U&I

INTRODUCTION Our journey began in May 2009, when a few friends from a local youth group visited a home for mentally challenged boys in Bangalore. From a small group of friends, to becoming a movement that hundreds of people would get involved in and to eventually becoming an organisation that would have projects across the city of Bangalore - no one would have guessed that this was how things would eventually turn out. Even today, we're amazed at all that's happened in the last two years & are excited about all that is to come. Since our inception in January 2011, we have focused most of our activities towards the education of underprivileged and special needs children. We have worked ...
Jun 12, 2012

Camp # 3: Oasis - Doddigunta Slum Community

Our leading stars! :)
Our leading stars! :)

The Oasis summer camp was held for over 150 kids from the Doddegunta slum on the 16th and 17th of May. The children belonged to the age group of 8-16 years.  We had around forty interns and volunteers engaging them in various games and activities who were divided on the basis of their age groups. The two days which followed were fun, chaotic, memorable and absolute entertainment. 

The younger children engaged in a lot of painting. The interns and volunteers helped the kids make cards and design the cards with hand prints, painted designs and absolutely anything which made the cards look more attractive. The kids had a ball of a time and at the end of it, you could see mutli-coloured hands and painted faces and a smile on every face. The older kids had English assessments to evaluate where their vocabulary and language skills stood at, and what they lacked in the same. After this,they played a series of games like Bang Bang, Bomb the city, Tallest tower and such. Towards the end of the day, we had kids come up on stage and perform, which was a confidence booster for most of them. The first day, despite being hectic, was very satisfactory and a whole lot of fun.

The second day was pretty similar with the kids being divided again,in order of their age. The younger kids had two sessions of Arts and crafts. During the first session we handed kids printed sheets of cartoons and they were asked to colour them. Though it was quite a task making the kids colour within the borders, everyone was involved and absorbed in the activity, and at the end of it, we had many sheets of vibrantly coloured cartoons and each kid was proud of his/her work of art,just as much as we were,of theirs. The second session was after lunch where the kids were given cut-outs of masquerade masks and added sparkles, paints and newspaper cut-outs to make the masks look fancy. The older kids had another session of assessments and they again had a series of games and a talent show to again bring out their talents. The talent show was the grand highlight of the two days,and served as a fitting finale.

At the end of two days,everyone went home with a smile, a memory and an assurance that they had made a difference in some kid’s life. 

Jun 12, 2012

Camp # 4 : Crisis Intervention Center

Taking a career-centric session at the Center
Taking a career-centric session at the Center

On the 21st and 22nd of May,all of us went to the Crisis Intervention Center which basically houses destitute women, or women who have been rescued from all sorts of atrocities and women who have nowhere to go. It was a life-changing experience for me to go and interact with these women,especially since I am a guy. I learnt how strong women can be in the face of adversities and the unfair way in which society treats them. It’s an unsafe,dangerous world for them,and women are constantly armed with strength and spirit and courage. I saw it in these women over the course of these two days.

We engaged in arts and crafts where we made baskets,shoe boxes and wall hangings with them. We also played several games and danced a lot to popular music.During the career-based sessions,I was amazed at their ability to dream big and have the will to rise above their limitations. While participating in individual counseling talks,I found that many were not only vocal,but actively working towards their dreams in some small way or the other. While taking assessments,I saw how the women were aware of their weakness, but channeled it positively with their eagerness and enthusiasm to learn.

I have learnt SO much from them,and for me,these two days were absolutely unforgettable.

I know I’ve made a difference,and as they always say, U&I can really make a difference!

 

 

Jun 12, 2012

Camp # 5 : Balakya Vidya Mandir

She sure kept the energy levels high!
She sure kept the energy levels high!

The summer camp at the Balakya Vidya Mandir held on the 23rd and 24th of May, was kickstarted with icebreakers and music and games. After pre-assessments were taken, the children were given a career-oriented session which focused on the various options they could avail of, given their circumstances. The response was extremely positive as each of the girls were given individual counseling following the session, following which,a potential career direction was given to all of them.

The fun part soon followed when they engaged in arts and crafts with bangle-making and colouring and making photo frames. The smiles on each of the girls faces was absolutely heart-warming!

Day 2 saw an even more energized bunch of children who were again assessed so that we could better evaluate their educational and grammatical strengths and weaknesses. After a fun-filled team activity,they  enthusiastically participated in a personalized KBC game of sorts.The nail painting,tattoo-making and hair braiding that took place after lunch was imaginably the most well received by the girls, and marked the end of yet another life-changing and inspiring camp for them.

What I loved the most about this camp was the fact that each of these girls had a story of their own to tell,and needless to say,they were largely dark ones. In spite of their troubles,they were all smiles,always cheerful,and seemed to possess a never-say-die spirit. Just as they learnt from us,we learnt from them,and sometimes I daresay that we went home more grateful and awestruck than they did. :) 

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