Community Cooperation Benefits all Those Involved
By Daisy Shlakman
ROGPA and the American based Foundation for Balance & Harmony (FFBH) joined forces in June to help the children. ROGPA is a Tibetan NGO located in McLeod Ganj, serving the local Tibetan community with several projects including free day care for Tibetan children and the Raise the Tibetan Flag campaign. The FFBH is a registered US NGO dedicated to 'healing the planet one person at a time.'
Daisy Shlakman, one of the directors of the FFBH, who has been living in Central America for many years working with children with learning problems, met up with Chris Waters, an Australian traveler who was volunteering at the ROGPA day care center. He spoke about the center with much enthusiasm and love for the children. They immediately knew this was a mutually beneficial opportunity. Daisy agreed to teach Chris the therapy called Educational Kinesiology (Edu-K) and Chris agreed to help work with the children in this aspect as well as continuing his half day commitment to the center.
Daisy and Chris used a Kinesiology technique called muscle monitoring to test each child for possible learning challenges, specifically, those of left/right hemispheric communication, auditory processing, and mind and body integration. Chris and Daisy worked as a team checking each student for imbalances and balancing the targeted areas when appropriate. The language barrier and the age of the children did create a few difficulties.
"It was especially hard to work with the babies. Some cried when we tried to work with them. The language barrier also made it harder. But we did the best we could and I am happy with the results." stated Daisy Shlakman after all the students had been tested. The two volunteers worked as a team taking turns being surrogates for the muscle monitoring of the children while the other implemented the various assessments. Because all the students are age 3 or under there were some specific challenges with some of the exercises that require the children to count aloud or interlace their fingers in front of their chest. The school manager Namgyal helped out when possible and especially with the crying babies.
The project was a great success. In about one week the team tested 33 students aged 1 to 3. One third of them tested positive for possible hemispheric processing problems. All successfully received an Edu-K based correction and showed signs of improved learning potential by the end of the session. Almost half showed signs of smaller processing challenges and received attention to these areas.
Educational Kinesiology involves muscle monitoring to identify how the brain is processing information input from the various senses. If a child favors certain visual cues versus other it shows a pattern of brain function. Those who demonstrate an imbalance are guided through exercises to improve communication between the two hemispheres of the brain. The exercises involve moving their bodies and eyes in specific ways to stimulate various parts of the brain. Edu-K exercises are traditionally done with the child vocalizing through singing and counting. The child's three dimensional body circuits and energy channels must be stabilized and balanced first so they are strong enough for the brain to build new pathways of learning.
Daisy is grateful to ROGPA and its staff for its cooperation and assistance. She believes that each of these children can expect to have an easier time learning and processing information as they continue their education. "They may not all grow up to be doctors, writers, company presidents, and great thinkers," said Daisy. "But now they have the opportunity and an easier path if they choose it."
Chris Waters learned this therapy and got to put it into practice immediately. He is planning to work with children when he gets back to Australia. He experienced first hand the difficulty of getting toddlers to interlace their fingers and hold them together for one minute. He explains, "then later in the day, after the exercises, I saw one little girl sitting quietly on her own watching the other kids with her fingers interlaced and hands in her lap." Chris is a natural with the children and the therapy, commenting that "it was quite amazing to see."
If you are interested in volunteering with ROGPA, visit them in their office of Rogpa Charitable Trust, C.O. Kapoor House, near Tibetan Ashoka Guest House, Jogiwara Road, Macleod Ganj, Dharamsala. or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website: www.rogpa.com. For more information on Educational Kinesiology and FFBH, visit their web site at www.ffbh.org. Foundation for Balance & Harmony is economically supported through donations and profits from their online crystal store found at www.healingcrystals.com.
Click on this link to see some pictures of Daisy in McLeodgan, India: