What can I say?
I have unconsciously being doing CAS work since a very young age, whether it is for charity work, sports or generally just being creative.
The first time I actually did some social work was about two years ago in India where I helped children as an assistant teacher in an NGO called" Akanksha."
children who were a year older than me and taught them Maths, English and created a whole presentation on Spain to show them where I lived. I made them listen and dance to Spanish music and
even taught them some Spanish and some Spanish culture.
I honestly found it so overwhelming to see how determined, enthusiastic and ambitious some of them were which was really satisfying to see. This made me realise how deserving they were and further made me fall in love with them.
An incident I will never forget was when I actually spoke to a student about her routine and she told me about her living conditions and lifestyle . She told me that she lived in a hut with both her parents and that whenever she reached back home she would wish for it to be morning so she could go back to school as not only did she learn and meet her friends in school, but she also ate her only meal of the day there . She said she could not be more thankful to have this opportunity of actually being able to have
access to a decent education and mentioned that one day she hoped to be a successful air hostess.
I remember smiling at her and asking her why an air hostess when most of her classmates wanted to be doctors or engineers and she replied back and said that she wanted to be an air hostess to be able to show the world to her parents as she was so grateful they had managed to send her to this school. This was really an eye opener for me as I realised how many people take things like education and having a
comfortable life for granted where as others, like these children were always so diligent, receptive and hungry to learn and improve.
A part from working in "Akanksha" , I also spend a few months in the Spastic School of Mumbai the following year and although I found it difficult to communicate with some children I still managed to make them smile as I distributed chocolates and spent time with the young children. I sang to them and taught them the nursey rhymes I knew whereas they taught me the songs they knew. It was truly amazing to see how singing and talking to them could make them so joyful. I also loved the fact they called me "Didi" which means older sister in Hindi.
I am eagerly waiting to go to India again so I can visit them and play with them again as in these past two years of doing social work I have learnt so much from people my age who come from very distinct backgrounds and therefore have very different perceptions and ideas of life.
Therefore I feel that not only have I taught them as much as I could, but I have also learnt an important lesson from them which is that determination and hope can make you do wonders in life and that outer beauty can only be enhanced by inner beauty.
In addition to this, during last term I had been three times in an old people's residence in which I had the opportunity to spend some time with some elderly people. When I first arrived,
I tried talking to several residents I found it really interesting how at first they were very timid, but how after a while they just did not want you to leave. I also found it intriguing to think that I could make someone so happy by just spending some quality time with them. I really thought they were all very welcoming and were very pleased to have us as a lady said that "vosotros que sois jóvenes me dais la alegría."
I also enjoyed how supportive and cheerful they were when we commenced singing Christmas carols to them. One lady was so excited that she literally stood up and started dancing while we sang. Later on, another man took a mike and sang his heart out on a Valenciano song while the others merrily clapped and cheered.
I am currently helping out one year two group in primary and I am honestly enjoying that experience as I absolutely adore interacting with younger children as I feel the same grati f y i n g sensation I felt when I helped out at the school in Mumbai. In fact, one of m y c l a s s m a t e s a n d I a l s o o r g a n i s e d a s p e l l i n g c o n t e s t f o r t h e c u r r e n t y e a r fives which again was
extremely enjoyable for both the students and us as it definitely was a
I truly look forward to participating in more CAS activities as I believe that
"we rise by helping others."
By: Kareena Hemant Aswani Y12P