Teach For India’s Revolutionary Retreat brings together student leaders and young changemakers from across India

Mumbai, 9th February 2024Hosted by Kids Education Revolution (KER), Teach For India’s global platform for student leadership, the Revolutionary Retreat is a one-of-a-kind space for like-minded and passionate student leaders to come together as a community and dream about a better world. It is a space for students across the country to reflect on their own leadership, build the skills they need to drive sustainable impact, and join a movement of leaders who are reimagining education through community-level solutions for change.

This year, the 3-day Revolutionary Retreat brought together over 150 students and educators from across India, and abroad (Malaysia, New Zealand, and Kazakhstan), at Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini in Bhayander, Mumbai.

KER Revolutionaries, or participants, are students who come from diverse backgrounds working on a range of changemaking projects, coming together to develop and strengthen their commitment to self, others, and India. Through immersive learning experiences, collaborative spaces, and reflective activities, students embark on a personal leadership journey that is rooted in the idea of building active citizenship and giving back to the community. The Revolutionaries at the retreat are guided by student mentors, who are paying it forward by helping a new set of students grow into empathetic, empowered, and confident young leaders. Anisha Ansari, a student mentor, shared, “It is a powerful thing to see students learning from each other, and helping each other grow. I feel like I am part of a community that is working towards the same goal – to build a better India”.

At this year’s retreat, students engaged in sessions that built their understanding of design thinking and collective leadership, as well as of Teach For India’s framework of the 8Cs – courage, compassion, consciousness, communication, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and curiosity. Through hands-on activities that encouraged children to think about the most pressing issues that impact them and their communities, through experiential learning spaces that deepened their understanding of India’s Constitutional Values and the role that they play in upholding them, and through a stimulating exposure visit to Mumbai’s Museum of Solutions – the young student leaders explored ideas of social justice, inequality, gender, discrimination, environment, and much more.

Shaheen Mistri, Founder and CEO of Teach For India, led a session where students explored “India and the World”, thinking about children in conflict zones, and the role that each of us can play in building a world that is safe, equitable, and just. Through the power of art, expression, and collaborative thinking, she led students to create a giant mandala as a symbol of peace and solidarity, that represented the idea of rebuilding and reimagining the world that our children are growing up in.

The 6th edition of Revolutionary Retreat concluded with a screening of the Conference of the Birds Film – a feature-length film based on Teach For India’s musical, that takes the audience on a journey through the valleys of Justice, Equality, Liberty, and Fraternity, in search of the true meaning of India. As students and educators watched this exploration of India’s values together, and reflected on their understanding of our Constitution, the power of partnership between students and educators was highlighted once again.

This year, the Retreat brought together KER Revolutionaries who are working on change projects exploring themes like gender equality, access to education, mental health and wellness, expression through art, and more – while also inviting educators and teachers who are partnering with students to create safe spaces, amplify student voices, and develop holistic learning experiences. Through a process that is grounded in the practice of reflection, listening, collaboration, and action, the Retreat sparked the desire for change in many young leaders and educators who are in our classrooms today.