For my CAS project I learnt a skill and then used that skill to give back to the community. In a group of 9, we first learnt how to bake at least 2-3 desserts individually, we then combined all our recipes and chose 2 of them to make together and later distribute it to kids residing in our nearby slum areas.
- LO 1: Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
I have never been fond of cooking or baking mostly because these were the 2 things I could never excel at and no matter how much I tried I could never make something good to eat. After a while I gave up but considered taking up the challenge again through the opportunity provided by the project. As I had previously tried baking manier times, I knew I could never replicate the youtube videos. So instead, this time I tried a few easy recipes from my friends and my mom.
After learning the recipes individually, it was time to bake in a group which essentially required plenty of cooperation, patience and synergy. Teamwork is something I consider as my strength so it was not so hard for me to cooperate with the others. To come out with the best outcome, we used our individual strength by considering individual strengths and weaknesses, and therefore divided the work accordingly. Hence, we could make things in bulk while maintaining efficiency. This allowed us to complete the task in time and successfully create chocolate cake and choco bombs to distribute.
- LO 2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills
Personally, the biggest challenge for me was to make something edible. I had never been able to make something good before so my confidence was not high either. I overcame this challenge by taking help from my mom and friends when I needed it and made a single recipe multiple times. Another challenge we faced was that all of us had learnt different recipes so coming to a common decision for what to make at the end was difficult as well. We overcome this challenge by patiently talking and putting forward our points. Keeping logistics in mind we then chose a recipe that was simplest but did not compromise the taste, so that we could make it in time.
Overall, I feel proud I took this baking challenge as it made me learn something new and taught me hard work pays off since seeing the smiles when we donated what we baked was very satisfying.
- LO 3: Initiate and plan a CAS experience
We first as a group planned where we could donate and the possible ways we could carry out the project. Then right from the initial steps of learning how to bake, learning from mistakes and remaking the recipes, coming up with the finalized menu in a team, baking the cake and chocolate bombs together, to packaging the desserts and distributing them to the underprivileged children I demonstrated how to initiate a CAS project.
Throughout this journey I learned a lot about communication and gratitude. It was a reminder of how ungrateful I am at times about some privileges and things that I don’t even think about twice and how something so simple as just giving a piece of cake can mean so much and bring smiles on faces.
- LO 4: Show perseverance and commitment in CAS experience
It is usually easy for me to commit to things I put my mind to but knowing I was not so good at baking at my earlier attempts it was harder to stay committed. However, knowing we were giving back to the community is something that motivated me and not to lose hope. In order to show perseverance and commitment throughout we all collectively came up with a schedule to follow and this way we kept each other accountable and were persistent throughout.
- LO 5: Demonstrate skills and benefits of working collaboratively
Since we knew we were baking for underprivileged children in our nearby slums, we approximated there might be around 35-40 children. Working in a group collaboratively was essential after all it was not possible for 1 person to bake for so many. We needed to work in a group to complete making it in time and make as much as possible. So, we divided the tasks by putting some in charge of going and buying groceries, dividing into 2 groups to make 2 different recipes, allocating people to make something that was their strength in the baking process and dividing people for cutting and packaging. Communication throughout the process was something that made the task a lot simpler. Together we motivated each other to learn new recipes, worked together while baking for a large number of people, communicated and together helped serve the community.
Furthermore, learning from others’ mistakes helped me not repeat the same ones and also made me learn new recipes from my teammates.
- LO 6: Engagement with issues of global significance
Through this CAS project we aimed to engage with issues of global significance such as poverty and hunger. We interacted with kids who lack access to basic food and made something for them which they usually would not be able to afford to eat by themselves. Even though it was a very small step, distributing sweets to them was one step towards eradicating hunger and starvation.
- LO 7: Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
As we were baking for so many children, we needed to maintain hygiene and safety for them. We made sure we sanitized well before and after the baking. In addition, since the COVID situation was still present, in order to maintain personal safety we ensured we wore masks and sanitized after coming in contact with people. Throughout we made sure being ethical was our utmost priority.
Conclusion – In a nutshell, this project helped me learn something new, gave me an opportunity to work in a group to improve my communication and social skills and also helped me give back to the community at the same time. It was an enjoyable experience baking with everyone and very satisfying to see the smiles on the faces of the children. This motivates me to do such things more often.