3 years ago when I got recruited as a volunteer of MAD, Jithin asked me where I would like to be assigned. The was a variety of choices for me . Then he mentioned Holy Ghost, Aluva and how this convent was in immediate need of volunteers. Aluva , for many seemed like a galaxy far away, and most volunteers never go that far. Distance never stopped Rizwana and me. And thus we became part of Holy ghost.
In MAD, Holy Ghost always had to deal with many exceptional scenarios.
It’s a MAD rule that no intern take a class. Well, I’ve never been an intern!(and I long to be one).
My first day, I was asked to teach 20 highly spirited children. It was Hard, but as they say, Hard work always pays off. I enjoyed every single class I have taken from then. I remember the Saturday meeting when Jithin proudly announced that the volunteer: student ratio had come down to 1:10 in every orphanage and how my hand shot up in air. He responded by correcting the statement “ The volunteer student ratio is 1:10 except at Holy Ghost”.
Then there was also the fact the every orphanage had classes twice a week except Holy Ghost. Earlier I used to sit and complain about the unfairness showed to Holy Ghost. But now my outlook has changed. I learned to say “ So what if we only have class once a week .When I take a class it would be the best!”
As Mad grew, so did Holy Ghost. From a position where we were struggling to get volunteers or organizing a class to a place where we have 7 committed volunteers and 5 hi-tech classes. (Hi-tech because me n Rizwana use our laptops to teach the kids).
Holy ghost has finally made a mark in Mad and, we are having our first ever MAD camp this month! This journey was not so easy though.
Earlier we had the motive to give them a better a life by teaching them English. We didn’t knw how to teach them English. There were classes where I dint know what I was trying to accomplish. I have to thank the people responsible for bringing out the syllabus and the TTF trainings. Now I can sail smoothly through each class. And feel proud that I have achieved something .
During earlier days, getting to holy ghost was a struggle .You had to take 2buses- One to Aluva and one from Aluva to Paravoor ,and then a walk to the convent. I have seen volunteers complaining about the distance to Aluva.
This year ,thanks to my loving parents, I got a car . Now no one can complain about the distance. The car journey to and from Aluva became the volunteers special time to bond and discuss about how the class went. This is the time when Harsha get to irritate me and I retaliate by threating her to drop her in the middle of nowhere. ( which I havent done so far but cant wait to happen … hahaha!!!!! hehe..)
If anyone asks me what is that makes me keep going to Aluva every Sunday, the answer is the same as any other MAD volunteer .. it’s the children!
As time passes their love for us keeps growing and we get attached more and more.. In Holy Ghost. the girls notice everything little about us. They shower us with compliments when we look good. And we make it a point to look pleasant because it matters to them.
What’s most amazing about our children is their zest for knowledge. There are like magnets attracted to knowledge. The more you talk to them about the ways of the world, the merrier they are. I have had classes where I gave them information about coma, surgeries to debates on complexion being the basis of love. Every single one of them will always hold a special place in our hearts. They have taught me more than I have taught them. They taught me to hold my head high and smile through every adversity thrown by life.
What a great journey it had been . To put it shortly, as quoted by my fellow volunteers Harsha , Reshmi and Natasha “ In the beginning holy ghost was like a snow flake, then it became a snow ball and now its an Avalanche!!!” ;)