The story of this woman inspired me to write this article.
Kiran Bir Sethi, designer, mother, revolutionary and brave woman, is the founder of the educational movement Design for change which began in 2009 and is already present in more than 66 countries, infecting child to child the powerful belief of “I can”.
Kiran, like many of us, simply wanted to give her son the best possible education. She tells how one day she went to school to talk with the teacher to find out more about the interests and abilities she had detected in his son. To her surprise at school, her son was another number, so when she mentioned his name to the teacher, she immediately asked for the student’s code so she could download his report.
This so much attracted her attention, that she immediately decided to take her son out of that school and, moved by that feeling of frustration and indignation, opened the doors of her house to give her son and other children the possibility of a different education. It started with 25 children and her intention from then until now has not changed; since its inception Kiran sought to give each one the importance they deserve by giving them full attention and actively listening to their needs, desires and interests. She did not agree with the school culture which, by the context in which it develops, reinforces (unconsciously) the “I can´t”. She was determined, therefore, to demonstrate, to the children, to the parents and to herself, that, if we only allow ourselves to believe in the children and act intentionally to show that confidence and nurture it, the possibilities of what they are capable to do are endless.
The acronym FIDS represents the philosophy of this movement; which comes from the words Feel, Imagine, Do, Share. These acronyms represent the approach that the Design for change program seeks to implement in each school to achieve empowering children so they become agents of change, not of the future, as she mentions, but of the now.
“To infect each child with the powerful belief of I can” is a goal that both, Design for change and Humano, have in common. We are convinced that success in life depends on the knowledge and trust that one has in one’s own abilities and interests, because these are our most valuable tools and those we use to keep going day by day. The vision we have is clear, everything is possible for those who believe, and this belief connotes trust in the environment as well as in oneself, and for that, self-knowledge, self-regulation and self-responsibility are fundamental.
We know that what education gives to children, they will return to society. So, what are we giving them?