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...
Aug 28, 2015

Suit Up 2015

Ajit, the co-founder welcoming the volunteers
Ajit, the co-founder welcoming the volunteers

Volunteer Orientation 2015 – Suit Up

More than 200 volunteers gathered on August 23rd for a day long orientation. The day was filled with fun activities that allowed the volunteers to interact with one another and the staff. They took part in team building games and other activities like Karaoke and Just Dance. The day was aimed at setting a positive tone for the rest of the year. The volunteers were challenged to step out of their comfort zone and inspire their students to achieve great things.

Kushal, a dedicated U&I volunteer shared his life story with the crowd. The way Kushal looked at life was rather interesting. Growing up, Kushal had a rough up bringing. He saw two ways of dealing with it. He could either let life get the best of him or he could make the best out of the situation. Kushals journey with U&I started when he interned for three months. He learned to be punctual, he learned the importance of listening and patience from working with other people. At the end of his internship he knew his time with U&I could not end. He continued to be a volunteer at the Home for the Mentally Challenged Boys. Every Sunday, he chose to spend time with 85 mentally challenged boys. He continued to grow as a person. These boys taught him to be a man of his word and show up every Sunday. It brought discipline to his life. He joined U&I with the hope of giving back to the community however three two years later he claims to have grown more than he could have hoped for.

Everyday volunteers like Kushal are able to be the change by stepping out of their comfort zone. They strive to push their students to achieve their dreams and fulfill their goals. U&I Teach is looking forward to a great academic year.

The Volunteers doing the YMCA dance
The Volunteers doing the YMCA dance
Jul 7, 2015

Leadership Conference

Winning team!
Winning team!

Heroes, those incredible men and women we remember with awe. We admire them, we strive to be like them, but who will dare to become them? The volunteers at U&I strive to become heroes to the kids that they teach. In lieu of the new academic year, U&I has been busy recruiting, training and planning. Every year, U&I trains more than 50 young people to provide leadership to their respective teams. This year, 55 leaders from across South India attended a two day leadership conference.The two days were dedicated to help the volunteers become better leaders. They were engaged in team building activities and vision forecasting for the upcoming academic year. U&I’s co-founder, Satish; based his leadership training based on John Maxwells five levels of leadership.

Chandan has been volunteering with U&I for the past three years. To have watched him grow as a person has been an incredible experience. He has grown into a confident and committed leader. He says that he has stayed with U&I for three years because of the children he teaches. He wants to help them fulfill their dreams and reach their full potential. When asked about the leadership conference he said, “it is the best thing that has happened to me with respect to my personality. I learn something new about myself at every U&I training. I feel encouraged and supported by my U&I family." 

This academic is year is going to be the best one yet. Chandan wants the children he teaches to be self sufficient, "I want them to be able to study well and enjoy learning." U&I is extremely excited for the upcoming year. We hope to accomplish meaningful work with your help. 

Thank you for all the support that you have extended towards us. Your belief in us and the work that we do is amzing. You allow us to create change. 

Thank you again!

Leadership Team 2015
Leadership Team 2015
Jun 11, 2015

Home of the Mentally Challenged Boys

Vaikunt
Vaikunt

Vaikunt has been volunteering at the Government Home for the Mentally Challenged Boys for two and half years. Little did he know that his faith in a better tomorrow would be rekindled after his interaction with the boys at the home. He was surprised that the boys barely showed any signs of being “special”. They danced with so much joy and showed unconditional love to every volunteer. Greeting them with a smile, hug and a handshake. “Being my first time at the home, I was more curious than nervous the entire day before I gradually settled down. It was time to give the kids snacks and while 84 boys were drooling over the biscuits that were being served, there was one child who refused to eat. The staff and few volunteers said he never eats snacks and we should not force feed him. Apparently he ate only when he was hungry. At college, I had just learnt about observational learning as a part of my child psychology syllabus and being the curious guy that I am, I placed a few biscuits on a plate in front of the boy and left it there. As we all started to wave goodbye to our kids, I saw this boy slowly eating the biscuits that were placed in front of him. Thats when I knew that I was exactly where I wanted to be. I don’t remember the boy or his name. But he changed my life forever”.

The Institute for Mentally handicapped children (IMHC) currently houses 87 boys with special needs who have been abandoned by their families or lost and brought to the Institute. There are 17 severe and profoundly challenged boys who are cared for everyday by the assistant carers. They are taught -weekdays, months, numbers, colors, animals, vegetables, fruits, body parts and alphabets. The boys also watch animated movies once in a while. Play school boys are engaged by assistant carers who provide care and attention to them through out the day. The Special needs teachers are following a standard assessment procedure to complete assessment for the boys undergoing speech therapy. Two boys who are currently undergoing basic speech therapy have already shown interest and enthusiasm in interacting and communicating better.The physiotherapist has been working on intensive therapy for a few boys.The boys are more active due to the different activities they are engaged in every Sunday. Progress in terms of social interaction, behavior, and ability to follow instructions have greatly improved in the last few months. The boys are also learning to form friendships and bonds with the regular volunteers and the other boys in their group.

It is not always us changing the lives of the children we work with. More often than not, they are changing us too – making us better people, friends, caregivers and leaders. They give us hope for a better tomorrow and keep us motivated to achieve our dreams and most importantly, they teach us to believe that change is possible. Working with the boys in a State run Home is bound to be challenging. Everyday brings us new issues, experiences and situations. Thank you so much for supporting our work at the Institute and believing in the work we do for these amazing boys.

 

 
   

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