By Volunteer Siddharth Dash, FHI Jaipur
My story with FHI has been a story of significant change. A change in perspective, outlook and a rather indifferent person turned into a sympathetic and nurturing one.
I had been looking to pursue a volunteering experience for quite sometime until Fly Higher India – FHI came knocking at my door with an Instagram ad. Looking at their page gave a very positive and a structured outlook about the organisation, so I planned to enrol in it without any hesitation. I was rather shy, socially awkward, and indifferent to a lot of social issues and not the best person to deal with kids, but there was something very inviting about the page which made me sign up without thinking.
On signing up, the welcome I received on the group was quite heartwarming, it felt like I had become part of a new family. The group quickly went on to discuss matters of importance and the structured way in which the theme and volunteers get split among the activities really appealed to me! The format of the organisation enables volunteers to bring out their leadership skills by taking up roles for every activity which not only helps the children in need but the volunteers themselves.
My first activity was back in May 2019 in Manna’s Children Home in Jaipur. As much as the inner hermit was stopping me from going, the experience truly changed my perspective. The theme was “Mind-Body-Soul” with activities trying to inculcate values into the children which would help them be better people, be healthier and what is appropriate to do in different situations and problems in life. The activities and sequence of events were extremely well thought out as we spent the first hour or so getting to know the children as well as the volunteers for better coordination. The welcoming nature of the coordinators enabled a great sense of harmony among everyone present at the venue and it was as if the volunteers had been long time friends working on a task.
It was a very humbling experience talking to kids from such troubled backgrounds. It instilled a sense of appreciation for all that was in my life. It was also quite interesting to see how knowledgeable the kids were for their age! These interactions with them helped me significantly in opening up with kids and understand them to help them out better. It felt very nice making these children happy, also reminding me of my innocent childhood.
FHI gave me the platform to not only help children in need through their innovative yet simple methods, but also served as an impetus for my self-development in many of the aspects I was lacking in. It was fascinating to see people from all walks of life, from doctors to engineers to lawyers coming together to fulfill one purpose, and that was to make the children happy! It’s safe to say that this event was one of my stepping stones in the shift to a more mature perspective about life and I’m really looking forward for more events in the future six months down the line.