The Journey of our Award Leader Saugat Singh Saud is featured in the IAF’s Award Leader week. We really appreciate his tireless effort and dedication to change the life of his participants. Here is what he has to say about his Award Journey:
“Minds are like flowers, they only open when the time is right.” This quote resembles the fragments of how everything was seemingly tough, the impact of those while growing up and how I’ve overcome that toughness coming to my everyday life today. Now I know that it’s a time for my mind to bloom and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards has helped me nurture it with joy.
I first heard about the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards when my young brother living in Scotland went for sailing as a part of his Residential Journey for Gold Awards back in 2017. Luckily, the same year I joined Vidhya Sagar English Secondary School in Banepa and it was my principal approached me to talk about the award and he wanted to launch awards at the school. I didn’t know much about the awards so my first work was to do a little homework and started to Google about awards following it with videos on Youtube.
My journey with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards started in February 2018 after taking an Award Leader training where we got knowledge about different aspects of the awards. It is going to be two years this February that I have embraced the awards as a leader and each day I see myself developing to be a sun embarking the radiance to induce young people. Award Leader Training helped us to connect with many likeminded people and give us an open space to talk about the potential challenges and ways to overcome it. Not to lie but, there were things that we could only understand after actually leading at award at school though they were talked and trained to us during the training session. Throughout the training, I also got to know about the impact of the awards among students and award leaders themselves which captivated me the most.
Growing up was not easy for me as to believe that a child not fair in academics is a child not worthy of success. I was not sound in my academics yet I would write poems but those were never read, I would sing but it was never heard, I learned piano on my own but it was never cherished. I had limited myself behind the walls of my classroom living under the impression of isolation and fear. It is said that our way of thinking creates good or bad results, for me there was no option than to drag myself out of fear that rooted deep in my psyche. I have learned more from the experiences of my life so far than that I was taught about which makes me inclined towards no formal education approach. My favorite Nepali author Amar Neupane writes ” There are bulbs of 100 -200 watts in the sky of a classroom, but there is a sun on the sky outside.” The learning in the classroom is limited while experiential learning is unlimited. Since The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award shines upon this fact, it enchanted a whole me to be a part of it. Moreover, the sadness of not being able to join music when I wanted, the regret of not being decisive enough to choose faculty I want, the laments of not being able to befriend with my classmates and the numb memories of never happening to spend a quality time with them were something that I would not want to happen to the young minds I teach. My journey towards my personal development ignited me to be an award leader and I am always thankful for this platform given to me by my school.
As an award leader, I feel like the sun in the center of the constellation as it gives me a chance to brighten up young people. As a person thriving to touch the lives of many and to encourage them to move forward by accepting their vulnerabilities, the award has helped me to be that individual. I read somewhere that children don’t learn with an adult they don’t like and the award has given me an identity that is liked by many. It’s a pleasure to be helpful when my kids need help and to be suggestive when they are confused, and it feels great to be first whom they seek for advice. It has also nourished my skills and helped me to develop a sense of responsibility in me. It has made me a decisive, creative and critical thinker. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards has given me perks that have always helped me keep moving forward.
The major challenge that I have faced is to keep the participants consistent. Kids need support for which we are always available but it is also a support of an administration and family as well. The award is still new for our society to understand and they are seemingly reluctant to even try to understand the impacts. However, some give us feedback about how their child has become responsible after joining the award some still take the award as a threat, especially for girl participants. I believe, mindset is a foundation of accomplishment and therefore it is going to take time for people to develop a mindset and I also believe we can do it together.
The award has impacted me in many ways on my personal growth. Likewise, my students have benefitted as well. The first knowledge they got as I believe is about consistency and also that it is not as easy as it seems to complete the awards. They have become socially aware and also have better resilience and patience which are very essential skills. They are learning to do what they are passionate about and also finding purpose in it. One of my students passionate about photography has been doing so well and currently promoting Visit Nepal 2020 through the skills that he has acquired and that is what I am so proud of. I can see changes happening and I hope on being a leader that my kids are happy to have.
Saugat Singh Saud
Mighty Minds Pvt.Ltd