Underprivileged children enjoy a weekend of learning in NCR

Make a Difference (MAD), a voluntary organization of college students, recently organized a camp for 200 boys from three orphanages in the Capital. This empowerment camp, at the Best Western Resort in Gurgaon, was an uplifting experience for the boys —whose only exposure outside shelter and school is the streets of Delhi.

The Delhi Green Camp included sessions on entrepreneurship, health and adventure. The entrepreneurship sessions to educate the boys, from classes 7 to 10, on employment opportunities was conducted by professionals from firms like General Electric and Corporate Executive Board.

MAD volunteers constructed a wall where rappelling exercises were conduct, much to the delight of the young boys. The children also constructed miniature houses with cardboard.

The camp was a culmination of a two-month long fund raising drive by 250-odd MAD volunteers of Delhi. For the volunteers, themselves only a few years elder than the boys, it was a great learning experience—living and working with the young leaders.

MAD works in 23 cities in India and boasts almost 5000 members. In Delhi they claim to cater to 600 children in five orphanages and shelters.

One of their main campaigns are English classes, conducted by college students on weekends. Students dedicate three hours each every weekend to teach English to underprivileged children.

These children go to Hindi medium schools during the week, but are weak in English. Children are grouped according to their English proficiency and taught English courses prescribed by the Cambridge University Press, MAD sources say.

MAD also conducts placement sessions with experts from various fields. As part of this they visit police stations and technology firms. Google participated in an internet awareness programme by MAD, a couple of months back.

“In collaboration with Bookwallah— a non-profit that delivers books to underprivileged youth—MAD has set up a library each in the Arya Bal Griha and Bachchon ka Ghar in Daryaganj. MAD volunteers physically constructed the spaces and painted them,” says the organisation’s vice president for public relations Ritika Taneja.