As the first step of the project, we had to research on the topic assigned to us (as a group). We started of by researching on the basic needs of food and nutrition not just based on the place given to us (NGO – Orphanage) but in general as well. We had to make a module to present to those at the NGO as an interactive session at the end of the semester.
While working on the module and researching on the topic, I too learned a lot that I didn’t know before. We learned about preventive nutrition which is defined as a dietary practice directed towards reducing disease and promoting health and well being. After having completed our research, we had to brain storm and come up with a minimum of five ways in which the module could be presented. We noted down all the ideas that came up even if they were not possible to complete within the given time frame, etc.
The idea we finalised on was to design cards which would be used as a game played by the children to understand the different kinds of food and their nutritional benefits. We also designed a brochure of sorts that spoke about the food pyramid in a very basic sense for the children to understand. We also aided it with visuals; an animated video expelling in simple terms the need for nutrition, etc. Once our ideas were approved, we started looking for an NGO to visit.Getting an NGO that allowed interactive sessions was probably the hardest part of the module as no place allowed visitors. After making a lot of calls and asking around, the Bandra East Community Centre finally gave us permission to go interact with the children.
We started our visit by introducing ourselves to the children and making them feel comfortable by talking about their favourite food, etc. We then spoke to them about the food pyramid and explained the importance of different food items that children consume on a daily basis. Though we didn’t get too long to interact with the children at the NGO, we made the most of the little time we had. We presented to them a very simple module as they were all kids around the age of 5 or 6. What really surprised us was their level of enthusiasm and ability to understand what we were saying despite it being something completely new to them. They were able to answer most of the question we we asked and the response we got was really good too. We also played a small memory game with them a with the cards that we’d made which the really enjoyed. We showed them the video at the end which I feel helped them get a better understating of the concept due to the animation.
Overall the experience taught us a lot about how an interactive session is to be made especially when it comes to people who are completely new to the topic at hand. Though we had to keep interacting and making newer versions of the module, I realised that that was how it was always going to be and that integrating is a very fundamental part of design.