Our initial hypothesis before executing our summer 21' workshop in Chauddachuli, West Bengal, revolved around creating circular, self-sustaining environments. The goal of the workshop was to catalyze transformational leaders within the community. Individuals who would sustain the mission of learning after having experienced a holistic educational space with mentorship and guidance.
With a grant for only one month, we aimed to design an intervention that would ripple through the community for the long term. Due to this, we were drawn to the pedagogy of self-directed learning. as alumni of united world colleges and international baccalaureate diploma programs, we looked to our personal experiences of successful learning strategies, and to prevalent sources such as UNICEF's peace education.
We did not anticipate this workshop to make long-term changes in the span of the month, as our mission statement believes in the real change occurring in hyper-local communities over a long period of dedicated time given to it. FALA was an intervention, not to make a change, but rather to foster change-makers. We believed this goal entailed the critical integration of community engagement into the project. The succesful implimentation of such projects in rural environments boils down to the community engagement and how proactive the locals are in the process.