“What does volunteering mean to you?”
“How do you want to contribute?”
“What causes are you passionate about?”
These are questions that I constantly ask new volunteers who want to join the Media4Change team.
Through my 1.5 years as a volunteer at Bhumi, an important realization has dawned on me – Volunteering is a multi-faceted term that means different things to different people.
But the most common, or rather typical perceptions about volunteering involve people teaching orphaned kids, building houses for the poor or visiting old age homes.
While these most definitely are volunteering activities, this is not an exhaustive list of volunteering activities.
Any project, even in an NGO, involves a lot of behind-the-scenes activities like management, content writing, designing, HR, strategy, data management, etc. And there are Volunteers who are part of these not-so-visible activities. They too are committing their time and skills for a good cause, and are impacting society and doing their part in making it a better place.
One such project in Bhumi that is spearheading impactful work is Media4Change.
Media4Change is a project that focuses on anything creative. We, at M4C, bring together designers, content writers, video editors, and anyone with a creative bend who is looking to volunteer, with non-profits in need of their services.
I write this article with a child-like glee on my face because this project, which I almost consider my child, has turned one year old this month. I still remember when my colleague and I first started building the team and putting processes in place during mid of last year. There was so much we wanted to do, so many ambitions we had for the team, but at the same time, we felt very unanchored. It was after all the first time we were doing something as big as this. But with a deep-rooted belief in the team and the purpose we envisioned, slowly things fell into place.
The team was like an infant at first, trying to make sense in chaos and figure out the how’s and what’s. A few weeks later, things became more steady and we had a family of about 10-12 dedicated design volunteers. The creative lead of the team tirelessly polished and nurtured them so they could deliver above par.
A few months later, we focused on massive upskilling and learning opportunities for the volunteers. By putting their needs and aspirations first, we were able to transform them into multi-skilled volunteers. It was during this period that Media4Change launched its video editing service, along with designing and went from being an infant to a toddler, ready to explore on all fours.
A few weeks later, we decided to build a strong leadership team and devoted ourselves to grooming the next coordinators and leaders. By the end of this, we had a content coordinator, few team leads, and even 2 separate functions of HR and operations within the team.
The biggest metamorphosis came in the months after that. The Media4Change project was ready to open its doors to all non-profit organizations, not just Bhumi. This was a first of its kind which officially kick-started the ‘Partner for Change’ initiative by Bhumi. We successfully partnered with multiple smaller NGOs and helped them with their creative requirements.
Now, as the final quarter comes to a close, the project will mark 2 new milestones. We are officially adding 2 new services to our list – content writing and digital marketing. Along with this, this quarter has also seen rapid team expansion and I’m extremely proud to announce that the Media4Change team is now 40 volunteers strong. Oh did I say volunteers? Oops, I meant family. That’s what this is. A family.
While on paper this seems like a smooth sailing journey, it was far from it. Like a true roller coaster ride we had our ups and downs. From trying to ensure volunteers are feeling bolstered to helping our partner NGOs with little details, we’ve done it all.
Like a child, who after multiple falls has learned to stand and walk, albeit unsteadily, the Media4Change team is here.
Completing an entire year, ready to run.
And finally, I’ll leave you with one last thought-
“Life is a work of art. If you don’t like what you see, paint over it!”
Dear designers, content writers, video editors and photographers, join the Media4Change journey.
Together let’s make society a better place, one artwork at a time, because the earth without art is just “eh” 😛
WordSmith: Mohini Rajamani , Project Coordinator – Media4Change, Bhumi
To contact us – [email protected]