Avinya Foundation

#10 Jenga – rise, fall and rebuild

“Life is a game, you can play it safe and be good or you take a chance and be great” – Unknown

Hello there! It’s the educators at Avinya taking over for this week. Staying true to Anju’s blog spirit we decided to start off with a quote that captures the essence of this week’s journey.

Our first week at Avinya ended with an intense game of Jenga. The word “Jenga” itself is derived from Swahili which means to “build” even though the purpose of the game is to break. We had an interesting debate on that exact same thing. Should we try to play it safe and keep building the tower or should we take more daring chances, which might topple the tower? In the end, we must give credit to Anju for the creative destruction of our tower.

Speaking of creative destruction, this game summed up our first week at Avinya. Initially, we were all about playing it safe and completing our work. However, we learnt that the creative process is not often linear but more circular. We had to unlearn and relearn many things and keep going back and forth with our plans. We had to take some chances and jump headfirst into new areas. Here are some of the highlights of this week.


Hashtags and taglines

We put on our marketer hats and worked with Lakshman on how to approach our target audiences. We came up with some lovely anecdotes, discussed some strategies to engage with the community and which platforms we’ll be making use of. Similar to how it takes much patience to build a Jenga tower, it took us a considerable amount of time to unlock the rusty parts of our brain that contained the desired potential but hadn’t been put to test in a long time.

Between writing inspirational short stories, drinking a lot of Faluda and accidentally stealing glasses we also dove into Canva to better prepare ourselves to become the new artists of our social media platforms and later on in our classrooms. While many of us had already come across the tool, this was the first time we truly invested ourselves in training to create content. Next week, we hope to put our new skills to the test and publish some of our masterpieces.

Sudoku Timetables

Deep dive into finalising the year planner and setting up a workable time table, we realised that nothing was set in stone and we had to be as flexible and as accommodative as possible. We also had to be practical and realistic. We had to decide carefully and patiently, which blocks to keep and which ones to strategically pull out while trying to still keep the tower intact. In the end we managed to allocate the projects to fit the time slots and come up with a workable plan. (well, for the moment at least!)

F.R.I.E.N.D.S (ft. Avinya educators)

We realised that we have amazing team dynamics. Although we come from diverse backgrounds, have different levels of experience and evolved from different professional backgrounds; the thread that holds us together is our common passion for the cause. We work together with a shared interest. In our short time together we have worked with trust, openness and inclusivity. Despite being challenged the feelings of happiness, excitement, gratitude, interdependence and sense of belonging  are unanimous. The positive vibes are almost tangible.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

At the end of each day, we all spend some time to pen our reflections and stick them up on the collaborative board, which is actually cool since it allows us to know what each of us are feeling and learning on our journey to making Avinya come to life. Looking back at what we have accomplished so far through our own reflections, it is interesting to see how we’ve all grown to expect the unexpected when building something new just like the possibilities that a Jenga set offers to keep pulling out the best ideas after debating them or create a better tower each time it collapses.


“The Avinya Impact” on Educators

The bond between Avinya and the Educators is growing stronger every day. Like a Jenga tower that is being built piece by piece, with each Educator bringing a unique skill to the table, this working environment enriches the productivity of our work. The interesting team dynamics we have developed among us bring forth the best in all of us. As Educators we are using the Avinya experience not only as an opportunity for our social responsibility of community development, but also as a great way for self-development. The interactive sessions we have at Avinya are very insightful. After the first week, we feel even more excited and optimistic about what lies ahead. The Educators hope to build a solid base for our Jenga tower.


Food for thought

“Every decision is independent of each other, like the Jenga blocks, yet they are all connected and lead to one thing. Just as the Jenga participant must decide which block to remove, we too, must decide which decision will get us to where we want to go next.”

 Educator Team (Sinalie, Jayani, Sanduni, Dilani, Ilma, Vidushi, Vihan and Isuru)