I always wanted to do as much as I could to give back to the society I live in. So when the opportunity of volunteering first presented itself to me, I jumped at it immediately. But one can never really know what volunteering is actually like until one involves oneself into it. Even though I am a newcomer to this activity and only have just close to two months of experience, I would like to share my thoughts on my journey so far.
The term ‘Volunteering’, literally means doing something willingly and without persuasion, for one’s own satisfaction. Since it is a very selfless act, intended to assist people in need and in the case of CRY, directed towards children, the capability to understand others’ requirements and a sense of determination to match the same are needed in anyone who wants to volunteer. Joining CRY has enabled me to meet and interact with such like-minded people, who too, think that the disparities of the world can be ended little by little, over time.
In the small rooms in which the children come to learn, some really big dreams are given birth to. More than just the joy of being around kids and the youthfulness they bring, knowing that you are impacting their lives positively is a gratifying feeling indeed.
Though hailing from similar socio-economic backgrounds, they have different upbringings and traits, just like a palette of colors of different hues and intensities and as a result, each one needs his/her own kind of time and attention. Thus, more than a child learning subjects such as Mathematics and English from us, the volunteers, we learn more about patience, the art of teaching and communication through these sessions. Apart from imparting the gift of education and knowledge to those who are sometimes deprived of it, the thought of being able to develop a bond with the kids, becoming their friend or someone they can look up to is quite a rewarding feeling.
Some kids are more difficult than the rest—more troubled or maybe just more restless but every single one of them brings with them their own set of challenges that the volunteers, as mentors should be ready to overcome. Going to the sessions every Sunday does not seem like a task. It excites me. To know that even though it may take hours of repeated mistakes and weeks of time, if a child can learn how to spell his/her name in English or start forming basic sentences, I will have paved the path for growth in his/her life.
Volunteering changes one’s perspective on life and implores one to break out of the bubble of their lifestyle and confront reality. It really does strengthen the veracity of the saying, “the more you give, the more you get”. After all, if we can’t help our fellow humans and be kind to one another, what are we here on this planet to do anyway?
Purbita Dutta, CRY Volunteer, Kolkata