Skills Beyond Education™ commenced its operations informally 2016 to inspiring, empower and transform children, young adults and people at large to find the purpose and direction in their lives, and to empower them with skills, knowledge and abilities to face 21st century life challenges along with a connect to our roots, fundamentals, core values, community spirit through its various unique workshops and training sessions.
Skills Beyond Education™ started first conducting workshops in 2016, like star-gazing sessions for students including outdoor learning and survival skills for high schoolers of both mainstream and alternate schools. It took a formal shape in May 2017 and got registered for operations, legal and accounting purposes.
Star gazing camp is a popular program with children and teachers, we got requests to conduct these camps for other adults and general public and we began offering them from April of 2017 as ‘Star Gazing Camp’. We conducted other workshops as well like Nautical Camp, World of Knots, Survival Skills and Corporate workshops from time to time and all this helped us build our patron and fan base especially through our flag ship program ‘Star Gazing Camp’.
Skills Beyond Education™ was involved with a Bangalore home-schooling group ‘Chilume’ for most of 2018 where we curated, designed and ran their outdoor learning program ‘Parisar Poshan’ along with building a full size barn (Kutir) with the children of Grade 4 using wooden poles, ropes and coconut fronds. There were many other learning elements of outdoor and survival skills for these children as well.
Our next offering was ‘Wood-Working Camp’ which we introduced to strengthen the will-forces in children along with learning old and traditional hand-skills. These are resource intensive workshops and was quite well received by children as they left these camps with a sense of achievement and satisfaction that arises from working with their hands and cultivating their patience, focus, persistence and spatial and design sense along the way.
Skills Beyond Education™ in 2019, we embarked on one of our core missions ‘Apprentice Education Program’ empowering young adults with 21st century skills by bringing it through meaningful and authentic projects as they worked alongside mentors and peers. ‘Apprentice Education’ program was offered to 13 to 16 year old adolescents of ‘Udhbhavaha School’ and ‘Abheek Academy’ both in Bangalore. The apprentices and mentors worked on a water-project and as a learning outcome, published a beautiful coffee table book ‘Call of the Blue’ along with carrying out numerous field/street surveys and many side bar learnings during this program.
Our next project for the ‘Apprentice Education’ started in Jan 2020 was on conceptualising, designing, creating and building an indoor learning game which can be used for learning any subject with joy and ease. This project ceased mid-way due to corona dangers and we hope to resume when things return to normalcy.
Our next core mission’s work came as a golden opportunity which evolved due to corona time’s restrictions and digital medium as an executing platform to facilitate inner strength development in individuals (WILL as first among qualities).
We launched this ‘one of a kind’ workshop on WILL, called ‘Will Boot Camp’ – ‘21 Day Challenge to Strengthen Your Will’ and this online camp is supported by Varuna Foundation to enable people anywhere and everywhere to do and participants if they desired could offer a voluntary contribution to Varuna Foundation based on their inner changes at the end of the 21-day camp.
We began this first workshop on 1st of May 2020 and plan to launch a free-camp once every month. Based on participant feedbacks, it has created great inner-impact on their will, personal and professional life along with helping them overcome their procrastination challenges (Resources/Testimonials page).
We have our challenges as well including financial resources, finding and sustaining high caliber mentors among others. The journey is long and today our reach is small but our impact is great and like a turtle we intend to continue our mission step by step and to continually strengthen this important human element inner-strength along with working on other areas of our mission and goals.
Skills Beyond Education™ is the operations and fund raising arm of Varuna Foundation, an NGO registered as a public charitable, educational and cultural trust to execute Skills Beyond Education’s educational learning programs for the underprivileged and those from rural background. It conducts its learning programs and camps for privileged children and adults, and offers its services to private institutions and organisations to raise funds for the foundation’s work towards educational research and public outreach to fulfil its mission.