Volunteer Teaching – an experience like none other!

Mar 12, 2012 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Act Of Kindness

Aren’t we all a bunch of extremely occupied individuals? With university life and co-curricular activities and of course the partying, who has time to do some volunteer work? Yes, I know many will raise their eyebrows at what I’ve just stated but it is the fact. Indeed our intentions are pure and most of us have a revolutionist deep down within ourselves, however, with all the worldly activities, we tend to not pay much attention to actually coming forward and playing our part. What we need to understand is how no matter how small the deed is and no matter what the magnitude of the outcome is, we should at least give it a shot!

Having said that let me move on to the actual theme of this article. A few days ago, one of my really good friends contacted me to ask if I would be willing to spend my Saturday facilitating a workshop. Many things popped into my mind. Firstly, Saturday? That’s like my hanging-out-with-friends day (just like every other day). Then my friend told me the subject that needed to be taught, “Social Entrepreneurship” and I thought to myself, ‘how in the world am I supposed to teach a subject I have no idea myself about?’! But I accepted the task and began to do my research. Sadly, I had only the night to prepare myself for the six-hour workshop that I was expected to conduct the very next day.

So I began with finding out who my audience would be. I only knew that it was a group of underprivileged children who were part of the program “Youth for Peace”, my friend’s organization had initiated. To my surprise, there was more to it than just that. Youth for Peace was working on a project named “Empowering Youth for Peace & Development” with the aim to develop a national group of youth leaders who display values of responsible global citizenship and can bring forward a change in their own special ways. The project was to make the under privileged youth aware of various heterogeneous groups living in slums.

Nervous as hell, I set off early morning and reached my destination right on time. I was greeted by a group of 19 students, falling in the age group of 17-24 roughly. They seemed to be well acquainted with one another and had this unbelievable aura of wanting to learn and participate. It then hit me, how fortunate we were to receive our education from the well reputed institutes of the country and yet taking them for granted! These students belonged to the slum communities of Islamabad and were students of Matric, Fsc, BA, BCom, MCom and even sole-proprietors of small businesses. And there was not a single sign of annoyance or grief on their faces; in fact, to me, they seemed more content with their life than most of us middle-class or elite crowd, who waste life worrying about petty issues.

I had been afraid of how I would manage the six hours; I was afraid the plan that I had sketched out would merely last me half the workshop. But once I started, everything seemed to fall in place. They were eager to understand every word that was on my presentation; they even carried flash drives and took a copy from me of the slideshow. They not only were attentive but were not afraid to ask questions and give their feedback and share their ideas. They participated so enthusiastically in the activities that in no time, the workshop had ended.

As the workshop was on Social Entrepreneurship, I shared with them everything about the subject from scratch. I told them about entrepreneurs from around the world and as part of the activity session I helped them in designing a complete outline for a social enterprise that they would like to set up. At the end of the session, they presented in groups their final proposals to their program coordinator. And not only was she impressed, but she was astounded by the level of motivation and determination that these students were displaying.

As for me, I felt extremely proud and content when I saw them present with such confidence and persistence. They were innovative and there was no doubt that these students gave me a sense of inspiration I previously lacked. And when they gave in their feedback, I was humbled by their compassion. After a very long time, I felt I had done something good. In a matter of few hours, I had taught this little group knowledge they had been striving for. Before I left, they all decided to give me a standing ovation and a huge round of applause, declaring that I had been one of the best instructors they had in this program. Of course I don’t believe that! But it was good to hear such kind words. And I realized that not everything is about us or about money. Sometimes we should just step away from the puzzle that is our life and do things for the cause of others. I tell you, the joy and the smiles on their faces made my day!

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1 Comment + Add Comment

  • well written and inspiring =D good work!

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