Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lessons from Shanti Dan

Shanti Dan is a beautiful place, full of color, peace, hope, and love, a great place for girls with different disabilities to learn and grow as young ladies. This is where I spend my mornings from 8am-1pm.

Yesterday we got out the notebooks, counting blocks, and other teaching tools and got to work on math. I sat with Cecilia, one of our Flowers from the higher functioning group. She is in a wheelchair due to her physical condition and can communicate in English and Bengali and lets you know what she needs. I sat with her, got out her notebook, and we looked at the first problem: 5 x 6 = ?

She counted out a few blocks, then stopped. "Auntie, you have to help me. I don't know how to start."

I helped her get started by counting out five blocks and telling her to count out five blocks six more times until we had six rows of five. Then she counted out each block and came up with her answer.

Cecilia knows when she needs help. She knows when she can do things on her own. She does what she can then asks for help to keep going, to make sure she is doing it correctly.

I need to learn this lesson from Cecilia, to do what I can, then not be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. Cecilia does not have a problem asking me to help her with a task, to help her count blocks, feed her, or even take her to the bathroom. She knows her limits and knows she needs help to progress and reach her full potential.

Have I mentioned how much I love Shanti Dan?

These girls have so much to teach me. 

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