It is amazing to sometimes stop and consider what you actually need.
I come to this ground breaking realisation shortly after making the point accidently whilst talking to a Rotary club about Chennai Challenge. Having the opportunity to talk to Brewood and district Rotary Club about who we are and what we do was great, and so I made sure I had everything I might need ready to go.
The talk was on Wednesday, so on Tuesday I slightly changed the presentation on the computer to get it right, and borrowed a laptop and projector to show things. I saved a number of videos on to my ipod, and got the wire ready that would link this to the screen. I made sure I had the speakers ready for sound. I found and extension lead, so that there would be no issue with plugs. As well as all this I packed the old display boards to go up. I even made notes to go with my prezi, to keep me on track.
So I arrived at the venue, an Indian restaurant (well, technically the staff were all from Bangladesh) and put up the display boards. Then started to realize that I hadn’t got a screen to project on to. The wall was a good colour, but there wasn’t really the right place to put the projector. I was ake the question ‘Do you really need it?’ and I said no. Instead of using all the pictures I could have, video and audio, I just spoke. My notes were linked to the presentation that I now wasn’t using, and so were little help. Except that they were nice to hold on to. I made a point of talking about Fort School. It is run by the YMCA Madras and is free for local slum children. The facilities they have are basic at best, with class sizes of 40+ and teachers equipped with a chalkboard, chalk, a book and a stick. Despite not having computers, interactive whiteboards and all other sort of bells and whistles, the school has had an 100% pass rate in its exams. Not just for this year, but for 6 years in a row.
At the end of my talk I was thanked, and told that there was no need for all the things I hadn’t used. That was nice to hear, and it shows that we don’t need a lot of shiny things to make things good. Take Fort YMCA school. They get great results with what they have, but the building is falling down. We would love to be able to rebuild it, but that would take money. So donate if you can, not to provide trimmings and extra bits, but a space where children can simply learn.