The Mobile Outreach Programme began last year with 5 sites; Taleigao, Merces, Chimbel, Cacra and Chicalim. This year, we’ve added the National Association for the Blind (NAB) to our list of MOP sites.
Taleigao was one of our first sites, and every Thursday, the van would be found at Taleigao Park and the team would set up mats and books and the story and activity for the evening would begin amidst people taking walks, other kids playing, older people sitting around and enjoying the evening.
As much this set up seems a bit of a bustle, soon, the Bookworm MOP Thursdays became an anticipated feature of the park. Kids would leave their play as soon as they saw the van approach and come to help set up. The elder folks started bringing the young people in their homes to the park and mothers would bring their kids and comment that atleast bringing them for MOP meant they were doing something fun and constructive for the evening. Even the kids from Ideal High School; who have afternoon school, used to rush straight to the site after the last bell.
The program functioned ‘til the end of the previous academic year. Ofcourse, once schools were ready to open, MOP was ready to come back! With regards to Taleigao; most specifically, a problem that arose was having an outdoor activity in the height of a Goa’s monsoon. And so, MOP Taleigao hasn’t been functional for the last 2 months, despite attempts and efforts being put into trying to get the children from the 3 schools we support through the School Book Treasury (Ideal High School, Auxilium High School and Government Primary High School) to come to the library.
We have off late, had the fortune of having the NSS volunteers from Goa College of Home Science come and volunteer and assist us at the Chimbel site. It was this group of volunteers who came to the Taleigao site one evening who helped us get MOP Taleigao up and running. This group of young girls along with their lecturer Ms. Elizabeth spent an afternoon walking through the lanes of Taleigao informing people and children of the program and directing them to the library.
The following week, with great anticipation of the turn out, the Taleigao MOP team prepared for the session. And at that waited 5 p.m. hour, 17 children turned up at Bookworm’s library space for what became the first Taleigao MOP session for the 2012-2013 academic year.
We are grateful to the group of NSS volunteers and Ms. Elizabeth for their help in bringing to us the kids we normally go to!