Friday, May 11, 2012

Best way to beat the heat!

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single lit candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases on being shared”
– Buddha 

Have you ever seen a labourer and wondered if his children would ever be educated? Have you ever had the zeal to bring about a change in society but not given the necessary platform for it? If yes, then U&I gives you that platform where you can be, and make the change you desire!

This summer U&I, staying true to its tag-line of a making a difference, is doing its bit to bring about a change in the lives of more than 400 underprivileged children in Bangalore by conducting summer camps for them along the length and breadth of the city. The theme for the camps this year is DREAMS, and our main objective is to motivate and inspire the children to dream big and aim for the sky. As it’s rightly said, it’s kind of fun to do the impossible!

 The camps, needless to say, will involve a lot of fun, games, and creative activities coupled with focused assessments which will help in facilitating a better understanding of each child's needs. By doing so, we hope to help them realize their untapped potential and then make conscious efforts towards taking practical steps in realizing their dreams and eventually achieving them. To help and guide them through this journey, over 40 interns and volunteers will be the facilitators in the administration of intensive career planning and career counseling sessions in addition to individual mentorship and language assessment activities. These introductory sessions and assessments are only   a prologue to long-term projects with NGOs like Shishu Mandir,Bromeo Society,Oasis,Crisis Intervention Center,Karunalaya,Balakiya Bala Mandira, and the State Home for Mentally Challenged Boys."This project has the potential to inspire young children to dream beyond their immediate circumstances. This coupled with U&I's long-term investment into each child, is a potent formula for success," says Ajit Sivaram,co-founder of U&I.

 The first camp of 2012 was held in Shishu Mandir for about 70 students or more, where the camp was a huge success and the commitment of every volunteer was deeply appreciated by the people in-charge at Shishu Mandir.  “In this age, where youngsters spend their holidays in malls and watching movies, seeing youngsters like you volunteering to make a change is rather refreshing and this country needs youngsters like you” said the secretary of Shishu Mandir.

The second camp at the State Home for the Mentally Challenged was even more fun! Taking the boys out for an outing to Cubbon Park was met with a lot of delight by both the boys and volunteers alike. For the next two days, detailed mental and physical health assessment was taken, while everyone was also engaged in cleaning,washing and organising their rooms and clothes. All in all,it was quite a fulfilling and productive camp.

So,two camps down, five more to go and if you are wondering what to do, its time you and I(U&I) join hands and spread the language of joy, and let every child realize that every cloud has a silver lining!

 -Shruthi Kesavan