National Volunteer Programme's partner institution, Rabin Hood Army is a social initiative taken by a group of friends which gather the surplus food from well-known institutions and distribute it amongst the less fortunate. Delhi-based Neel Ghose and Anand Sinha took up this great initiative in India in 2014. Neel was inspired by an organization working in ‘Re-Food’ in Portugal; he decided to replicate the model in India. Sarah Afridi, who has been friends with Neel Ghose since their days at the London School of Economics, decided to bring the cause to Pakistan.
Currently, they have partnered with restaurants like Nandos, Ginsoy, Vintage, White Biryani, Dunkin Donuts, Karachi Broast, LALs, Pie in the Sky and lots more. Many restaurants are now approaching them in support of the cause. The idea of borrowing from the rich and giving to the poor might sound fictitious, but Robin Hood Army surely has successfully translated it into reality.
Sameer Beg, spearheading the Robin Hood Army in Karachi, says: “Robin Hood Army has taken Karachi by a storm and this thunder we hear from it is solely from our passionate volunteers. To take time out, be selfless, and spread smiles is something we give a round of applause to them for. Without a doubt, we wouldn't function as well as we do without the constant support and determination of these individuals. From picking up food at restaurants or wedding to reheating and serving it on Sundays, requires some serious devotion. We at Robin Hood we just like to say, thank you for helping us get 1% done Robins!”
National Volunteer Programme’s partner institution, The Citizens Foundation, announced their 25th Rahbar Programme in the month of April, for which NVP assigned 8 dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers as Mentors for the programme. Many NVP volunteers that took part in the Rahbar Mentorship Programme were from various corporate organizations such as Caltrols Pakistan Co., Systek Private Limited, Pakistan Engineering Council, and Consulate General Republic of Indonesia in Karachi etc. We are grateful to Hanesh Kumar, Bharat Kumar, Muhammad Kamran, Naveed Ahmed, Abdul Wahid, Muhammad Sumair, Barkha Aslam and Ghulam Murtaza, for taking out the time from their busy office schedules to mentor and transform the lives of the young children at The Citizens Foundation. Their commitment towards serving others has truly been an inspiration and we hope to see many more like-minded and dedicated individuals volunteer for this cause.
"There is absolutely nothing as great as making a positive change in someone's life. I was touched by the warm hearts and big dreams of kids at TCF. I'm glad and Thankful to NVP for giving me this chance to give back to the world in a meaningful way" -V#469-3/17 Barkha Aslam (Staff Social & Culture at The Consulate General Republic of Indonesia in Karachi)
Playing a crucial role in Early Childhood Development
The enriched experience of working with SMB Fatima Jinnah School a project of Zindagi Trust was deeply rooted in the intentions of NVP. From the encouraging staff, flexible schedules, cooperation in all aspects, to the eagerness of students, has connected the chain to attain the possible outcome. It’s an honor to be a part of a child’s growth as they are more vulnerable to stress especially those who lack the basic structure of healthy living. However, habits are best learned in childhood as they are susceptible to change. Sessions for prevention and aiding the onset of stress in approx. 2300 young students of ages 3 to 16 years has been conducted for around 10 weeks by using cognitive and behavioral methods which were formulated according to their level of life span to make them learn strategies to handle normal stress independently before it becomes chronic. The appropriate level of accomplishment was evident when students were willing to control their stress, agreed to follow the methods and shared what had been learned etc. It was truly an inspirational journey and an experience I will never forget.
Warm thanks to NVP and Zindagi Trust for having me for this noble work!
Zehra Nayani, a postgraduate student of the Institute of Professional Psychology and a certified NVP volunteer who was recently awarded by Ms. Shahnaz Hunzai – Project Manager at Zindagi Trust SMB Fatima Jinnah School for her volunteer services as a student counselor at the school
We are pleased to present all our readers with our first ever Annual Review 2017. We are grateful to all our volunteers, beneficiary institutions and all our supporters who have contributed towards our mission. Let's all strive to uplift our society, one deed at a time.
What inspired you to become a volunteer in the first place?
Because I felt that change starts from an individual who should contribute towards the development of society. Being a small part of society, we always imagine about the sudden change in our Society/Country/World but if every person devotes his/her time and effort for development, we will definitely bring about change.
Would you like to share any moment or story about your experience at the Robin Hood Army?
The experience at Robin Hood Army was superb as I was mainly involved in door to door distribution and crowd control. Every distribution left me with satisfaction and new experiences on my mind. On 13th of August, we went for distribution at Musharraf colony to distribute food for around 2400 people. I was assigned supply chain role where I had to look after the food as well as coordination with the Robin Hood Team on the way to Musharraf Colony. Further, I was also engaged in managing and packet distribution at the area. In a nutshell, every distribution brought about different learning experiences and made me want to remain a part of The Robin Hood Army.
How has your experience been, volunteering through the NVP? Were you able to volunteer at an institution of your choice? Was it useful and easy to understand?
Yes, NVP has strong linkage with the management of various NGOs which enables an individual to take the task of his/her own choice
How did you manage your work and still find the time to volunteer?
I used to manage my task according to the priorities and as my weekend is off thus the best way to utilize the idle time is devote your efforts and change and prosperity.
What motivated you to keep volunteering at the institution?
Volunteering is an ongoing process; it gives me the satisfaction that I am a part of a well-known international organization which serves for the eradication of food shortage in the country.
What message would you like to convey to those who are interested in volunteer through NVP. Is there anything you would like to change about this programme?
No, everything was perfect, your communications with volunteers are unmatched and I will also recommend other individuals to contribute your time and effort through NVP.
Muhammad Arslan is associated with a brokerage firm as a Research Analyst. Arsalan served at the TCF Rahbar Programme as a mentor and then at Robin Hood Army as a Coordinator for food distribution/storage. Later he was also among career counselors in the Rana Liaquat Craftsmen's Colony Youth Career Programme. He has currently expressed his availability for a new volunteer opportunity.
Are you a University student looking for Internship opportunities? NVP is pleased to announce the Volunteer Internship Programme* this summer. If you are interested in applying, then (1) Register online at www.nvp.com.pk as a Volunteer, (2) Select two positions of your choice from the list given below and (3) Email your choice at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am an Electrical Engineer by profession and a student of Energy Management; as a citizen of Pakistan and as a human being, it is my prime duty to do my utmost for my people. That is why I love to work as a volunteer and wish to leave no stone un-turned to serve my country, Pakistan. It is quite a pleasing moment for me, to be known as an active member of National Volunteer Program (NVP), and to serve my people as a volunteer.
I have had the privilege to volunteer twice - once at The Citizen Foundation (TCF) as a mentor and then later at INJAZ PAKISTAN as a lecturer. My first volunteer experience was a tremendous learning opportunity for me as I was given the task to train the students of grade VIII through a seven Saturdays RAHBAR CYCLE. The program started off with the familiarity, bonding & group activities; the whole scheme of the project went through series of set motions and ingenious activities. From career counseling sessions to cricket games, story narrations to landscape painting, visiting Jumma Himmayati town to touring IBA Karachi, Planting trees in the garden of the school to discussion science projects and from workshops on speaking and communication skills to exam preparations; I will truly remember each and every experience.
As a group of fifteen mentors and 40 students, our job was to inculcate the message of 'SOCH SAY TAKDEER TAK KA SAFAR’ into the students’ lives. My job as a mentor was to narrate them stories of how ambitions and dreams are achieved, how they are planned and executed, how one can strategically take up all the challenges in life to accomplish ones’ goals potently. My co-mentor, Fahad Azmi and I, were able to carry out the entire program comprehensively through the kind and caring support of our TCF coordinator Salah-ud-din Misbah.
My second experience as a volunteer was at INJAZ Pakistan where I was assigned as a lecturer. My task was to upscale the youth from several institutes and vocational training centers. I had the privilege to attend the Head Start training at Bahria University and KEMAN institute, where I trained students in CV making and writing cover letters as well as how to attend interviews effectively. I am grateful to Ms. Shyma Baig, Coordinator at INJAZ Pakistan, for assisting me throughout my journey as a volunteer.
Through my experience as a volunteer I have learned many things, which I would like to communicate amongst my friend circle. I would like to inspire others and encourage others to volunteer as well.