By Usha Pandit, Volunteer from Vadodara Chapter

“How small my world was, I wonder at times!!!!! It only revolved around my family, my neighbours, my colleagues, my relatives and my well wishers. Thinking beyond, and looking at the whole world in its entirety, as a process  started perhaps, once I happened to  step into  a new and lovely family of AFS as a volunteer.

Volunteering with AFS has opened up window of opportunities and new horizons for me to explore. In my journey of volunteerism I came across people with amazing strengths, be it communication skills, oratorical skills, managerial skills, organizing skills or presentation skills. Some of them even reflected their skill of multiple intelligence!

At every step it has helped me gain knowledge, learn,  be tolerant, appreciate different perspectives and cultural dynamics. It has changed me as a person, as, now I have started viewing the same world with a different perspective altogether. Being the school volunteer, and interacting with Kiri Kurasawa, this year’s exchange student from Japan has actually instilled in me qualities like empathy, generosity, unconditional love, togetherness, team spirit and oneness.

I take pride in being an AFS volunteer. It has enabled me to reach out to those who are less privileged and those who are eagerly waiting to taste the sweetness of success. It has nurtured and groomed me during the course of its journey and has thus helped me visualize the BIG PICTURE.

I am still wonderstruck and spellbound to see all the volunteers working in tandem, networking and collaborating   effectively and efficiently leaving no stone unturned feet. Newer challenges, make all of us risk takers, curious and good managers.

Working intensely towards progress transcending barriers is incredible. To work for a good cause, through community outreach programmes, makes me feel truly blessed and being human. I agree that challenges do come on the way but the satisfaction that I get after I overcome them is more valuable. After crossing a hurdle, I find myself on a higher platform, which gives me a sense of fulfillment.

AFS has enlightened and helped me to grow as an accountable and responsible person. It has indeed strengthened my socio-emotional aspects.  It is now that I am experiencing the very essence of Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam. In a nutshell, volunteerism means:

V- Vigour


L- Long lasting

U- Understanding

N- Novelty

T- Team spirit


E- Encouraging

R- Risk takers

I- Inquisitive

S- Self confidence

M- Meticulous

I hope to continue as an AFS volunteer with the same spirit and vigour so that I could serve as one of the valuable links in bringing peace, harmony, love and affection across the world.”