MYSKILLS FOUNDATION: What the Students Learn
In MySkills Foundation, students learn the following:
1. Basics of livestock farming. Vakesh Rao not only learned to rear cows but also to build the cow shed. He also learned to grow napier grass, which is a popular fodder for cows due to the high nitrogen content of the grass. “In the beginning, I felt meaningless with all these activities, but now I realise how much farming has helped me in deciding my own path,” said Vakesh Rao.
2. From garden to kitchen. Nisshah Govindasamy is all set to improve her culinary skills with the training she received from the Foundation. The kangkung harvested from the garden is cooked with the guidance of the head of the culinary section, Anne Savarimoothu George.
3. Composting kitchen waste. Suganesan Ravichandran and Mohammad Jamin Shazulee were given the task of composting. They throw kitchen and food waste into the compost pit in the morning, afternoon, and evening. To speed up the composting process and to balance the carbon and nitrogen ratio, they add dried grass, and it takes 2-3 months to harvest the compost, which is then applied to the plants.
4. Seeds Saving. Darell and Maheshwaran are guided by their trainer Vanita in this practice. Vanita said they aim to perfect the skills of seed saving and impart knowledge to each student because seeds are an indispensable part of agriculture. They too are planning a seed curation and exhibition in the near future.
5. Holistic food. Jaishnavii Kishor Varma and Molisha Muniswaran are studying geriatric care at the MySkills Foundation and they said the Foundation gives them the freedom to learn other skills of their interest. “Previously, we learned about composting. Now we are learning to prepare moringa health supplements. The moringa leaves are plucked from the trees on our institution’s land. The green moringa leaves are separated from the stem (the yellow leaves are discarded) and dried for 2 days. It is dried again at 60 degrees Celsius in a machine, after which it is ground into a fine powder,” explained Jaishnavii and Molisha.
6. Rain water harvesting. Reh Krishnan was trained by worker Pannir Selvam to construct rainwater harvesting system. It is essential for water and energy conservation.
7. Mixing compost. Athikumanan, Dinesh, Darell Roy and Mageshwaran learn how to mix and get the perfect compost by mixing organic waste from different sources. Then they pack the compost.