The CETA Galaxy Charitable Trust conducted the HOPE South Zone empowerment camp on the 13th, 14th and 15th of September, 2019. The camp was held at Mar Thoma Youth Center, Adoor. Close to 700 people attended the camp, with over 500 of them being students. The chief guest for the event was Dr. Jacob Thomas, IPS. The camp provided an avenue for eminent personalities from various walks of life, to impart valuable insight to the HOPE Scholarship Scheme beneficiaries. Also, training sessions on various topics such as Art & Craft, Exhibition / Project Demos, and Communication skills, were conducted by professional trainers.
The program began on Friday, 13th Sep 2019 with an ice-breaking session conducted by trainer Shri. Krishnakumar V K and Shri. Vincent K Devasya conducted an engaging music session which gave the participants a dose of energy and enthusiasm. The participants also enjoyed a sumptuous ona-sadhya together, before the formal inauguration.
The event was inaugurated by the chief guest, Shri. Jacob Thomas IPS. Shri. P K Asokan, Chairman of CGCT, delivered the presidential address and Shri. Satheesh Kumar, General Secretary of CGCT, gave a briefing of CETA Galaxy Charitable Trust. Padma Shri G Shankar, Founder & Chairman of Habitat Technologies, addressed the gathering. Shri. Charles Joseph, founder trustee of CGCT, Dr. Jayashree P K, Secretary of CETAA, and Shri. Padmakumar P, Camp Director and Alumnus of 1986 batch, were also present.
The scholarships were distributed to the HOPE and HOPE PLUS beneficiaries during the event and sessions on soft skills and personality development were conducted by professional trainers. Psychologist, Rev Dr. T J Thomas conducted a session on ‘Teenage Challenges'. The session was well received by senior students and parents.
Day two of the HOPE South Zone Empowerment Camp began with a recreational session in the morning followed by motivation sessions and soft skills training conducted the trainers. The chief guest for the day was CET Alumnus Shri. Jaidev G IPS (2010 IE batch). He addressed the gathering and had an interactive session with the students. In the Q&A session, he shared his experiences as a student at CET and how he had prepared for the civil service examination. He was able to answer the students much like a friend whilst providing valuable insight from his personal life.
The participants were engaged in activities such as mock interviews, group discussions & presentations and received comprehensive training on topics such as confidence building and communication skills. Also, A session on ‘How to prepare for competitive exams’ was organized for the HOPE Plus students.
Padma Shri M Chandradathan, former Director of VSSC and Adviser to Kerala Chief Minister, hosted a science awareness session and Dr. Achuthsankar, Professor and HOD of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at K.U., delivered an informative session on Bio Informatics. A campfire session was also organized; that reverberated of fun and frolic. For most students, it was a first-time experience, one that they truly cherished.
Day three was filled with vibrant activities such as the session named 'Rainbow' which was conducted by Mrs. Uma Thrideep. Students were divided into different groups and presented different themes. They were tasked with preparing a magazine, complete with drawings, stories, poems, etc. The students got an opportunity to showcase their creativity as well as their innovative designs.
An informative session on Career Options was conducted for the students of grades 10, 11 and 12. The students received vital guidance from Shri. V. K. Krishna Kumar regarding their future professional choices. Also, Mr. Jayashankar S S, Alumnus of CET 1993, conducted a session on Financial Planning for them. An orientation session regarding civil service and other competitive examinations was conducted for the degree students. Prof. K. Reghunatha Pillai was able to provide ample information to the future aspirants of civil service and inspire others to take up this profession and its associated challenges. They also received a class on Decision Making and Stress Management by Shri. George Karunackal.
An insightful session was also held for the parents who were present. Shri. V. K. Krishna Kumar was able to shed some light on how students should be raised. He gave them valuable tips such as to not always say 'No' to them, to always be there for them during their tough moments, and to always spend quality time with them in order to understand them more on an intricate personal level.
After the exclusive session for parents, the students joined their parents. They were then asked to pen down their ambitions and their personal qualities on which they might improve to effectively build their future career. Parents were given a chance to take a look at what their children had written and they were asked to bless their children so that they feel confident to achieve what they wish for; few truly inspirational moments for all the participants of the camp.
A valedictory function was held at 1:45 PM on the 15th where all the volunteers and district coordinators were honored. The camp activities were formally concluded at 2:30 PM on 15th September and over the course of three days, participants were able to gain valuable information about topics from various walks of life. 32 different topics were discussed, spread over 60 hours of effective training aimed at the holistic development of each child. In addition to this, an exclusive parenting session and a campfire cum entertainment session spanning almost 3 hours, were also organized. In effect, each individual beneficiary received over 22 hours of training.
All who were present expressed their immense gratitude to the volunteers of the camp; The active involvement and participation of the district volunteers, parents, senior students and members from the CET Alumni Community ensured the smooth functioning as well as the success of the Empowerment Camp. Their dedication in arranging the various amenities and supporting the students in their activities has left a positive impact in the minds of all participants. Both children and parents had a joyful experience; Friendships were forged, knowledge was shared and time was well spent.