So GiveIndia has this interesting policy of one grass-root NGO visit every quarter, which I feel has been of great value to me personally. The National Association for the Blind (NAB) is where I’ve visited most frequently.
NAB has a training programme for their blind students, where the visually impaired from all over India come to learn basic mobility and some vocational trades (like candle making, paper bag making, etc). Now I’ve been making soap and lip balm – and other homemade stuff – for a long time now, and NAB was very happy to invite me to train their trainers. I’ve visited twice before and covered basic soap making (bathing soap, and a detergent).
I had another visit to NAB on the 27th of Feb 2014, and this time our focus was Lip Balm making.
When I got in around 4 PM there was a kitchen utilization workshop just getting over, and the kitchen was cleared immediately thereafter. That’s Jyotsna madam (their head of vocational kitchen/utility training) you see there asking the students to leave. Notice the confidence in the blind students’ mobility – most of us would have had our arms flailing to make sure we don’t collide into something 🙂
We started with a review of what was done last time, just to ensure the trainers had the concept down pat. We looked over the soap made last time (pic attached) and listed out possible alternate oils / perfumes to use. They’ll be training students for soapmaking in the coming few months so should be interesting to see.
Then I listed out the ingredients and guidelines for making the lip balm, which the trainers recorded in their journals – they keep these A4 sized books in which they write all such non-food recipes.
We assembled the ingredients, the two cubes of beeswax you see there are my contribution to this bundle. And then started the process (melt, mix, pour). 20 minutes of waiting and it’s done!!