By Priyam Panchal, Volunteer, Gandhinagar

“I am fortunate enough to have been an active volunteer with AFS for over 7 months now, and I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Community Service Project 2019.

Throughout this Community Service Project, I have had a lot of new experiences and have learned a lot about various things such as leadership, teamwork, meticulous planning, the society we live in and the people around us, and more importantly I learned a lot about myself – my strengths and also my shortcomings (waiting till the last minute to finish typing this out being one of them), and made a lot of new friends along the way.

Being part of the education group, our primary focus was to make sure the students had a very solid foundation which would be crucial going forward in their lives. We began testing the students’ abilities in various subjects, and then focusing on their weaknesses, trying to sort them out in what little time we had. Much to my surprise, the kids were as eager to study as they were to go out and play games. They were especially interested in mathematics, and most of my sessions were filled with maths games and learning new concepts, as well as brushing up on old ones. They were quick on their heels with the answer to most questions thrown at them. Along with academics, we also talked about developing good habits, and etiquette. Their noisiness was only outdone by their friendliness, and they’d come up to us in the hallways to make sure we would be coming back the next day. All-in-all, this was an exhausting but also extremely fulfilling experience.

The fact that I could go out and make a lasting impact on some kid’s life, change how they see studying and make them want to learn new things and set sail to explore the vast ocean that is human knowledge, and working with the people I had never met before and becoming friends with them instantly are the two most important things to me personally, about this project. Many thanks to AFS for giving me this opportunity to connect with all these wonderful people and collectively work to create change for the greater good.”