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 four 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 be...
Jan 7, 2016

Education for Underprivileged Children

Student at the Chennai Center
Student at the Chennai Center

December 2015 saw Chennai, India, being pelted by the heaviest recorded rainfall in 100 years. The rains left the city submerged and our Learning Center in Chennai - the Annal Children’s Home – was also hit by the floods. While the children were moved to a safe location, the floods destroyed almost everything in the Home. 

That's when U&I volunteers showed that their commitment to these children went way beyond tutoring. Despite the complete water-logging in the city, where their own homes were flooded and without power, these everyday heroes rushed to collect clothes, food and supplies for the displaced children.

Partnering with other social welfare organizations, everything from electrical appliances to books were replaced in the childrens’ home. U&I volunteers went on to raise funds for the children through social media. Thanks to them, these children had nothing to worry about and could just enjoy playing in the puddles and catching fish.

This Christmas, the same volunteers had the joy of watching these children back in the Annal Children's Home taking turns to stand up before their class simply to encourage their friends. These otherwise-shy children were jumping at the chance to come forward simply to speak about their classmates. Mithra, a volunteer at the home, says that witnessing the incident inspired her and showed her that "nothing can ever stop us from pushing ourselves to go beyond what we think we are capable of."

Because of donors like you we continue to touch the lives of children around India. Today, U&I volunteers tutor 850 children in after-school Learning Centers, ensuring that these kids stay plugged into school and beat the odds. More importantly, each volunteer invests 2.5 hours every week, building a relationship with these children and giving them the confidence they need to shine in their classrooms and beyond.

In 2016, we plan to reach more kids and train more volunteers who believe that they can make a difference.

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Dec 9, 2015

Home for the Mentally Challenged Boys

The volunteers and the boys taking a water break!
The volunteers and the boys taking a water break!

On 27th November, children from the Boys Home and the children from Citizen Foundation spent a fun filled day at the Banerghatta Zoo. They were accompanied by employees of VISA.

The day long adventure started off with the children dressing up with a big smile on their faces. The children were extremely happy and incredibly excited for the bus ride. On arriving at the zoo, the children were divided into groups. Each volunteer handled a particular group along with the employees of VISA Company and headed towards the safari. A total of 46 children from the Boys Home spent the day with various animals such as tigers, lions, elephants, deer, bears and others. After the safari, the boys enjoyed their lunch. Post lunch, the kids, volunteers and employees walked around the zoo, after which they enjoyed bars of chocolate.

On being asked about his visit to the zoo, Sujay Gowda, a volunteer from GHM, had to say, “It was an amazing day! Whenever I hear that I have to travel somewhere by bus, I tend to cancel plans. Seeing the kids so happy made me realize how blessed we are. Another highlight from that evening, was when the kids started offering the volunteers seats on the bus. That was truly beautiful”

We often tend to take certain things in life for granted. We forget how even small moments can have a major impact on our life. The visit to Banerghatta Zoo provided the volunteers an opportunity to learn from one another and most importantly, learn from the kids. As for the children, they viewed the world differently and had a great time at the zoo. The smile, the happiness, the contentment and the cheerfulness in their eyes, made it a memorable day. 

The Boys at the Home for the Mentally Challeneged Boys are doing great. They are growing everyday and becoming more independent. Thank you for your support and the role that you play in the meaningful work that U&I is able to accomplish. 

Dec 1, 2015

Good Shepherd Home

Can You Spell?
Can You Spell?

 

Darshitha Goyal, is a social media volunteer at U&I. Her journey as a volunteer has been a learning experience that she fondly remembers-

“Serendipity is the simplest and best form of happiness”, they said. I didn’t understand what this statement truly meant until I started teaching the girls at the Good Shepherd Home. I would like to start from the beginning of my journey and share my experience as a volunteer at U&I. It was the summer after my tenth grade board exams that I decided that I wanted to help kids. I came across U&I and immediately decided that my passion for writing would aligned with the criteria for being a social media volunteer. After I started, the most magical thing happened and I realized how much more I gain than I give. It wasn’t just me molding their lives but they filled me with a constant sense of appreciation and self satisfaction. I remember the first academic class at Good Shepherd Home, two girls Babitha and Sarla from the advanced batch were assigned to me. The plan for the day was to sharpen their public speaking skills and their topics were ‘My country India’ and ‘Humans’.

I was supposed to help them with sentence framing and at the end of the class they were going to present their speech in front of everyone. They were both very nervous and scared, I reassured them that they would do well. Little did I know that at the end of her speech Babitha would thank me. It was a very proud moment for me. Everyone clapped for the two of them and what surprised me more, was that even I was appreciated for the speech they gave! That’s when I realized that I had grown as well. They taught me to appreciate the little things in life and to be content with what I have. My journey has been amazing so far and I’m sure it’s just going to get better with each class.”

Volunteers like Darshitha help make U&I an amazing place. U&I is a safe haven for volunteers, students and staff alike. With the year drawing to an end, U&I is grateful to have such passionate volunteers who tirelessly work with the students. Darsitha helps everyone realize that “Teaching is a duet of inspiration; they inspire you as much as you inspire them.”

 
   

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