" Volunteering at CRY, across the schools, the children we met year on year, the events we conduct, the campaigns, the fundraising, Soccer for Child Rights, Ride for Rights, the familiar yellow and black logo, proudly displaying the CRY badge on my bag, the anecdotes, summer camps, all it never fails to put a big smile on my face. I distinctly remember how it all began. Full of ideas, brimming with excitement after my induction at CRY on the August of 2016 I was at school a couple of weeks later for my first ever meet and there has been no looking back ever since. Working with children has its own charms. I keep marvelling at their curiosity towards everything, their innocent questions, their innovative ideas, the talent that every child exhibits and in the process, relive my childhood, uninhibited and precious.
I remember a certain child who took it upon himself to train children from smaller classes when his partners for a group activity were absent and how proud he was to have led and guided them. I remember groups dividing tasks amongst themselves and collaborating in an exemplary fashion. I remember for a Drama event one child improvised his act without any assistance from any of the volunteers. I distinctly remember how the children took the lead during the community walk in Bangalore and urged their classmates to join school who had dropped out of school. And it was last week at the ArtSpark Foundations session when the children were asked to make self-portraits I saw a couple of kids adding glasses and long hair to their portraits. When I intervened asking this does not look like self-portrait they replied to me that they would like to be like me when they grow up! I was awestruck and happy, happy to have done something right to inspire the children.
Volunteering with children comes with its own set of challenges. It requires patience and persistence. Certainly, you cannot scream and shout to reach out to children. Through volunteering, I have discovered how to manage when things go haywire that never involved raising my voice.