It is said that “Giving is not just about making a donation, it is about making a difference”.
Wanting to make a difference, I joined the Umang Foundation Trust as an intern in the month of December. As I am pursuing my MBA, it was part of the curriculum to volunteer at an NGO. I was most-excitedly looking forward for doing something I had never done before. Little did I know, this would turn out to be a life-changing experience for me.
In my span of three weeks of volunteering at Umang, I was part of many activities and events. My very first event happened to be on my first day there. The event was at the UMANG LEARNING CENTER which Is a place where little kids of Umang learn and study. In this event, I helped the kids make Christmas DIY décor. The volunteers were there only to help out, the little kids had to carry their own craft material. With the glue half dry and scissors not sharp enough, we all somehow managed to create some beautiful decorations. The lesson I learnt that day was, you don’t always have to have the best of everything, you can have as little as they did and yet create masterpieces.
My second event at Umang was named: “Santa for all”. This was a Christmas celebration event at the MDC Home, Mankhurd. I had the privilege of hosting the event. At first, I was extremely nervous, however as I started to speak, I was the most comfortable. There is a reason why these people are called the “specially-abled”. They did not have the perfect life, they did not have a family, but what they did have was a huge smile on their faces and a never-give-up attitude. If only we could live life to the fullest and enjoy each moment just like they did.
My last event was yet again at the learning center with the kids. This time, we all played games, recited poems and danced our hearts out. The spirit of those kids was so indulging, their energies so positive that, at that very moment even I felt blissful.
I got instilled with the drive to work for more socially useful causes to help the society at large. It has inculcated a new positive attitude in me and it has also helped me express my gratitude towards everything. In these three weeks, I got to learn and experience a lot of things that I had not previously experienced. I developed habits of cooperation, commitment, responsibility and consistency. I discovered a side of me that I didn’t know existed. I am extremely grateful to have lived these three weeks being able to help the less privileged and I am glad that I could make a difference from my end.
My experience at Umang cannot be put into words, so much I got to learn, so much I took back with me! My only advice for all the people out there who are looking to make as much of a difference as they can, to them I say, go ahead, volunteer at an NGO, experience what charity feels like, because trust me, by doing this, you will get a little closer to finding your life’s purpose.
– Palash Machwe, Umang Volunteer