Making a difference in their lives

Staff Reporter

The purpose of the camp was to equip the girls with skills to face the challenges in life

KOCHI: It was not just all fun, but a lot to learn too at the four-day camp for children from various orphanages organised at the St. Mary’s Convent on Market Road. While many organisations were busy conducting summer camps for the privileged children, Make A Difference (MAD), a youth volunteer network, was trying to provide some fun and inspiration to the underprivileged group, just before the schools reopened.

About 80 girls attended the camp that had classes on meditation to begin with and ended with a practical workshop on hairstyles by a beauty parlour! The purpose of the camp was to equip the girls with skills to face the challenges in life and move ahead, said a volunteer. Beginning with classes in Art of Living supervised by Sudha Rajashekar on all days, the girls also had interactions with prominent personalities.

An inspiring session with the first IPS woman officer from the State, R. Sreelekha, was one of them. In yet another session, the girls went into raptures with playback singer Afsal belting out popular hits. Theatre personality Cuckoo Parameshwaran enlightened the students with her experiences and urged them to break the barriers in life. With a lively smile and a heart-warming story, Chinnamma Xavier, a lady auto-rickshaw driver, probably left a lasting impression on the girls.

The session on health and hygiene by gynaecologist Dr. Sindhu Dinesh would have dispelled several doubts regarding health issues.

There was a session by Priyanka Idiculla Zameer, head of Magic Matchbox, who brushed away the conventional notions of beauty and spoke of the importance of inner beauty of women. Camlin Limited conducted a demonstration on glass and fabric painting. Another session was on candle making. The girls were provided with outfits and mini makeup kits by My Kingdom as a parting gift.

MAD, involved in providing English education to underprivileged kids of various orphanages in the city, is now trying to introduce computers. “We are looking for more volunteers to increase our presence,” said Sujith Varkey, one of the volunteers of the network that started two years ago.

With about 70 volunteers, MAD manages to take English classes in seven orphanages in the city. Students and youngsters fluent in English and communication skills, with an ability to teach can join the network. Volunteers are provided all background support for teaching. Volunteers ready to devote time for such an activity can log on to > or contact Jithin C. Nedumula (99614 11099) or Sujith Varkey (98461 63541).