Pilelo-Ho!
Moving forward with Magic Bus in incredible India
Moving forward with Magic Bus in incredible India

Blog post source: http://www.cricketforchange.org.uk/ written by Alasdair Ramsay

Earlier this year (March), a trio of Cricket for Change (C4C) staff headed out to India to continue the development work on a 3-year programme in partnership with Magic Bus India (the programme is supported by Barclays Spaces for Sports).

The C4C trio on this short but productive trip included experienced and talented coaches, Danny Baker and Beth Evans along with overseas development trip debutant, Alasdair Ramsay. The trip was split into two parts with the first being in India's capital, New Delhi and the second involving a visit to Bangalore.

In Delhi, the C4C team ran a two day 'workshop' in the Noida area of the city, with a fantastic group of 18 Magic Bus Youth Mentors and 5 Training and Monitoring Officers. The two days involved some classroom work along with plenty of outdoor led sessions and activities. Over the two days there were numerous discussions about how to further engage with the young people they have in their sessions as well as learning about the experiences of the volunteers and mentors, and how they feel best to take things forward.

C4C have the skills and experience to facilitate programme growth and development but ultimately it is the people on the ground (in a particular country) that have to deliver and it must be right for them.

For the outdoor activities, space was limited but it was a good example of the sort of areas that most, if not all, of the Magic Bus community sessions take place within. The two days in Delhi also included visits to two community based sessions, where the C4C staff had the chance to see the Magic Bus mentors in action (and make use of some of the new skills they had learned over the 2 days). Each event was well attended by very excited, welcoming and happy children.

At the end of second community visit in East Delhi, the C4C trio were invited to have some 'chai' tea at the home of one of the Magic Bus volunteers near to the community session they run. The C4C team were naturally very warmly welcomed into their homes and had a great time along with having the best 'chai' in India!

After leaving Delhi, the C4C team made the short flight down to Bengaluru in southern India. The team weren't running any sessions here but had the chance to meet the Magic Bus Bangalore team in their new offices and discuss the possibilities of developing a programme looking to increase female participation amongst and in the community sessions run in parts of Bangalore.

The C4C guys visited a couple of volunteer run community sessions in Banglore, which included a visit to a school where regular sessions are organised. This visit in particular highlighted the desire of local schools to want to be involved but that there needed to be long term plan and objective that gave the children a positive activity led hook to want to return week after week.

The three C4C staff were also shown the homes and community of a two of the Magic Bus volunteers in which again they were warmly welcomed into.

As is always the case, C4C had a very positive time in India and are extremely proud to be partners with such a progressive and groundbreaking charity in Magic Bus along with the family of friendly and energetic staff and volunteers. The programme promises to go from strength to strength, including looking at a UK/India Coaches exchange programme, more sharing of best practices and youth work and engagement games and plans for greater inclusion of girls and disability cricket activities.

Footnote by Alasdair Ramsay
The excitement of being a part of a development trip to a country that I have always wanted to visit can sometimes overshadow the true nature of why C4C are working on development programmes such as the one with Magic Bus India. There can sometimes be more of a focus on the after trip report or write up and the person doing the report than the importance of the work. That's not a bad thing as exposure to different places and their people can have a profound and positive impact upon one's life.

However, with this in mind, whilst I was there, I wrote a number of blogs that detailed my thoughts and activity from each day we spent working with and getting to know wonderful people, their activities and communities.

I will leave it up to you to view each one by clicking on the following links:
(1) Should I take my Hoody? (2) Same but Different (3) The Pride of Delhi  (4) New Beginnings in Bengaluru (5) Incredible India

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