Parikrma Humanity Foundation visit: Day 2

by | Nov 28, 2023

Another excellent day! We visited Parikrma Oxygen today, an 11 acre rural site 70km outside Bangalore, surrounded by farm land, jungle, forest and the land has become scrub jungle. The day hosted 150 13 -15 year old children from schools across Bangalore. The main building was built by an alumni of Parikrma and a theme of all their sites is amazing artwork done by the children. At Parikrma Oxygen, the entire walls are mosaics of tree scenes designed and created by the children.
During the day, sessions were led by a naturalist and eco expert team speaking to the children about the environment and climate change. We joined the children exploring the site with expert team, learning about the global impact of climate change. It is a part of Parikrma’s Innovations Conclave for 2024. The site, has facilities being developed to host residential groups and has therapy rooms so that those children who would benefit can have 1:1 sessions.
We shared lunch with the children, – tamarind rice, jaggary sweet (jalebi), curd rice and a chocolate cookie and banana. We met, whilst we ate, with the counselling team and talked about their cases, how they manage confidentiality and how they support one another with the impact on them of their work. They reflect as a team together, but struggle to find a facilitator for their group.
Adam and I were then asked to plant a tree each, a Jack fruit tree and umbrella tree – indigenous to the area. We saw some beautiful birds and small wild life but no leopards or black bears, which are the larger local predators! They plan to develop the site over the coming years encouraging soil enrichment which will lead to a more dense indigenous forest. They also hope to develop outdoor education, Forest schools type initiatives as well as hiking and rock climbing. They are trying to limit the number of buildings needed on the site and so tents will be used for overnight stays.
On the return journey we had an interesting discussion with the counsellors about the cultural similarities and differences that influence some aspects of our work. For example sexuality and gender as well as other areas which might be taboo and can be hard to work with and talk about. Parikrma have a strong drive to train and bring alumni back into the staff team to support, help and work with future generations. This aspect of their work and their success in doing so is very impressive.