Being a Volunteer at Headstreams
Essay Preview: Being a Volunteer at Headstreams
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Bangalore is known for its happening Saturday evenings and not being a party person didn’t deter me from making my Saturdays worthwhile. Being a volunteer at Headstreams as part of their Caravan internship programme has ensured that my weekends start on a good note. Basically I along with around 60 other volunteers visit Morarji Desai Residential School in Sulibele, less known breezy little part of Bangalore and play with the children there. It is as much fun as it sounds. I have been visiting the School for about five weeks now and the learning is plenty.
The first week was astounding because when I got down from the bus I was greeted with the sight of around 250 children eagerly awaiting the arrival of the volunteers. It seemed like a daunting task to engage so many children. Even if we had to teach them we could somehow maintain an order and demand cooperation but when we just had to play and have fun then its way harder to expect them to behave in an organised fashion. It was a little chaotic since it was the first time for the organisers from Headstreams as well in that particular school. We randomly went to different stalls and spent some time. There were 5 different stalls, namely, arts and crafts, painting, music and dance, indoor and outdoor games and storytelling. I was of the opinion that the children wouldn’t easily mingle with us and will take some time to get comfortable enough to be able to interact with us. But to my surprise as soon as we went they were very eager to know about us. I also had the apprehension that language would be a problem since many of us didn’t know Kannada. Fortunately it wasn’t a huge barrier to prevent us from having fun. The children talked to us in their broken English and we made efforts to learn few basic words in Kannada.
Thereafter each week the experience only got better. I was amazed by the children’s creativity and enthusiasm in taking part in each of the stalls. The time I spent on every visit gave me a lot to take back as memories and learning. There were a lot of stereotypes or to put it better earlier perceived notions that were broken with each visit. Only after being a part of this wonderful programme I realised how much potential lay hidden in children that are only in need of a platform to expose it. Their level of patience, acceptance and altruistic tendencies are not something that one would expect in children of that age group. The whole experience has been very refreshing