Vandana Verma, a teacher at Prince of Wales Elementary School, Ontario, has always believed in creating a positive school environment. That’s how she came up with the idea of the ‘Just One Wish Kindness’ program in 2013, which aims at teaching youngsters about kindness and compassion. Recently, she took the help of a puppet show to start a discussion on humanity, which has gone viral worldwide.
Vandana created “Let’s Talk Kindness” on YouTube for children in 2020 when the world was suffering from the COVID-pandemic and the schools were closed. For this, she created 17 puppets and incorporated meaningful messages of kindness to the story weaved around these characters.
She saw famous ventriloquist Jeff Dunham’s show and realised that puppets are a great way of bringing forth important messages to children. She also asked for help from her colleagues to record the voices and come up with a catchy theme song for her puppet show.
A determined Vandana then studied how to make videos and even learned playing the keyboard to bring her tunes as the show’s background score. From the idea to the final product, it took her about seven exciting months. “I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished for two reasons, first, I love the message that it’s putting out there and I really believe it’s got great potential to help make positive change happen. Second, I did everything myself. It’s been a lot of work and very frustrating at times, but I learned new things and was able to put it all together on my own,” she says.
On 2 Jan 2021, she aired the first episode of “Let’s Talk Kindness” on YouTube which received a lot of praise from both children and their parents. Presently, she releases a new episode every two weeks. "The episodes have an introduction and they always bring up an important topic using characters that the children can relate to," she tells CBC News.
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