/joggers in the morning.

We started Parents of the Park right under a very colorful tree. We told a story about a pigeon and bus driver (kids had to keep the pigeon from driving a bus)

Again, this park is very beautiful!

We started Parents of the Park right under a very colorful tree. We told a story about a pigeon and bus driver (kids had to keep the pigeon from driving a bus)

After the story we played games with the kids that them pumped up and energetic!

After the games it was time for a magic show. This was probably my favorite part haha.

We even had adults there watching the show; that’s how interesting it was! 🙂

Hey guys! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted more pictures from my trip here in India. Unfortunately my Macbook had crashed on me and had to wait about 2 weeks to get it back… But, the great thing is that IT’S FINALLY BACK and I’ll be able to share all of the beautiful pictures/videos I’ve taken during my trip to Gujarat, India.

We went to Diu, Gujarat on the weekend of the 7th (also the weekend before my birthday on July 12th). It was a holiday trip since teachers/staff did not have to be at school that Saturday for any meetings, trainings, or workshops.

“Diu is a town in Diu district in the union territory of Daman and Diu, India. It was the location of the pivotal Battle of Diu in 1509 between Portugal and a combined force of Turkey, Egypt, Venice, the Republic of Ragusa (now known as Dubrovnik) and the Sultan of Gujarat, Mahmud Begada. The town of Diu lies at the eastern end of Diu Island, and is known for its fortress and old Portuguese Cathedral. It is also a fishing town. It is the tenth least populated district of India” – Wiki

Diu is a very popular tourist attraction during the months of September to May. I believe we were very lucky to have gone in July because it was still busy around the city and I can imagine the great amount of crowds walking everywhere during those months. Though I can actually understand why it’s such a huge attraction! I had such an amazing time visiting the city, eating good food, spending time on the beach, and looking at the beautiful sitings. The 20hr trip, was well worth it!

Diu Beach

The entrance of Gandhi’s Ashram at Sabarmati

The beautiful view you see once you walk into the Ashram.

Daily activities and life of Gandhi Ashram; he enjoyed looking in the microscope, praying, giving speeches, caring for the sick, cleaning toilets, reading, etc.

A girl that I met at the Ashram. She was very welcoming and actually asked for me to take this picture of her – many of the kids wanted pictures.

Thought of the day at the Ashram; very interesting.

At the museum, there was a tribute to the many contributors of the non-violent resistance. It is great to see that the contributions are also being celebrated.

“Lord of humility, dwelling in the little pariah hut, help us to search for Thee throughout that fair land watered by Ganges, Brahmaputra and Jumna. Give us receptiveness, give us open- heartedness, give us Thy humility, give us the ability and willingness to identify ourselves with the masses of India. O God, who does help only when man feels utterly humble, grant that we may not be isolated from the people we would serve as servants and friends. Let us be embodiments of self-sacrifice, embodiments of godliness, humility personified, that we may know the land better and love it more.”

One of my favorite rooms in the museum. It was very beautiful black room, with an artistic touch!

This is Gandhi’s wife, Kasturba Mohandas Gandhi (11 April 1869–22 February 1944).

Kasturba (ba) led a group of satyagrahis women into the Transvaal. Their goal was to overload the prisons with satyaprahis.

The land gift movement, also known as the Bhoodan movement, was a voluntary land reform movement in India started by Acharya Vinoba Bhave in 1951. It started at Pochampally village now known as Bhoodhan Pochampally. The mission of the movement was to persuade wealthy landowners to voluntarily give a percentage of their land to lower castes

Another great and welcoming person at the Ashram. She also wanted me to take a picture with her and with her daughter.

Here they are again!

Walking outback at the Ashram.

This was used for morning and evening prayers for the inmates.

This was Gandhi’s room! – unfortunately it is locked and no one can go in.

I took a picture of his room through an open peep box on the door. Didn’t come out to bad! – here you will see the spinning wheel he would use (it is a replica). “Gandhi’s use of the spinning wheel was one of the most significant unifying elements of the nationalist movement in India. Spinning was seen as an economic and political activity that could bring together the diverse population of South Asia, and allow the formerly elite nationalist movement to connect to the broader Indian population.”

A beautiful view of the Sabarmati River. It is actually one of the sacred rivers in India, that flows right behind the Ashram. ” The Sabarmati River is one of the major West flowing river of Gujarat which originates from Dhebar lake in Aravalli Range of the Udaipur District of Rajasthan

I believe that is actually the bridge we cross over around 7:30am on the way to the Riverside School.

There was a row of trees right behind the Ashram; each tree symbolized either peace, joy, happiness, truth, etc.

More beautiful kids at the Ashram! They seemed so happy and full of life while we were there. They also wanted us to take pictures of them!

They liked to gather in groups, ask us questions (especially those regarding my box braided hair haha), and say hello or goodbye

To learn more about the Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati, visit the site at

Here are some quotes highlighted while at the museum

“Determination is worth nothing if it bends before temptation”
“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.”
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
“An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”

So I am currently in India, volunteering for Design for Change at the Riverside School. So far, I don’t have specific projects that I will be doing but I believe they will be along the lines of planning, teaching Spanish, and teaching Volleyball to the students.  I’ll be here until August so I have a couple of more days to come up with my official schedule and lesson plans.

I will be uploading pictures and possibly some neat videos during my stay here! As you will begin to see, India is the second most populated country meaning that there are people everywhere! You also see cows on the road (they are very sacred to Indians), dogs, motorcycles and little small taxis everywhere. Oh, and lets not forget the amazing teachers/team I’ll be working with this summer. Enjoy!

What I usually see on our way to Riverside (Ahmedabad, India)

These are the interesting cabs that I mentioned. They very small and surprisingly fit a lot of people!

Example A

This is where things get interesting – in order for us to get to the school, we have to walk through a back road/path passing since the military does not allow foreigners through the main entrance of the school.

In order from left to right: Eoghan, Niall, Charly.

Can’t forget about the cows! They are very sacred here in India.

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