Sarah Vohya (Founder of Maisha Trust & Director of Oasis Kindergarten) decided to undertake her Masters in Education dissertation research at Oasis, on the topic of emotional intelligence and emotional wellbeing. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise, understand, control and express your emotions, and to understand and appropriately respond to the emotions of others. She worked in partnership with the teachers at Oasis to find out the causes of pupils’ poor emotional wellbeing and then implement an intervention to try and improve it.
They decided to start an emotional intelligence programme, which has been led by a Fitzwilliam-Cambridge alumni, Paul Vincent Cable. He conducts a weekly skype tutorial with the children, who all gather in the hall to see him on a big screen.With the use of puppets and imaginative story-telling, Paul has taught Oasis pupils various emotional competencies like loving-kindness, empathy, resilience and unity. These are reinforced by the teachers during the week through interactive activities such as story-telling, songs, painting and open discussions. The feedback from the Oasis staff and parents has been overwhelming. The teachers say that the children are becoming more confident, more caring and kind to one another and are able to resolve conflicts quickly. Their parents also bear testimony to the positive changes, asserting that their homes are happier places since the emotional intelligence programme began. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Paul for his commitment to this programme.