LEARNING + COMMUNITY SERVICE + FUN = BEST POSSIBLE COMBINATION

Introducing Haseef Sachwani, Mehar Ali, and Mazhar Manasiya, students of Computer Science at Reputable Universities. These young boys got acquainted with National Volunteer Programme a couple of months ago, witnessing their enthusiasm to volunteer, we connected with them to find out in terms of what moves them, identifying their interests and what do they expect from NVP? We found their interests to be similar and aligned with their academics. Fortunately enough, we had an opportunity at Society for Rehabilitation of Special Children waiting for them. SRSC required volunteers to develop a website for them and as per our routine we assigned the group to the institution. What happened next is interesting.

Haseef, Mehar and Mazhar didn’t know each other, they began volunteering on the same day at SRSC, met there for the first time, and volunteered at similar position. It goes without saying that they had a Volunteer Supervisor who was there to oversee things and direct the group, but these volunteers started interacting with each other and before you know it, they became friends. It was a pleasure for the Supervisor to see the volunteers bonding instantly, saving him the hassle of introduction, he assigned all the three volunteers a similar task of developing a website.

They self-organized themselves as a team. They divided the duties and each one of them was responsible for the task delegated to him. For instance: One of them was to take care of designing and the others were responsible for programming and backup. While the duties were assigned the team didn’t leave any of its member high and dry, they kept coordinating and helped each other when required. Moreover, their interest peeked because the objective was in parallel with their academics. “We had been learning in the classrooms, working at SRSC was the moment we applied that learning practically and it was a great experience”, said Haseef. “We have had times when we got stuck but our Volunteer Supervisor was always there to guide us through”, recalled Mehar. A number of their skills were tested as they worked as a team, a practical application of academic knowledge, and finally also opened up networking opportunities as they developed the website for the institution and the organization was all praises.

Their term had ended by the time their project was ready, they  all had the positive things to say about their time spent at SRSC. They expressed that they would want to volunteer again and build a long term affiliation with National Volunteer Programme. Through its platform they were able to help the community, harness their personal development, grow their network and make lifelong friends. The spirit rejoices with the proud feeling that we can make a difference and play our part in  creating a just society.

“Robin Hood Army Has Taken Over Karachi by A Storm”

 

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.

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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!”

Corporate Volunteerism in Action

 Corporate Employees Make Time For Volunteering

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.

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“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)

Zehra Nayani’s Journey as a Student Conselor

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.

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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