Stories of volunteers
I'm Kanchan Chadha, a motivational speaker and a trainer specialized in Personality Development and Life Skills. I run my own brand "Inspire to Empower Training Solutions".
It was always my desire to do something for an NGO and that is where ANK India helped me. I strongly believe that we all relate to each other, several people helped me to reach where I am today so I should also help others to reach their best, to be what they truly can and to reach their potential.
It's just the start of my journey with ANK India however I received huge positive response from all the students and staff. Till date, I have helped students to realize and set their Goals by a 3 day workshop on "Goal Realization and Goal Setting" and I can see the spark in the eyes of some of these students that seems to say that "Mam we were actually waiting for you". This feeling is of immense satisfaction.
I have found that ANK India is one of the well organized NGO, Respect and equality is there in its culture. Faculties and staff seem to be very encouraging and supportive in every way. I'm really proud to be associated with this organization.
My name is Vaibhav Sharma. I am from Noida and a first year student in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. I am unsure about my aim in life, though I constantly aspire to become a good human being. I like listening to music, singing, dancing and painting. Once a while, I might like to read a book. I am very close to my family, and I enjoy travelling and watching movies with them. I found out about Ank after my first semester during the Winter break, and I decided to give it a shot.
I have found my tenure at ANK, the non-government and non-profit organization, based in Malviya Nagar, Delhi, an enriching and exciting experience. Through its wonderful initiatives and enthusiastic volunteers, ANK is touching the lives of many. The proof of this is its students, who travel on foot, from as far as Panchsheel Park, South Ex. for instance, to learn.
At ANK, I was involved with two groups of students. The first was the younger age group, from Classes 1-6 and the other, from class 12th upto as far as First year of college.
The younger age group was a very boisterous lot. I found them very eager to learn, and quick at grasping concepts. They could solve Mathematics problems easily and good at Hindi. They were somewhat weak in English, but with some prodding, they could do well in that subject also. I used to remind that they had made a mistake, and encourage them find out the errors themselves. They were happiest on the computer, on which, they used to let their creative juices flow by painting houses, animals, random designs etc. and learn from interactive games and CDs. They gradually started greeting me and asking for my help whenever they needed it.
On the first day, I was rather apprehensive about the older age group. However, they, instead, made me at ease quickly. I had much to learn from them, as they had from me. From clearing all kinds of weird myths about college life ('Children get spoiled in college') to conducting general quizzes (there always used to be a close competition in that, so that made it more fun), I always had a healthy interaction with them. I found their philosophy about life and relationships engaging. For example, a student Radha said, 'Help your friends, but this does not mean you do everything from them, for that will only ruin them.' By the end of a month, most of them were on good talking terms with me, knew my name (and some called me by it, though some stuck to the conventional 'bhaiya') and discussed their life and problems openly with me. Once, I conducted this quiz on general knowledge. In the process, I learnt that some of them did not realize that they were living in localities close to the premier institutes for engineering and medicine, i.e. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and All India Institute of Medical Sciences respectively, and were awed by this fact! I found them sincere, but not that quick in learning. This was probably because they were worried about their exams in school or college or their household chores (their family probably considered them old enough to lend a hand in the maintenance of the household).
To sum it up, I would like to quote a student Komal, who once said, 'If we come walking this far and do not learn anything, then we should be ashamed of ourselves!'
Post ANK, I find myself a very different person. I have grown in confidence and world wisdom. I have also started picking up the essential skill of time management. The one-hour journey and the subsequent bus ride every weekday has quite broadened my knowledge about the city in which I have lived all my life and yet know still so little about! Overall, my days at ANK have been awesome.
UNIVERSITY: Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
It was voluntary for us to do internship in the NGO after the end of 1st Semeter and I being very interested in this applied for the internship in ANK . In addition, to my surprise I found that ANK being a grass root level NGO, gave professional education in English, computer, and Management to the underprivileged children. Along with that ANK , also provides placements to those children after their six months of training. My first work experience in ANK was to take interviews of every students studying there and to make profile of those students out of that. After that in next week, I had also worked for the placements of students by searching suitable jobs on internet and newspaper. I had also made a quick revising study material in easy English on the topic of �personality development�. Overall, my experience of working at ANK was very good. I got a chance to meet, to talk to the underprivileged children, and to know their problems exactly. The environment that is provided in ANK is very education friendly. Periodically various seminars are organized by ANK for the students on English and Management by taking the help of the teachers of various colleges. In totality, experience of working with ANK was fantastic.
UNIVERSITY: Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur.
For my first internship, I choose to work in NGO. I was always interested in working for youth and luckily was given a chance to work in Step programme. ANK an NGO which gives professional education in English, computer, and Management to the underprivileged youth so that their earning capacity may improve as a part of their livelihood training. Along with that ANK , also try to provide placements to those children after their six months of training. In ANK , I had an opportunity to interact with the students coming from underprivileged class and I became more acquainted with the problems they are facing. I really appreciate their enthusiasm to learn to bring changes. I would certainly like to say that ANK is an ordinary step in an extraordinary way. It is like a guiding light, which shows a way to a better future. When you enter ANK , you are a bud and when you come out you are a blossom flower ready to spread your fragrance in the world. It has shaped life of many students and surely will continue to do so. I am proud being a part of it. My all-best wishes to ANK .
UNIVERSITY: Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur.
For my first internship, I got ANK , it works for development of children, youth and women by imparting them necessary education so that they can get better jobs and earn better living for themselves. I have always believed that, education can improve the condition of humans and by getting an opportunity to work for ANK , has made my believe stronger than it was before. ANK in association with SMILE TWIN e LEARNING PROGRAMME; provides its student English, Basic Computers, Basic Management Skills and Personality Development . At ANK I got chance to interact with the students and understand their situation and I really appreciate the hard work and determination of the staffs, and I also appreciate them because they generate a hope of a better future in these youth and during this internship I have seen that these hope mature into dreams, which actually comes true. It was a wonderful experience working with ANK . I pray to GOD to shower HIS blessings on this NGO and may they be successful in their purpose to educate the youth of India.
UNIVERSITY: Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur.
ANK Volunteer Experience - Rosyleen I first heard about ANK in 2005, while I was working and living in Delhi, India. I remember looking up volunteering opportunities on the internet, and found the Youth Reach website, which profiled ANK and their volunteer opportunities with youth. Being a teacher, I have always been passionate about working with youth, and ANK seemed like a wonderful way to get involved in supporting grassroots efforts to support education for under-privileged children in Delhi. I began volunteering with ANK in December 2005, while I was participating in an international research exchange with The Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), in Delhi, India. Since 2005, I have had the opportunity to travel to Delhi, India and to work with and learn from the children at ANK on many different occasions. I always look forward to seeing the smiling faces of the children, and to learning new ways of communicating with the children, despite our language barriers (Hindi and English). Some of the projects that I have been involved with as a volunteer at ANK, have included helping with international fundraising, creating international art exchanges between children at ANK, and children in Canada, developing a fundraising calendar for distribution in Canada, and administrative work. It�s been always a great experience working with children at ANK.
Volunteering with ANK children and teachers has changed my life. The ANK learning centre in Delhi was open 6 days a week from approximately 9:00am � 5:00pm. I usually spent afternoons with the children and teacher. Although the children spoke Hindi and I only spoke English, we found ways to communicate. The children taught me that they are eager to learn anything, if I am prepared to teach. Each day they greeted me warmly welcoming me to their learning centre. The one-room learning centre is located in a basement building close to the community where the children live. The children come to the learning centre in morning and afternoon shifts with approximately 40 children in each group. ANK children are usually between 4-15 years old. Sometimes a 10-year old girl will bring a baby or toddler so that she can attend school. It is definitely a challenging teaching environment. You can work with small groups of children when you volunteer.
What did I do as a volunteer?
It was a good idea to come prepared with some activities to do with the children. It was also really important to be flexible and adapt activities according to children�s needs. ANK children enjoyed making things and drawing. We made paper helicopters together and performed some short experiments. Two math activities they loved included making kootie-catchers and playing hopscotch math. This was really fun!! Introducing a short daily yoga practice also worked well. The children could not wait to try a short series each day. Balancing in partner tree pose was definitely their favorite. Finally, we endeavored to make pop-up cards and then write a short autobiography in a book. ANK children poured their hearts and creativity into all the activities. One of their favorite things was getting their photographs taken with their work or while holding tree pose. If you volunteer with ANK, you can create your own activities.
Overall it was a rich educational and life experience for me. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to make a small contribution to the well being of these underprivileged children. They taught me that I can help them learn and that sometimes just a smile will encourage them. The gift of education will enable these children to positively influence their future.
How to volunteer or help ANK? (www.ankindia.org)
You can contact Andr�a Mueller, ANK Volunteer, Victoria, B.C., Canada
Abhishek Kishore, Director of ANK, Delhi, India (firstname.lastname@example.org)