‘There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.’ -Alan Cohen.
The Happy Café initiative was first spearheaded, conceptualized and taken forward by the Student Council Members of Dubai Scholars Private School, with the support of the Heads of Student Council & the Head of Student Support Services, in the year 2015. Busy schedules in and outside school, constantly building stress levels among the students and day-to-day challenges faced by them were the reasons for the inception of this venture.
Once the ‘Happy Café’ was underway, all the values instilled within the students by the school, came into the forefront. Their belief in the fact that the key to success is dedication, long hours of planning, hard work and determination to achieve their goals, has been further strengthened. They have begun to truly comprehend the meaning and benefits of putting in their best work and having fun at the same time.
The prodigious event takes place every fortnight, usually on a Tuesday after school hours, and is scheduled to run for an hour. The students of Years 9, 10 and 11 gather for a de-stressing dance session, followed by meditation. This infuses a sense of tranquility among them. The dance and meditation set a platform for other exciting team building activities that help greatly in boosting the confidence levels of the attendees. What makes this venture so special is that it is ‘by the students, for the students’.
During our happy café sessions, we ensure that elements such as Positivism, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning & Accomplishments are incorporated. Our students have finally found another way to unwind and channelize their energies into doing things they love. They feel a sense of camaraderie and joy, which gives them the motivation and the strength to look beyond their worries and challenges, as they sit and share snacks at the end of each session. This activity is cost-free and all students from Year groups 9-11 are encouraged to attend.
When this initiative was launched, the attendees were few. But gradually the news of our Happy Café activities spread like wild fire and the enthusiasm & excitement for the Happy Café grew. Today, our students couldn’t feel more proud that their little venture has been so well received by their peers and supported by our institution.
Their aim of organising this initiative was to not only give themselves a break but also to reinforce their belief that doing good to others is a joy, not a duty and it is these small things they do occupy the largest part of everyone’s hearts.