From Begging to Learning
It aches our hearts to see little kids begging.
It was in fact this feeling that lead us to start the Recess.
We came across a group of kids sitting outside a Hanuman Temple begging every evening. These were little kids who could have brighter futures. Initially, we donated food to them; but we realized that this is not how we want to help them. This act of ours was never going to help them become independent and fetch for themselves. We were just making them permanent beggars dependent on donations of all kinds.
We then thought of adding some value to their lives by educating them. We acquainted ourselves with them and got to know about their backgrounds. All of them were children from the nearby slums living, some of them even living without basic needs. Gradually, we visited their parents and explained all about our initiative to brighten their children’s future.
After a lot of convincing, we finally got around 15 of these kids to leave begging and join our Balwadi, where we taught them, made them play, and provided food too!
College Dreams Coming True
We love supporting dreams. We are dreamers, and we know the importance of chasing one’s dream, no matter the dreamer’s age.
A few months back, we came across three 16-year old girls in the slum. These girls dreamt of continuing their higher studies, but unfortunately, their parents restricted them from doing so due to the lack of finances and awareness. When they came to us for help, we wanted to do everything for them; their wish was just enough to get us moving!
We decided to convince their parents and make them aware of the importance of education. These girls deserved education. After some time of persuasion, one of the girls’ parents finally agreed!
We take pride in sponsoring her education. We have paid her college fees and have already promised to take care of her entire education.
And we are here to make many more dreams come true!
Disorder to Discipline
Some things cannot be measured but just realized over time. And we have some very interesting observations about our students!
We have had multiple events and celebrations at Recess. Most of these activities are sponsored by donors. Some of these donors have graced the occasion to interact with our kids. When we had just started, our kids were not what they are now. Most of them would forget manners and respect and care about the gifts that the donors would distribute. There would be a huge commotion where kids would try to snatch gifts and create a disturbance.
But now, they gracefully greet the donors and the guests. They arrive in a disciplined line and settled down. As per our lessons, they select a leader from their group who will assist the donor in distributing the packages. Then, they patiently wait for their turn and receive the gifts without snatching or fighting. They even pass the food/gifts to others and then take theirs at the end.
Now that’s a drastic change!
Transformation Into Responsible Youngsters
When we started this NGO, we met different kinds of kids. These are underprivileged kids who have suffered a lot of trauma and live in poverty. When we first started acquainting ourselves with the kids, there was shyness, resentment, denial, and many more feelings.
Our kids have come a long way! We met so many kids who lacked basic courtesy and manners. Some kids lacked basic hygiene. We have also had toddlers who were so shy that they took months to utter their first word around us.
And now, we see them turn into confident young adults with a much better understanding of life. They have now inculcated better habits and taught their families too. We now see them take care of each other and become more compassionate.
From Students to Contributors
We receive a generous amount of donations, but sometimes, that’s not enough. We end up spending a lot on our supplies in the spirit of providing the best for our students. But, our students are making it better for us as they are growing up.
They now try to contribute to Recess in their own way. Some of them make a best -out-of-waste bin, saving us the money to buy a bin, and some have created their own versions of paper bags. We even have some versions of blackboards ‘gifted’ by our kids!
It’s incredible to see our students grow into such incredible and empathetic people.