By: Madhura Sen, FHI – Kolkata volunteer
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller.
Being a part of Fly Higher India(FHI) has proven to me how true these words are. I’ve been a part of FHI since May, 2018 and with every event the will to bring happiness to the underprivileged children has grown stronger. Each event is planned with enormous efforts of the coordinators and the volunteers collectively. And every volunteer dedicates themselves to bring a smile on the faces of the children.
For the event of November 2018 Upasana and I were assigned the role of event coordinators. It was a moment of immense happiness and equal worry on my part. The events previously held were not only joyous but also extremely creative and educative that gave the children a day of fun learning without imposing any kind of schooling environment.
The first hurdle that we had to cross as coordinators was to decide the venue for our event that was to be held on the 18th of November. One aspect that had always tugged my heart was the sadness after each event when we take a leave. The children keep on asking when we will be visiting again. We always promise to be back in a few months and it was time we kept it. We decided to re-visit Ashirbaad Boy’s Home, a protection home for underage boys under the Hope Foundation.
Once the venue was decided all the volunteers participating in the event started deciding on the activities of the day. Keeping in mind the theme of the month ‘self-awareness’, we decided to educate the boys on mental health.
On the day of the event I personally was very nervous. Upasana and I along with the rest of the volunteers had put in a good amount of effort. From talking to the authorities to deciding the activities and arranging some snacks and stationaries for the children. All we wanted was the children to have a good day.
The event started off a bit rocky since almost no child was aware of what mental illnesses were. Initially they were shy and reluctant to answer any questions we had regarding the issue. But after sometime they opened up and mingled comfortably with us. Most of the children were very talented in art and origami. There was a child who was suffering from some kind of a health problem and could not speak or mix with the crowd very well. But when asked to draw he beautifully painted a village scenery and was equally enthusiastic to show us how well his other friends drew. The highlight of the event however was when we played some music. Some of the children were incredible dancers and skilled at various acrobatics. They eagerly formed the human pyramid, pretty proud to show us their skills. The starting of the day might’ve been an bit tumultous but it ended with huge grins at the faces of both the volunteers and the children. The day had indeed been fulfilling.
Coordinating an event for FHI taught me a number of things. It helped me sharpen my management skills, something I had no idea I possessed. It taught me how to keep calm under tense situations.It taught me how to be a part of a group. But the most important lesson I acquired was that however bad a situation might look initially, with time and the right effort everything will turn out to be just fine.
I am thankful to FHI for not only giving me a platform to serve those in need but also for making me a more confident person.