By Naomi Yakawich
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Eight-year-old Nandini smiled and held up her drawing, a childish rendition of India’s Prime Minister.
Sarvam smiled back, “Prime minister?” Nandini nodded.
Sarvam is one of several Global Peace Foundation interns that are bringing the light of opportunity to children in some of India’s most impoverished areas, all the while testifying that the greatest change is actually taking place within the hearts of the volunteers themselves.
“The potential and the ambitions of these kids were really fascinating and inspiring!” said Sarvam who assisted young children in a drawing workshop to help them express their goals and inspirations.
With NGO partnerships such as Lakshyam that serves disadvantaged children and women in rural India, GPF interns are given the opportunity to implement peacebuilding leadership training they learned from GPF workshops. With their new skills, these interns are organizing projects they are passionate about in their own communities.
Interns have the opportunity to work with like-minded young leaders, visit marginalized communities to learn about their challenges, and explore practical and real ways to address them irrespective of caste, creed, or religion.
“Beneath the fast moving and rich lifestyle of Vasant Kunj, there was reality of a small marginalized basti in front of us. It was indeed a learning and mind opening experience.” —Parth Ahuja (Intern, GPF India)
Sarvam’s team organized a painting workshop and other activities for children in Sindhi Basti, showcasing their artwork, poetry, and dance to build confidence and foster mentorship. While the children had plenty of fun, GPF India interns also helped in teaching important skills like English and character development.
“It was really inspiring to see that these children made the best out of the limited resources they had,” said intern Kartik, “They had smiles on their face despite the challenges.”