RCCI Service Plan
Mental illness is often perceived as a stigmatized topic within Sri Lanka, with many, victim to the societal prejudices that are inflicted upon patients. The primary basis for the neglect and scorn that citizens with mental illness receive is the lack of education, inadequate resources and lack of integration into society, to allow for independency. Therefore, to combat these deficiencies normalized within our culture and communities’ overtime, I plan on raising awareness through the relatively, well known platform of RCCI and hope to be an advocate for these marginalized communities. Thus, as service leader, I hope to eradicate these prejudices within our close-knit community by correcting the misinformed, introducing those graduating from the school to job opportunities and finally investigating the possibility of integration into the work force.
Therefore, my fellow service leader, Iris and I created a multi – pronged plan to ensure that our ideas are materialized.
Step 1 (Seminar)
- In order to foster more awareness within the community, I hope to first localize our action and lead a seminar describing not only of mental illness within Sri Lanka, but the role that RCCI plays.
Step 2 (Design T – Shirts)
- In order to get the OSC community not only involved in the end product but the progress, we will write to the newsletter asking for the students to design a T – Shirt Design for RCCI, which will then be voted on and chosen to represent our service group.
- These t – shirts will then be at sale at OSC run events such as the Secondary production and Food and Fun fair. The rest will then be at sale at the business office. The money provided through this will be given to RCCI, for them to buy the necessary resources.
Step 3 (Create a video)
- In order to heighten our fan base, especially at OSC, Gecko Net will be asked to create a video for us, highlighting the impact of our service. Individual cameos of the children will be included, inherently outlining the mental illnesses that our group associates with.
While this plan is achieved, Iris and I will be working with the Service coordinator to research possible job opportunities for those graduating as well as investigating the compensation or financial aid the receive from the government.
More specifically, in terms of nurturing the students’ social presence by honing their cognitive skills and polishing their abilities to interact with others in one environment, this service as modified their overall plan to cater to their needs. For example, Iris and I have decided to selectively structure our time in order to perfect distinct skills.
Upon realizing that the students need to perfect three specific skills; communication, concentrating and completing a task, and collaborative abilities, a multi-pronged plan has been created in order to ensure that these skills are absorbed and practiced by the students. The plans structures our time into a rotational schedule in which one block is dedicated to one of these skills. Moreover, the lesson itself will be divided into two aspects; the first that will focus on harnessing a specific skill through means of play, while the latter focuses on transforming that skills into use by collaborating with others.
For example, if the lesson is scheduled to focus on communication, the initial aspect of the lesson will be spent having one on one time with the students by exploring their interests or conversing on a topic of their choose. The underlying reason for this practice is to not only encourage but enhance their speech in terms of being able to communicate effectively and clearly. This skill would be of significant use to them when integrating into the the workforce as the ability to communicate would be applicable to a vast area of job – scapes, such as accounting, teaching and a plethora of other outlooks. Then the latter part of the time would be used for students to interact with others for further practice.
A question that I keep asking myself, repeatedly, is ‘what impact do we truly create?’. Therefore to answer this question, I often reflect back on my first memories engaging with the students…
When Iris and I first joined this service, I can undoubtedly say that I was unsure of the work this service accomplishes and what exactly it meant to the students at RCCI. Although their engaged and joy – filled faces were rewarding as they enjoyed their time in OSC, I didn’t quite comprehend the impact of our service until a few sessions into my first year where I visited the old center. Not only did that visit teach me to be grateful for what I have but also helped to clarify the very impact of our service which, in actuality, is drastic. The brief time in which they spend with us, every Thursday is usually their highlight of the week, and so it is obvious how excited they are when they get off the buses at 2.45. I realized that our service was in a very strategic position to help these students to the better themselves and was a place that harvested their strengths, given that we had far better resources and the knowledge to educate them. Therefore, despite the fact that this is essentially my fourth year in RCCI, I am still uncovering our truest impact on their lives as I often find myself discovering new facets of themselves when doing various activities, thereby extending the boundaries of our ‘impact’.