What do you do when you get a team of interns bigger than a cricket team, merely 18 years old and barely a year into their undergraduate course ? How about encouraging them to volunteer creatively with communities – children, differently abled and experience the working of different social organizations ?
It all started with a few call requests to join a 2 week internship program with iVolunteer in Bangalore. The students were pursuing their bachelor’s degree in business administration from Christ University. From 1 to 2 to 3, I realized we were getting 4 groups of 12 student volunteers! Almost the size of a specialization class in college.
Since Daan Utsav was just around the corner I suggested to student volunteers to focus on it. (Daan Utsav is celebrated between Oct 2 to Oct 8 where several individuals from all walks of life contribute towards social good either in kind, time or money.) Each group brainstormed and came up with their project ideas. We decided to boil down to two volunteering engagement with children and participate in income generation activities of some of our NGO partners.
Here’s the three primary projects carried by the students team:
- First project took off with 3 student volunteers interacting with a group of 51 underprivileged children through colouring activity of super-heroes. These drawings were made by one of the student volunteer herself.
- Project two was a group project of painting more than 200 diyas in the vocational unit of a NGO – Divya Downs Development Trust which works with adults/children with Down’s Syndrome.
- Project Three was a fun seva-sandwich event where 140 sandwiches were made by the student volunteers and distributed to 3 boy’s home – Snehaghar, Lakshya Udaan Home for Boys (managed by a NGO called Need Base India) and UDC (managed by another NGO working with Surabhi Foundation). (Both the NGOs work with underprivileged children.)
During the two weeks of internship program I met the students just thrice – orientation on the first day, execution of group project of seva sandwich making and final closure by giving internship letters. Interactions were completely wireless and virtual. Thanks to the wonderful age of communication we live in!
It was a very enriching experience working with these young minds. After they were gone it was just me and my work again. No more follow up calls, explanation of where the NGO partner is located (as most were not from this city), hand-holding, brainstorming of minute project details and evaluation of project outcome.
It was always a dream to work with students. (At one point I aspired to be a teacher.) Am glad to receive these opportunities through my organization – iVolunteer and look forward to the next set of young minds to walk through our office door and say “Good morning Ma’am, may we please come in. We are students from….”