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Monday, October 14, 2019
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MUN @ Neev


Model United Nations is an educational simulation or academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. Delegates (students who have been assigned a country who they must represent) work individually or in groups in the committee (the discussion room assigned their topic) to find a resolution to the problem at hand.

MUN @ Neev is a platform for young aspiring MUNers and older experienced MUNers to showcase their talent and skill of public speaking. Recently, it went through a big change, bifurcating from a joint MUN to a junior and senior MUN. This change transforms the way the committees will function in future sessions. The senior MUN is a higher difficulty MUN with fewer, more skilled delegates, while the junior MUN is a platform for the new and younger MUNers to develop their skills of debating and research and a way for them to get prepared for senior MUN. While the committees are separate, both deal with the same topic. Last year, we dealt with complex topics like International Drug Trade or India Pakistan conflict following the Pulwama attacks and we plan on discussing similar topics this year as well. Our first topic for the year is World War 2 and delegates will have to put themselves in the league of nations to sort out the crises which will be presented in committee.

This year, I can promise you that neither the topics nor the delegates will be a walk in the park, and we can expect some very valuable committee sessions from the MUN.


Feed a Child. Starve Cancer


In India, 8 out of 10 children who are malnourished are less likely to survive cancer. An alarming statistic, given that, Childhood Cancer is curable 9 out of 10 times the world over.

We are Cuddles Foundation, a national award-winning non-profit based in Mumbai backed by a strong team of clinical nutritionists across India. We have collaborated with 27 government and charity cancer hospitals in 19 cities across India, to help children fight cancer with food and nutrition.

Food Heals

Children seeking treatment for cancer are often malnourished and also suffer from treatment-induced malnutrition – stemming from side-effects to chemotherapy. This makes it difficult for children to cope and they deteriorate even further, often scaring parents into abandoning treatment midway. A well-nourished child, on the other hand, is more likely to complete treatment and fight cancer. Our FoodHeals program consists of placing a trained pediatric-oncologist nutritionist in a government hospital. She assesses children’s nutritional status and provides them with a customized diet plan. The counsel is followed by an aid program that includes nutritional supplements, eggs, fruits, dry fruits, monthly ration baskets to a family of four, and hot meals for in-patients and out-patients.Nutritionists work closely with senior oncologists so that food and medicine go hand in hand. They also support caregivers with the tools and means to incorporate locally available ingredients in their food.

Our Impact

Some of the hospitals we work with include TATA Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, AIIMS New Delhi and Kidwai in Bengaluru. We conducted over 1.5 lakh counsels last year alone. An impact study at India’s largest cancer hospital, Tata Memorial Centre, found that treatment dropout rates among children with cancer reduced by 86% after planned nutrition became a part of cancer treatment. This year, we will be planning on reaching out to more children in hospitals in the South and the North-east of India. We have also collaborated with the National Cancer Grid to take our counsel online.



Workshop with Ms. Kristen Pelletier


Kristen Pelletier is an independent educational consultant, coach, co-creator and teacher trainer driven by a mission of supporting exemplary inclusive cultures and practices in international schools. Her company, Redefining Access, is based in Brussels following 19 years at the International School of Brussels where she was most recently the Director of Student Support Services. Ms. Kristen now works full time supporting international schools with inclusive practices. She has been associated with Neev since June 2018 and has been conducting teacher training programs to strengthen the Student Support Services and to streamline the Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS) effectively. From 8th to 10th August 2019, the Students Support Services team, which includes the Learning Support/ Academic Coaching team and Counselling team (Socio-emotional and Career counseling) from Neev Academy and our Early Years branches, along with the Leadership team, had the privilege to attend a workshop conducted by Ms. Kristen Pelletier. This was our third workshop with her in a series of ongoing professional development sessions, planned over two years. The workshop was conducted to reach our one final goal which is building capacity and capability for strong classroom practice that serves all students and is accessible to those who learn differently. As a team, we looked into essential questions that revolved around best practices to sustain MTSS. We also looked into Grade 8 case studies that drove our practices; what worked well and which aspects would require more attention. Kristen helped us review the elements of MTSS practice which consists of 4 touchstones for practice namely Identification, knowing our students, sharing responsibilities and service delivery (differentiation, remediation, collaborative teaching). The team also delved into ‘Behavior’ and functions of behavior and worked on different case studies related to challenging behavior.The purpose was to focus on data collection and analysis of behavior. We further worked on creating best practices for developing collaborative relationships in working with teachers to develop a shared understanding of the MTSS framework and their role in Tier 1 support.

Kristen helped us build upon executive functions using collaborative approaches that involved working with parents too. She also helped us understand the difference between differentiation, accommodation, and modification. Based on this understanding, differentiation will be carried forward into the classroom. The plan ahead is to take this learning forward to the larger community and implement the same effectively.


Thukpa for one, thukpa for all


High up in the foothills of the Ladakh range, resources are scarce. Food is simplistic but flavourful. After trekking through rough terrains, grade 9 savoured their bowls of thukpa, the warm soupy noodle studded with local vegetables and just the right amount of spices. Thukpa for All, a charming picture book featuring in Neev’s upcoming lit fest, struck a unique chord with the students. It brought back fond memories and with that the idea that serving a bowl of this delight to the entire Neev community wouldn’t be a bad thing after all.With the Independence Day arriving soon, the senior school decides to engage in a grand celebratory cooking spree. Thukpa for one and Thukpa for All!

Lola’s Story Independence is also to choose the way you are being treated


Once upon a time there lived a girl named Lola. She was from Africa but at a young age she moved with her family to London. Her parents worked very hard but were still not able to earn a good living In fact, Lola was not able to go to school until second grade. She was the only dark-skinned girl in the whole school! Almost everybody tormented and bullied her, but all she did was ignore them. One day, when she happened to be eating lunch alone and quietly, the class bully walked up to her. He was reasonably short for his age and a little plump, and looked like a sweet boy who minds his own business. Actually, he was an annoying little boy capable of hurting others’ feelings. He said, “You were not meant to be put in this school; you were just accepted out of pity”. After this incident, she was so sad that she walked home alone, sat on her bed and cried. Her mother came in and asked her, “What happened?” Lola explained the whole incident and started to cry again. Her mother kept quiet for a while and then whispered, “We black people are stronger than you think. I learned this when I was young, and if you want to be strong too, you have to face the bully and not take his words seriously.”Lola was so encouraged by her mother that she walked straight back to school and told the bully, “From now onwards whatever you say will not irritate me!” The bully was taken aback but still continued bullying Lola. After a while, as Lola was not getting troubled, he realized his mistake and apologized to Lola. She accepted his apology and since then both of them have been the best of friends.




Am I really free/independent? India of my dreams through the eyes of the freedom fighters

Inter-house soft board competition revolved around these two themes where students collaborated to give shape to their creative expressions and thoughts

Back to independence


It all started on the best day of the week, Friday. My sister and I were walking home as she boasted about how smarter she was than me. I tried to turn her attention to a ball bouncing across the street. It was red in color and upon closer inspection, there was writing on it: August 15th, 1947. I told my sister, “We don’t know what this is; don’t touch it!”. As usual, she ignored me and took it. “Hey!” she said, “Look at this button!” And she rolled it over. We looked around and all of a sudden this was not home. Everything looked old fashioned and sepia in colour. We heard shouts around us, “Angrez bhag gaye! Bharat Zindabad!” I knew exactly where we were: Year 1947, 15th August, INDIA’S INDEPENDENCE. My sister was very excited, “Let’s meet Gandhiji!” I warned her not to change the past or we might not be born. She spotted the red ball amidst the celebrating crowds rolling away into a house. We had no choice but to break in and find a startled bunch of people looking at us. My sister picked up the ball and pressed the button again. We were back home! We decided not to tell anybody about our adventure. Home sweet home.




Everyone should have freedom. Everyone has the right to do what they want. But ‘rights’ dont mean they have the right to do the wrong things.Everyone has rights. Everyone? Well not really! Here in India, people cannot afford to do what they want. Some people do not have basic rights even. Do you think we should help? Yes! Everyone is here for a reason, and we are here to help. We don’t always know how to do so, but we’ll figure out!




The 15th of August at Neev Academy witnessed an array of creative expressions. The spirit of celebrations was set high with our gratitude towards freedom and praise for the great freedom fighters and a question – what are we making of the freedom that we have? We were made aware of the people around us that may not be able to enjoy the same freedom that most of us can take for granted. We were able to look at ourselves and our nation with a new set of eyes. The day started with an Odissi and Bharatnatyam performance that perfectly encompassed the cultural diversity in India. A walk of freedom fighters allowed us a glimpse back into history where students impersonated revered freedom fighters. A house contest was also conducted for grades 6-8 as they showcased their understanding of the concept of freedom and India’s independence through setting up displays for the soft board. The day ended with sumptuous Thukpa, a popular dish from Ladakh cooked for the entire Neev communitty by the high school students. We had an enduring discussion session on the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A. This day was the anniversary for the 73rd Independence day in India, yet, the meaning of this day seems to have evolved and changed its hue in these 73 years. It is said that freedom doesn’t come free therefore we must show our gratitude to those who have carried our nation through the long walk to freedom. We must always remember to show gratitude for things in life that seem almost trivial to us but is actually a great luxury to some.


My visit to an active volcano


In New Zealand, I had one of the most breathtaking experiences when visiting the White Island or Whakatane. It is an active cone volcano. The tour to White Island takes place only when the seismic activity on the island is under control. Our tour guide was worried about the high seismic activity the day before our tour. It was only the next morning that our trip was confirmed. When we reached the tour office, we boarded the boat. The ride to the island was an hour and a half at 25 knots. When nearing the island, we could see the smoke and steam clouds created by the volcano. We also saw dolphins on the way. They were so close that if I jumped off, I would land on one of them. Not that I tried! Before stepping on to the island we scouted the perimeter to make sure it was safe. We were equipped with a gas mask for the smoke, a hard hat in case of landslides and a life jacket for the inflatable boat journey.

Before we started our exploration, we were given a safety briefing about what to do in case of a sudden eruption. We had to stay on the exact path the guide took in order to make sure no one fell into scalding pits of mud. On the way to the main crater, we saw glittering crystals, roaring fumaroles and burning pools of acid. There were yellows mounds of sulphur deposit all around us. After that reached the main crater It was a sight never to be forgotten. One could see the crater lake as black as the night sky. The crater lake was made up of highly acidic substance and was very hot. We were asked to maintain a safe distance from it. We saw two streams of water that were quite acidic. One was cold while the other hot. We conducted an experiment by sticking a copper coin in the water. It started sparkling as the acid had cleaned and polished it! We were told that this island was discovered by James Cook in 1769. In the 1950’s, the locals established a sulphur factory which prospered for a few years but demolished in an eruption.The only survivor was Peter, their cat. He is now a Kiwi icon and a hero. On our way back to the mainland, we got to see seals. It was an unforgettable experience.



The making of India – an expert visit

In the unit ‘’How We Organize Ourselves’’, grade 5 learnt about the government via an expert visit by Mr Manish Sabharwal. We discussed the impact of the British rule on India where he spoke about the famous freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Vallabhbhai Patel, Subash Chandra Bose and how they contributed to India’s independence.We learnt about the key events during the freedom struggle– the Dandi March, the Bengal Famine, the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Quit India Movement, and most importantly the constituent assembly. We understood how it took 300 people and 3 years to frame the Indian constitution that is unbiased towards any particular religion, gender, or caste. Adopted on 26th January, 1950, the judicial branch of the government makes sure that laws are not violated or actions are taken as per the seriousness of the offence. Lastly, we talked about the type of government that India follows. Democracy is the best kind of government as it is a fair and just way of choosing the ruler. Every citizen has a say on various matters and problems are solved fairly without force. There are other kinds of government as well, such as dictatorship (rule by force), monarchy (ruled by a king or queen), oligarchy (rule by few) and theocracy (rule by god). All countries which have a healthy economy are democratic. A great learning experience!


Tipu Sultan: The tiger

Tipu Sultan was the king of Mysore, and was almost like a tiger himself. Did you know he owned four tigers?! He won two wars out of four– the first and the third. The second and the fourth Britishers won. Tipu Sultan built a throne for himself which had it’s eight sides covered with gold and gems. He promised himself that if he defeats the British in the fourth war, he will sit on it. But sadly he died and the British melted the throne. They sold pieces of it later.I had a lot of fun seeing Tipu’s Bangalore palace and want to see Mysore palace too.



3…2…1…blast off! India’s first lunar expedition since 2008 has begun with a successful launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on July 22, rising off the pad atop a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) rocket. The primary objective of this mission is to demonstrate the ability to soft land on the lunar surface, followed by the operation of a robotic rover on the surface. Originally set to launch on July 15, the Chandrayaan-2 mission suffered a week of postponement due to a technical glitch that arose less than an hour before liftoff, as reported by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Chandrayaan 2 consists of three vehicles: an orbiter, a lander called Vikram and a small rover named Pragyan. According to its flight plan, Chandrayaan-2 is to orbit around the moon with gradual descent over a period of four weeks, after which the Vikram Lander is to separate from the orbiter and touch down on the southern region of the moon following a four day maintenance of its orbit after separation. If the mission is conducted successfully, India will earn the title of the first country ever to land on the south pole of the moon, along with becoming the fourth country to achieve a soft-landing on the lunar surface. “It is the beginning of a historical journey of India towards the moon and to land at a place near the south pole, to carry out scientific experiments, to explore the unexplored,” says K.Sivan, Chairman of the ISRO. Lander Vikram is scheduled to touch down on the moon’s surface by the 6th of September, till which day we can only pray for the continued success of this mission!


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