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The past week has been an awesome experience for six Middle Schoolers (and their escort) as they enthusiastically embraced the Round Square Conference at The Doon School in Dehradun, Northern India. While the conference theme related to the leadership and service IDEALS mainly, all six pillars were well and truly being lived. There were 154 students from 22 schools and only two delegations were not Indian Schools. As outsiders to this region, we were completely welcomed and our students did not seem to notice that they were the different ones this time. This is a credit to the way they embraced the experience and approached all their new friends with enthusiasm. We are now travelling in Agra, Jaipur and Delhi with the Danish delegation on an eye-opening post-conference tour.

Comments from the students on their experience thus far follow:

On Service Day I noticed the classrooms in the small rural school we were working in was jam-packed with students from all different ages and with not much space, this made me realise that I was very privileged to be here to help.

Amity Hodgetts

Through the Baraza sessions, I was made aware of the multiple traits needed to become a valuable leader, including consideration of people’s beliefs, skills and ideas.

Abirami Raj

As soon as I step off the bus for service day I’m hit with the reality of this world. Soon after the first shock, I am trudging through the ocean of stick huts, with little kids running around, smiles from head to toe and weary adults who look longingly towards the kids, wishing for the freedom of childhood.

Chloe Davis

Rishikesh was a phenomenal experience, the rafting kicked our group off with some adrenaline. I knew that the Ganges was a spiritual river, so I decided to cleanse myself and take a dip, this was relaxing, after the swim I took a really positive turn and especially liked the meeting we witnessed about making peace between Hindus and Muslims. I even got a chance to talk to one of the senior people in the Ashram about it and ask her some questions, I found this all very inspiring.

Lucien James-Wever

On the Service Day, it gave me great pleasure to do the painting work because it was fun and I learned how to paint while doing something for someone else.

Oliver Newman

Our Baraza group was appointed to paint some steps in a school to look like times tables. The looks on the children’s faces when they passed by put a smile on my face. The feeling of accomplishment and knowing that you have done something that will positively affect the students was humbling.

Oscar Winspear

Stuart Walls
Round Square Representative