19 Sep Waking up as “Drona” since August 2010
I am a new entrant into the Dronacharya & Ekalavya (DnE) project. Nonetheless, the enthusiasm of the children and volunteers has already caught on to me. A typical day at DnE starts at around 9.30 AM when a handful of eager volunteers shed their Sunday morning blues and drop by at the Ramakrishna Mission Students Home, Mylapore. The campus has tremendous serenity attached to it and instantly gives a healing effect to the mind.
Co-ordinators Bhargav, Karthik, and Vivek ensure that the day is organised for both the children and the volunteers. We start off with our activities planned around topics ranging from time management, conflict resolution, listening skills etc.
Our mentees are children of class 10. This makes it all the more exciting as handling adolescents is an art, which even many parents and teachers are yet to master. We are in a similar learning phase too, trying to cope with some of their witty and snubbing comments. I must mention about the Adzap event which we organized for the children the previous week. Five teams were asked to enact advertisements on crazy products like Harpic Facewash, Kushboo Kudaigal, etc. The children came up with stunning concepts laced with humour and I am sure this was just of the tip of the iceberg – their hidden potential.
The two hour session with children is usually followed by a one hour session aimed at self-development of the Mentors (volunteers) called ‘Learning cycles’ – really informative and fun-filled I must say!
What I like best about DnE…
- Focus on both the children and the mentors
- Structure and the co-ordination of the entire team
- Most volunteers come from far off places, the commitment and enthusiasm they show is positive and inspiring
Areas where I feel we need to catch up…
- Realistic estimate of what we hope to achieve by the end of the academic year
- Regularity of the volunteers is a key element in mentoring
- Increased participation from volunteers during learning cycles that would enable us to pass on that synergy to the children
Hats off to the senior members of the team who have been motivating new volunteers and driving the program forward. Looking forward to contributing further and making a substantial difference to the lives of the children of Ramakrishna Home.