MAD did DFC: Hyderabad: A Bright walk through the Dark

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Foreword

In the months of September and October, children and volunteers of Make A Difference, across India, participated in the global phenomenon that is Design For Change. DFC is a platform which encourages children to identify, find solutions and implement solutions to fix their own environments, thereby changing their own worlds.

Ever thought that a child cannot do something this momentous? Well, then you’re about to be proved wrong! Thousands upon thousands of children across the world (33 countries, this year) have participated in Design for Change, and by being the extraordinary talents they are, they’ve changed the world we live in, some way or the other!

At MAD, we were excited by the possibilities.  So were our volunteers, and so were our children. A bevy of projects were implemented up and down the country. We were awed, inspired, shocked at times by how aware our kids were about the issues surrounding them!

The children took to it so fast that some of us had trouble keeping up. (One particular group came up with 80 ideas for DFC!) In fact, there were so many that we decided to organise a small internal competition to celebrate the best of the best of the best!

Over the course of this week and the next, we’ll be bringing to you the stories of those who stood out from amongst the rest. These are MAD’s superheroes. The volunteers and children who inspire us day in, day out!

This group from Hyderabad head on to a blind school. Singing, dancing and infectious change awaits them there.

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By Chris Kollian

With MAD, making differences is always eventful and enjoyable; DFC was something everyone in MAD was looking forward to, the kids were excited, here was an opportunity for them to make a difference too. So, after  brainstorming sessions, my kids got a brilliant brainwave, they wanted to help the blind.

As a mentor, I wanted to do everything in my hands to make sure that my kids were not disappointed; I helped them by finding them a government school in Malakpet. It was a government school for the blind.

As we chatted away with the blind children, I could not help but notice with much happiness and pride that my kids were bonding beautifully with them. As it was already a school, they were pretty much getting their education.

So what were these children missing, my kids asked themselves. They immediately arrived at an idea to teach them singing and dancing; the idea came so fast to their minds that it made me suspect it was pre-planned.

And hence it started! I have never seen my kids so happy; the fact that they were doing all this on their own gave them a sense of accomplishment. They were so enthusiastic that it was contagious. With positive energy brimming, the blind children were taught singing and  dancing. It was a spectacular performance from them, with much cheering and clapping from our side.

The next day, the blind children made a request of their own, they noticed MAD kids talking in English and though they were receiving their formal education – they were not fluent in spoken English. They wanted to learn spoken English too. This was a request which my kids immediately accepted with much nodding and smiling.

With help from the rest of the MAD team, the kids are planning to take DFC a little further by helping the blind children learn spoken English; again, it was a proud moment for me and the kids.

As the day wore on, the kids talking and chatting away animatedly, I looked around only to see smiling and happy faces, despite their losses, there was no trace of sadness, and that was the moment I realised that that no matter what sadness or loss a person is made to face, there is always a choice you make, and these kids have made their choice; to be happy.

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