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Hope for a Better Tomorrow—Aashayein by Youth For Volunteering

On August 1st, AIESEC’s Youth For Volunteering held a virtual event with UNITY International School via Zoom. Taking into account the setbacks of COVID affecting their usual volunteering initiatives, the group held a smooth video call session with volunteers and students of Unity International School. This program was conducted in two sessions—one for primary school students and the other for middle school students. Each course was an hour long and was filled with activities to keep students and volunteers educated and entertained.

The first round held in the morning had students from class 3 and 4. To get everyone perked up, volunteers showcased simple exercises for everyone to follow. After allowing everyone to warm up and have a good stretch, stories with moral values were narrated. Before the lesson of the story was concluded, students were asked to figure out what the moral of the story could be. This helped students realise valuable life lessons through simple storytelling. In the last activity of this event, the volunteers and children discussed some of the changes the pandemic has done to every individual’s lifestyle. Everyone’s point of view was something anyone can relate to, from the urge to go out once in a while to adjust to an online classroom environment. To wrap up the session on a positive note, everyone spoke of their post-COVID bucket list, the thought of being able to do things like shopping or meeting friends, making the current scenario easier to get through.

 

The second round was held simultaneously for grades 5, 6, 7, and 8. They were told about the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Focusing on the four goals most relevant to the children, the volunteers spoke about Zero Hunger (Goal 2), Good Health and Well-Being (Goal 3), Quality Education (Goal 4), and Clean Water and Sanitation (Goal 6). As the volunteers spoke and asked questions, it was clear that the students were eager to learn how they could take small steps towards making the world a better place. They were told about the importance of good education starting at an early age. From creating a safe environment with good infrastructure to the issue of inequality in educational opportunities, the volunteers left no stone unturned. The new education policy was also mentioned.

When the session turned to the goals of Zero Hunger and Clean Water and Sanitation, the students were extremely enthusiastic as they spoke of the ways in which they strive to save water and prevent wastage of food at home. It was a very healthy discussion as the volunteers were immensely encouraging. The final session was about gender equality. The volunteers presented a small skit, representative of the regressive mindset that still prevails in today’s world. Students understood the wrongs of such a society and shared their views on the same. They said that it was not right to impose rules on one half of humankind. They realised that this was a human issue, and not one pertaining to a single-gender.

Ananya Garg, the head of this initiative, said “This pandemic has been tough for everyone but organisations like these (orphanages, old age homes, underprivileged schools, etc) are often neglected. Due to the lockdown, there are no visitors so it is as though they have been cut off from the world. I started doing these virtual events with them so that we can make a difference in their lives, however small it may be. Such sessions create a positive impact in the lives of our audience as well as the volunteers who are conducting them.” With the fantastic turnout for this event, Ananya is excited for the numerous such events lined up for the future. It is an inspired initiative during these trying times. As all volunteering work is restricted due to the pandemic, conducting such webinars is the ideal way to increase awareness amongst the youth while continuing the process of learning.

Image Credits: Youth for Volunteering