MAD did DFC: Cochin Winner: Dreams given a Kick-off!

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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 chidren who inspire us day in, day out!

This bunch of children from Cochin and their mentors decided they wanted a proper playground for themselves. So. They made one.

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“I want to be a professional footballer when I grow up” this is what Bijith answered when asked what his ambition was. So was the answer of many of his other friends from YMCA, Thrikkakara. The problem they faced was the lack of a proper playground to play.

The place they used to play at, was never the same place after a construction company had started their building activity nearby. The authorities were approached but to no effect . When they felt that their dreams were not to be, DFC came to them as a boon.

Make A Difference along with Design For Change encourages students to find solution for problems they face in their daily life and thus be the batons of change. So during a brain storming session at YMCA, the idea of renovating their playground came up.

Quoting the words of their centre head Sanjay “seeing the excitement in the face of the kids was their greatest drive”.

Thus the designing began.

Sanjay along with other volunteers took up the task. It was never a walk in the park for them. Right from getting the working tools like the shovels and other instruments, to getting the work done they had to toil to their last bone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 MAD volunteers irrespective of which centre they were affiliated to, turned up on a very short notice along with the kids on the 8th of October for this cause.

They knew that the task at hand wasn’t easy as they were not trained at this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By evening the ball was set to roll …this time in a better levelled and well equipped ground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A professional footballer has also agreed to coach the kids during weekends. The best part is kids would no longer be wasting their time in front of TV during the evening hours as they have a place to play now ..:)

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Author: Koundinya

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