Wednesday, 31 January 2018

The Force called “Volunteers”

- Team Gubbachi
Both our programs in education are human intense programs - humane intense, I would say. We have stepped into an area that has to do with making up for socio-economic deficits, psycho-emotional deficits, not to mention formal learning deficit. We know this work needs doggedness but more than anything else it needs sheer human hours. There is Teaching Learning Material to be made (literally churned out), there are one-to-one classes required to assist children cross-over learning humps, to execute classes for English language learning as a foreign language, rethinking learning/teaching for older non-state literate children, and such. I know every single idea needs elaboration. That’s for another day. This post is about the force, which make things happen for us, our volunteers.
When we conceptualised Gubbachi, early in 2015, we were very certain that core classroom processes couldn’t be volunteer driven. But, little had we anticipated that there are equal number of engagements for which we can’t begin to employ people - engagements that make up for parental absences, inabilities, helplessness; societal responsibilities like nutrition, health and well being; systemic responsibilities like equal opportunities to be able to access education. These are volunteer roles, which require a high degree of empathy for the children, trust in the program, sheer perseverance to not get distracted by personal daily routines and engagements.
If I may say, we “recruit” volunteers. It is important for us that while they step in to help us with the children, we ensure that the activity helps them to reach within, give them peace, give them an opportunity to step into a role that they haven’t explored before, an insight into the other world. We have learnt to engage with the “person” who is the volunteer and we are learning how to make the experience more meaningful for them and, at the same time, help us nurture our program.  It is an on-going journey with new experiences; and one that helps us all grow.
A big thanks to every one of our amazing volunteers!
P.S. We are looking forward to writing a series of posts on volunteers and volunteering as we prepare for our Volunteers’ Day at Gubbachi.


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