There are many people working hard behind the scenes to make sure that VOICE 4 Girls can help young women. One such person is our Content and Communications Officer Nanditha Ravindar. Nanditha has a MPhil to her name and is a development sector enthusiast. She joined VOICE in February 2020, and is one of the most enthusiastic people in our office. The role of a Content and Communications Officer is to periodically revise and suggest changes to material previously produced for VOICE 4 Girls classes whilst creating fresh, exciting material.
In India, most children are taught through lectures. However, research shows that this is not the most effective way to teach. Every time we teach a new concept it must be delivered in an appropriate way for adolescents whilst conveying the core of the idea. We use a variety of methods, from puzzles to discussions, to create a memorable learning experience. This is especially important with complex issues. Therefore, writing for VOICE 4 Girls is an incredibly unique opportunity.
This is not without its challenges. We got a chance to interview her to learn how her job contributes to VOICE 4 Girls’ mission in her words.
What does a Content and Communications Officer’s job entail?
As a Content and Communications Officer, I am primarily responsible for working on putting together content for our various camps. This also includes vetting older content written by our organisation and making changes as per feedback received from the people on the ground to ensure greater impact. Our content is revisited periodically to make sure campers’ and counsellors’ feedback are incorporated as much as possible.
Why is the activity-based content format important?
A lot of research studies conclude that children learn the best when they are doing something hands-on or through visual aids instead of through the traditional chalk and board teaching. This is why our camps are activity-based rather than resorting to the traditional lecture method that most students in India are used to. The activities ensure that children assimilate content better and grasp core concepts, learning how to apply them in their own lives as well. Thus, the activity-based approach of our programs is crucial to our success and impact.
How is writing content for VOICE different from writing other content?
Given the activity-based format of our programs, writing content for VOICE is very different from writing any other content. Every concept, no matter how difficult or complex, has to be broken down for the demographic we work with and written in the form of an activity which will convey the gist of the concept at its core. From role plays and discussions to puzzles and worksheets, each activity that we write is as experiential as possible.
What are the challenges in writing content in an activity-based format?
Presenting any topic or concept, regardless of its complexity, in an activity-based format can be quite challenging. Among the topics of health, rights, safety, and future planning that we largely teach our campers, health in particular can sometimes be challenging to write in the form of activities. Additionally, any content that we write regardless of the theme that we deal with has to be written in such a way that it is comprehensible for an average adolescent to understand.
How has the transition from camps to online sessions been?
2020 has been a year of uncertainty and challenges for most of us. It is no different for our organisation which has had to make the shift from our residential camp model to online sessions since June. While MOOCs and lectures can be rolled out online easily, content like ours that is activity-based and require a lot of physical interaction, collaboration, and discussion among the campers is hard to replicate in an online forum. However, we have made the transition to online platforms as effectively as we can, ensuring that the core of our camp-models remains the same – engaging, informative, visual, and fun.
In short, the role of Content and Communications officer is vital to VOICE 4 Girls. They create all the content with which we improve the lives of India’s adolescents. Despite various challenges posed by COVID-19, our work in Content and Communications is still going strong allowing VOICE 4 Girls to continue their mission. We hope this has inspired you!