From the Perspective of a Youth Volunteer…

The youth is the hope of our future. Jose Rizal, Phillipine Nationalist

Youth volunteers were asked the following three questions:

1. How long have you been volunteering for Vibha?
2. Why do you volunteer for Vibha?
3. What is your most favorite event of the year and what do you do to prepare/what is your role?

Read their responses below!

Neeraja Sarda

1. I’ve been volunteering for Vibha since I was 9 years old, so about 8 years.

2. Most high-achieving high-school students these days take part in some or the other volunteering, but few can truly say that they make as big of a global impact as I am able to make through Vibha. To me, volunteering has been part of my growing up and there are few causes in the world greater than that of Vibha. I highly appreciate the level of responsibility I am given, because it not only makes me a better member of the community, but a better human being, in general.

3. My favorite event would have to be the Dream Mile. It’s nice to know that the adult core group trusts youth volunteers like me to do the massive tasks involved in preparation for the Dream Mile, annually. This past year, I was in charge of the whole registration team which involves collecting registrations in the months leading up to the event, as well as managing the volunteers and participants on the event day. It makes me feel capable and powerful when I am able to solve problems and give people answers about everything they could possibly imagine, as a teenager.

Manasa Chimpiri
1. I have been volunteering for Vibha for about 9 years. I have been coming to events since I was younger and I began volunteering for little things since I was about 7.

2. I volunteer for Vibha because it is a great experience to be a part of. Not only are their the benefits of leadership, teamwork, and volunteering experience, but their is also a greater aspect. Firstly, all the volunteers of Vibha are very close; it doesn’t feel like an extra activity simply because everyone is so willing to help out. Secondly, the impression of our efforts go a long way. I have visited one of the numerous Door Step Schools in Pune and I got to see what an impact our fundraisers make and how they are used. It touched me to see so many children so eager to receive an education provided by Vibha which they would not have otherwise. Also, Vibha has always been a family affair for me. Everyone I know has so much respect for this organization and what they do. Lastly, Vibha is fun! We get to plan events, volunteer and all with friends so that is always a great aspect.

3. I used to advocate the annual Dream Mile, simply because it is the event with the most response and most funds raised. But, the latest Dream Play has really changed my mind. The Dream Play, previously known as the Khel Mela, is aimed at being a completely Vibha Youth driven event. I was one of the co-organizers of the event this year so along with other volunteers we made sure that this event would be amazing. The weekly phone calls, frequent meetings and constant emails paid off. Being so closely affiliated with the process of organizing made me feel like we can accomplish something and is a great experience for the Youth volunteers especially. It amazes me how Vibha Youth actively participated and made this a success. I am proud to say I am a part of Vibha.

Rachana Kotapalli
1. I have been volunteering for 2 and a half year now. I started when I was 14. My first event was the Dream Mile.

2. The cause- there are only a few organizations that actually provide dual service, that is, to both here and India. Along with dual service, comes the projects; I highly value the saying that "education is for everyone," and Vibha’s main projects center around child education as well as health and wellness.

Honestly, I enjoy just helping in general, no matter what, or where the issue is, and Vibha has a great set volunteers that believe the same; it’s a very welcoming group that has great ideals.

3. I love volunteering for the Dream Mile! The stress piles up as the amount of work increases, but the stress motivates everyone to work so hard. Also, the ambiance is so friendly  The huge crowd that shows up makes it all the more fun. The Dream Mile is actually on the top 10 races to run in the South! wohoo! Preparation  meetings! We usually meet, each person gets assigned tasks to do and we all discuss future implementations in the fundraisers, ways to better it, etc.  My role last year was in registration- got a hold of any problems that needed fixing (wrong numbers, someone didn’t pay, they didn’t have a number, etc). 

Adithya Ganesh

1. I started volunteering occasionally at a handful of events in 7th grade, 4 years ago.  Now, as Co-Editor of VibhaScope, the team works to publish a monthly publication.

2. My serendipity in being born into relative middle-class affluence is a matter of sheer probability.  As much as I didn’t do anything to deserve my quality of life, the impoverished masses do not deserve their plight.  While many say the impact of a single individual is small, helping others is not an activity of statistics and numerics. A single person helped is indeed only a small fraction of the world’s population, but holds an enormous degree of significance, for both the giver and receiver — a philosophy I feel underpins volunteering in general.

3. I like the Vibha Kite Flying Festival.  When I can go, a fellow Dallas youth volunteer, Rishi, and I prepare a speech on the history of kites.  We help out with handing out kites, kite-making workshops, and general promotion.  The picture of hundreds of kites flying freely is a particularly enthralling sight.


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