By Deepak Solanki, Alumni and Volunteer, Indore Chapter

“The weeklong community service project at Gandhinagar, Gujarat was one such Golden opportunity provided by AFS India to serve the society, we got a chance to learn from it and make a difference. Being in the education team and teaching classes 9th and 10th at the secondary school was a wonderful experience.

We were warmly welcomed by the students and the staff at the school which was clear from the class 10th students, who, despite being on preparation leave, for their board exams, were present at the school to attend classes. The students were keen learners. I taught English, Hindi and Social Science to both the classes. The best part was that the students were clear about where they faced challenges and what they wanted to learn from us. This made it easy for us to directly hit the challenging and difficult topics and teach them without wasting time. Since class 10th had boards coming up, my major focus was helping them with doubts related to the exams and during the project; I was able to cover the entire English Grammar, Poems, difficult portions in Hindi Grammar and some topics in Social Science. For class 9th as well, I covered poems and certain chapters of English and Social Science. Apart from these I also took sessions on Personal Hygiene, Cleanliness and some basic Laws with the boys of both the classes. I was glad to note that the kids had a positive and open approach to each and everything that was taught to them. The best part about the entire teaching experience was that the students, despite their Principal asking them to go home, wanted to stay back and learn more. To manage time and learn more, the students themselves came to school early and also had cut short their lunch time and patiently learned everything that was taught to them. This is what I call as the AFS effect.

Before the project, I was also concerned about the language and medium to teach them. However, the students were well versed with Hindi which made teaching them easy. The best impact and learning I had from the students and my teaching experience was to always be happy and make the best use of the limited resources that we have. The smile on those lovely faces was a real motivation for me and the energy in each student never let me get tired of continuous teaching. Teaching them was not only learning for them but it was a learning experience for me as well. While teaching them, I had the opportunity to revise all the topics and chapters that I had studied long back. After this project, I’ve started feeling more confident, motivated and curious for more such opportunities.

There is an enhanced sense of responsibility towards the society within me. In the end, I would like to thank AFS India for providing me with such a wonderful opportunity to explore, learn and make a difference in society. I would also like to thank my host family and Gandhinagar Chapter for putting in countless efforts in organizing the project and hosting us.”