Name. College. Year of Study
Ashay Anand, Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi. L.L.B 3rd year
Name of the Organization. City
Make A Difference, New Delhi Chapter
About Make A Difference
M.A.D is an organization driven by the idea of youth being the harbinger of change in the lives of more than a hundred thousand underprivileged kids in India. It has its presence across 23 towns and cities in the country making a positive social impact on children at risk in orphanages.
M.A.D collaborates with Cambridge University to provide English curriculum and text books for its English Project. Moreover M.A.D offers several other profiles such as Public Relations, Event Management, Placements, Managerial Committees, I- HUB and Librarians. M.A.D is about Leadership, Cause, Family and a Global experience and it envisages fulfilling every child’s dream.
To know more about M.A.D and for registration as a volunteer log on to the website HERE.
Size of the Organization, Teams
Every city has its own chapter with teams operating in shelter homes and orphanages of the city varying according to the needs of the place. If your city doesn’t have a M.A.D chapter you can start your own chapter. Detailed information about the cities having M.A.D chapters and for starting a new chapter is available on its WEBSITE.
I am enrolled in BKG (Bacchon ka Ghar) Boys in Dariyaganj, New Delhi and I work as an English Teaching Volunteer on Sundays from 9 am- 12:00 noon. The team at BKG is small (10 volunteers for both Saturdays and Sundays).
Two volunteers are paired together to teach a class of 5-10 students on Saturdays and Sundays. It is a 2+2 teaching model enabling a volunteer to spend 3-4 hours either on a Saturday or a Sunday for at least an year with his/her class. Other centres such as ‘Arya Anathalay’ in New Delhi house a bigger team of volunteers to fulfill their requirements.
Every centre has a centre head who co-ordinates and organizes all the day to day functions and events to be carried out in that centre. The centre also has mentors who track the progress of kids, address their issues and provide valuable feedback to the volunteers.
Application Procedure. Internship Contact Details
Interested candidates have to apply online by registering themselves at http://www.makeadiff.in/.
Then they would be intimated by a mail and a telephonic interview would be conducted. The shortlisted candidates would be called to any of the centres for the Walk In- personal interview, Group Discussion and Task.
The candidates who are found suitable after this entire procedure are called for an orientation and induction training programme. This completes the final step to being a M.A.D volunteer.
Once a M.A.D volunteer, a person becomes eligible for varied profiles such as Public Relations, Mentor Programme, Events management etc. One can also apply for internships, fellowships and jobs with M.A.D after becoming a volunteer.
Duration of the Internship
One is required to work 4-5 hours a week on the day he/she is comfortable with for at least a year (mandatory).
First Day Impression, Formalities etc.
My first day at BKG after the induction training was nothing short of awesome. My centre head Devanshi was kind enough to wait for me at the Kashmere Gate metro station and we went together with other volunteers so that all of us didn’t have any difficulty in finding the place.
We had a very comfortable and friendly ice breaking session with the kids who were eager and enthusiastic to meet their new teachers. We spent the time playing games and teaching them through activities and stories which kept them involved in the class.
By the end of the first day I had formed an unbreakable bond with the kids of my class and was looking forward to meeting them again next week. The experience was enthralling.
Main Tasks ( in detail)
The tasks of volunteers vary according to their profiles. My main task as an English Teaching Volunteer was to teach the kids for 3-4 hours on the weekend.
The teaching has to be done in an interesting manner so as to keep the kids in the classes voluntarily and without the use of any force or coercion. Attending the zero hour before the classes is mandatory and a volunteer is expected to be on time.
Regularity and Punctuality are taken seriously. Every volunteer has 3 credits when he starts and if he skips a class without arranging for a substitute teacher ( who is usually another volunteer from the same or a different centre) he gets 2 credits deducted from his profile.
If a volunteer’s credits reach the negative mark he is reprimanded and has to get his credits above the zero mark within a stipulated time by substituting for other volunteers and taking his classes regularly.
M.A.D requires minimum 1 year commitment. So one cannot leave the programme midway but it becomes less of a compulsion and more of fun especially with the kind of events which are conducted on a regular basis at M.A.D such as backathons, Airtel Half Marathon, Dream Camps, meeting celebrities and the like. Even without these, it is fun being with the kids who look up you as role models and guardians.
Moreover you tend to acquire great teaching skills without pursuing a B.Ed degree and you tend to improve and revise you English Grammar. Along with these benefits you can participate and manage prestigious events which are offered as opportunities for M.A.D volunteers on a regular basis making the experience at M.A.D a truly special one.
Pro’s and Con’s
There are a lot of Benefits being a MADster as we call ourselves. One can sharpen his teaching skills, revise English Grammar and speaking skills and have your own little fan following.
Moreover it opens the gates to other opportunities such as internships, fellowships, events of national and international importance and well acknowledged recognition all over India and even the world.
The only (perceived) flip side might be an year long commitment, getting up early on a weekend to make it to the class, having to miss out on a few hours of weekend fun with the friends and similar issues.
But personally I can vouch that the kids won’t let any such feeling come to your mind.
M.A.D doesn’t provide remuneration for general tasks but allowances are provided for travel undertaken in the course of your duties. Moreover there might be remuneration available when you pursue fellowships and other similar programmes.
M.A.D teaches you to put cause before self, Leadership through ownership and other exemplary virtues.
But I feel that the best thing M.A.D makes you learn is that you can make a change is this world and someone else’s life without putting in much effort and having fun at the same time.
It makes you feel larger than life, a role model for kids you’d generally not feel doing other internships or jobs in the usual course.
I would rate this experience 10/10.