As part of our intervention we strengthened the personhood in children, and encouraged them to be effective change agents in their own communities. Social analysis and their personal experiences enabled children to develop a personal goal towards the society. This has resulted in the development of a Volunteer Programme in Vidiyal. The volunteer programme is called ‘Muhangal’ means ‘Faces’ in Tamil. When our children reach college, they commit themselves to give their personal time to Vidiyal in its outreach programmes. ‘Muhangal’ reflect that they came as children without an identity but now assert that ‘I am my identity’.
This brought positive dynamics in our work and created synergy in the Vidiyal commune. These volunteers who have reached higher education after fighting against all odds including social exclusion, discrimination, poverty, and unjust social order have now become role models for the younger ones. It enabled the younger ones to visualize a future with immediate reference from their own community and made them to believe that they can also achieve so much. It brought positive impact in the volunteers because it took them from the receiving end and now they are able to contribute back to the development of children from their own communities.
Their skills and talents are matched with the needs of children. Our volunteers serve in the Child Resource Centres, tutoring children, teaching arts and crafts, and engage in activities designed for the holistic development of children. It’s a replicable model and our volunteers are rewarded with opportunities for self-development to achieve their dreams.
The magic of moving from receiving end to giving back to the community helps them to grow as young responsible adults. Over the years we have had 103 volunteers.