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BUDDY BUILDING

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event date 8th October, 2015

The Buddy Building Program has come to an end! But the mentors and mentees, deeply saddened by the conclusion of the program, have promised to keep in touch!

This program has led to beautiful memories,close friendships and positive changes in both the mentors and mentees! 

Here is a short report by the mentors on their experience,interactions with the mentees and some of their best moments of the program :

 

Yashna -

The main aim of the Buddy Building program was to bring about a significant change in one individual and to see that person grow. This is exactly what I noticed in my mentee. However, I have also seen positive changes in myself!

My mentee, Krishna, a 15 year old immigrant from West Bengal, was at first very anxious. She wasn't very expressive in the beginning and I felt that she feared I would judge her. So I focused on the fact that noone was perfect in our first couple of sessions through discussions about our likes, dislikes, hobbies, passions and things we both were not good at but wanted to improve. I learnt that she likes listening to music in her free time and is very hot headed! She also loves the environment and resents her younger sister when she dirties her room! Beneath her soft exterior, I discovered a very progressive thinker, full of passion and motivation to eliminate all forms of social injustice. She would tell me stories about how her family members in West Bengal would discourage her from meeting Christians, and she would respond by saying "If you take a knife and cut our skin, we have the same blood, we are one ". She told me about her problems related to her progressive views and short temperament. I shared similar problems with her, so she doesn't feel alone and at the same time gave her advice on how to deal with her problems. She was very fearless and if she saw any wrong happening, she would be outspoken about it. However, she had often been threated because of this, and I advised her to take an elderly along next time. Academically, I helped Krishna with English, her communication skills, told her how to give powerful speeches and discussed about various leaders with her. We also discussed different careers she was interested in what subjects she should take in school. We would often go to McDonalds and I taught her how to use the computer, email and Facebook to provide her with exposure.

I can now see Krishna as a more confident girl who believes she has the capability to do anything if she believes in herself. I see her as a friend and a younger sister. Through getting to know her and about her life, I learnt so much about life from a different perspective. She opened my mind to various issues which I would not even think of on a daily basis. Her bravery and boldness inspired me. She taught me to be patient, take care of my surroundings and to value what I have. The most touching moment for me was when she asked me if we would be friends forever or only for the time this program would last for. I will always keep in touch with Krishna and take out time to meet her, not only because she wants to, but because she is an important part of my life.

Asavari -

The Buddy Building Program was a good experience as it gave me perspective on a life that is very different from mine. I met Rajini, a girl coming from a family of 6 sisters. She was soft spoken and reserved at first, but the more we conversed with one another, the more she opened up. During our meetings we got to know each other; our likes, dislikes, hobbies, problems, etc. I got to know that she really likes gaajar halwa, and her mother's choley and loves to draw.

We discussed our problems together, which would sometimes culminate into philosophical conversations about life. She told me how she did not like people who thought too much of themselves and had a habit of showing off. I tried to help her understand that she would come across various people who might probably be worse and that the only way to deal with them is to either ignore them or confront them about their annoying habits. She also told me about her school teacher, how he would punish kids for no reason. I told her about all her rights in this case, helpline numbers and government mechanisms. I also encouraged her to talk to her school principal about this.

I observed her during her class; she was a good listener who most usually liked to remain quiet. So at the next meeting we discussed communication skills and confidence. She understood that it takes a lot of courage to just say something in public and that saying something reflects that courage regardless of what is being said and the next class I saw her participate in a class discussion about secularism which is when I felt most happy. Rajini was a mature young lady (for her age of 13 years) and it was a pleasure spending time with her. I hope to remain in touch with her.

Anahat -

The Selflessly Yours Mentorship Program taught me things I would have never learnt at a school. It taught me how to be a better person by realising and appreciating the distinctions between us and children who are not as privileged as us.Through the course of the Program, I was made to understand that life doesn't come served on a platter for everyone. Not only did I learn to appreciate what I have and value it more, I also got the opportunity to guide my mentee, Anjali a -16 year old girl - through her hardships and be there for her as a friend and an elder sister. The bond that I formed with her is something I'll cherish forever.

I can easily say that I learnt much more from Anjali than what I could have ever hoped to teach her. She showed me that we can be happy in any situation, no matter how difficult times are. The weekly outings we went for gave us time to interact on a regular basis and helped us understand each other. It was a give and take relationship- I taught her how to be confident in her skin, helped her with her communications skills as well her artistic skills where as she helped me to appreciate everything around me. Just before this program, Anjali's father had passed away and she facing several issues with her family members. I supported Anjali though her tough times and advised her on various situations.

Me and Anjali developed a very deep, emotional and respectful bond.For instance, she made me this beautiful card for my birthday that said 'Rose is red, Sky is blue - Oh My Didi, I love you.' To that I'll answer now saying- Thank You Anjali for teaching me all that you did and all that I couldn't have learnt from anyone else. I hope I've done the same for you! I'll always be there through every step of the way.

Nikhil -

Buddy building was a unique experience for me as I got to spend time with and learn from two wonderful teenagers Vishram and Aashish.The time I got to spend with them was extremely fruitful as I learnt a lot about the hobbies, passions and problems in their lives.

Initially, we would meet at Mega Mall and discuss common topics like sports and studies. As we got closer and they started opening up to me, I learnt about their lives and conditions and was taken aback when they told me that they would not be happier if they had more money. This taught to me value and appreciate what I have and to always be happy. They were both very passionate about studies, got good grades and wanted to study further but were unsure about where to apply. So I researched for them, helped and advised them. I also taught them how to use google so that they can research on their own. I also helped them with communication and gave them tips to prevent nervousness while speaking in front of people. We also spoke about common teenage problems which they had seen people around them face such as substance abuse.

I am very happy that I got the opportunity to help them in whatever way I could and I see them going very far in whatever field they choose to go.

Yash -

Buddy Building was a very nice initiative. We had to be mentors for underprivileged children. Teach them from our experiences in life and learn from their life experiences.

I was mentoring a 14 year old boy Shivansh. In our first meeting he was very shy and quite. I asked him about his hobbies, likes, dislikes, where he came from etc and told him about myself. We discovered that both of us enjoy playing and watching cricket and I often discussed sports with him to make him feel comfortable. After a few meetings we got to know each other better and hence he could open up to me.I got to know he didn't go to any school because he had lost all interests. In our meetings to follow I discussed with him the importance of school and education in shaping ones future. By the end of our meetings he got admission in a Government School which made me feel very proud. In the meetings we usually ate dominos, talked about his problems and I would give him advice on how to solve them. Buddy Building was a very enjoyable experience through which I have learnt a lot and I will definitely keep in touch with Shivansh.

Anoushka -

I had no idea that this buddy building program could teach me so much.

My Mentee, Ruchi is actually just like me, she enjoys art and she likes music. On our first meet , I got to know her well and we painted, laughed and discussed about our hobbies and passions. In the meeting to follow our bond grew stronger and I helped her with English as that was her weak subject and she helped me with Hindi. I also helped her with her communication skills and various art assignments. Ruchi wanted to pursue art but her parents didn't approve of it. I advised her on what to do in such a situation and also told her about a variety of careers one can do with arts and told her to tell her parents the same. I also taught her how to use the computer and showed her many art paintings on the net.

Ruchi is extremely sweet and friendly .I realized that even though we all come from very different background, we are all the same. Ruchi actually inspired me to realize the importance of what I have This mentorship program did not only help her but it helped me and I learnt far more than I would otherwise.

Prakarsh -

The Buddy Building initiative, by Selflessly Yours, is a brilliant program aimed at providing not just education, but something a bit more special, to the children we were assigned to.

I was assigned to two middle school children, Arjun and Priyanshu. The former had just shifted to a new school, and was having trouble fitting in. However, his academics were flawless, and he wanted to become a doctor. Priyanshu on the other hand, was far more outgoing, having interests in dance and Taekwondo. However, he was having difficulties with certain subjects, mostly maths.

I helped them both with their respective problems, taught them how to communicate effectively and how to dress for interviews late on in life. I would often would let them teach one another so that they get a boost to their confidence.

In the process of mentoring and aiding these two friends of mine, with vastly differing interests and personalities, I happened to experience a change in my own outlook. I had the opportunity to mould two different human beings for the better, and I feel it not only made them better at what I happened to teach them, but it made me a better human being.

Navya -

The Buddy Building programme was initially intended to be a 'peer tutoring' initiative. We wanted to be able to bring about positive changes in the lives of our mentees and address any questions of significance and relevance that they might not have answers to. Help them out if they needed it, and most importantly give them someone relatively close to their age to confide in, to give them exposure and widen the scope of their horizons. The fact of the matter though is that it wasn't a situation where I was peer tutoring my mentee, it was more of friendly conversations and genuine, inquisitive questions about each other's lives.

My mentee Priyanka and I, started off on cordial terms, but this cordiality turned to mutual respect and friendship pretty quickly.

Priyanka is a bright ray of sunshine, interacting with her was genuinely fun. She's a delightful, positive girl.

It was exciting yet humbling to be able to teach her things like operating her computer and show her how email ids and social networking works. To help her with her oratory skills, discuss the problems she had in school.

I hope she knows what I've tried to reiterate on multiple occasions: she's got a friend in me.

I've learnt at least as much, if not more from her and the glimpse into each other's life has brought exposure into both our lives.

I think what this programme taught me/us beyond anything else is that everyone of us is pretty much the same. And we all deserve a chance to be given the exposure to experience life in all it's entirety, with all the right tools and knowledge to unleash the full extent of our potential.

Sana -

Buddy Building was a one of a kind experience. The  fact that we get to be mentors for children and help them is what caught my attention at first.

A few days later I was introduced to my mentee, a quiet 13 year old girl named Aastha. It was in our first round of meeting itself that we bonded well, she shared her interests, hobbies, likes, dislikes with me and I did the same.

After a few meetings we became fairly close and she shared with me that she was scared of her older brother and he would often be very aggressive. I gave her advice on how to solve such problems, helped her with math and also taught her basics of the violin!

We would talk, discuss topics such as morals and manners, laugh and have a good time. Buddy Building was definitely an enriching experience through which I have learned a lot, and I will continue to keep in touch with my mentee, Aastha!

 

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