Maurice Elias, a professor in the Rutgers University Psychology Department, and an advocate for kindness in school states:
“As a citizen, grandparent, father, and professional, it is clear to me that the mission of schools must include teaching kindness. Without it, communities, families, schools, and classrooms become places of incivility where lasting learning is unlikely to take place… We need to be prepared to teach kindness because it can be delayed due to maltreatment early in life. It can be smothered under the weight of poverty, and it can be derailed by victimisation later in life… Kindness can be taught, and it is a defining aspect of civilised human life. It belongs in every home, school, neighbourhood, and society.
It’s become quite clear that modern education ought to encompass more than just academics, and that matters of the heart must be taken seriously and nurtured as a matter of priority.”
My thoughts resonate with Maurice E. especially as I see the work done by students of the 8 schools that aidbees has partnered with over the last year. I remember initiating our Youngbees programme by reaching out to two schools in Ahmedabad; the Riverside School and The Gems International. We were keen to run their pre-pandemic story of how they had reached out to students in the conflict zone of Kashmir who were not able to access school due to regular disturbances. The schools in Ahmedabad had partnered and created a curriculum for a school in Kashmir to assist the children to continue their learning while the city was in an administrative lockdown.
During a year of work with many such schools, we at aidbees can wholeheartedly agree with Maurice. The children from schools where kindness was always a value taught showed immense sensitivity and courage to go beyond and work for the larger community even during the pandemic in India.
Sitting at home these children have reached out to other students, they have found innovative ways to work with the school admin staff, work with grandparents, raise funds for slums around their homes. Held talks to keep the morale of their peers high and most of all they have been there for one another.
As we approach schools for our young bees programme I am so proud to share these stories to inspire other schools. To showcase how kindness works when taught at a young age. Come join aidbees to make kindness a revolution in schools so our children can grow up to be better citizens of the world.
Would you like to share your stories of kindness with us? Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
About the author
Zamrooda Khanday, is the CEO of aidbees and has over 20 years of experience working in the social sector. She is a true kindbee and you can find her on LinkedIn.