January 12, 2020, marked the first step towards the planning of the first-ever Ignite Fest in Bhumi Bengaluru. Even though the event was a yearly affair for a few other cities, the event was yet to touch base in Bengaluru. A month gap between the previous events had affected the initial enthusiasm, nevertheless, the planning did kick off with a small group of volunteers.
The event had its own challenges, creating new and innovative events based on Ignite projects from the scratch and planning of workshops was a tedious task and the venue hunt was no cakewalk either for the volunteers. However, things kept moving forward, regular meetups, promotional effort and planning from the core team well augmented by support and guidance from the central team ensured things kept moving forward and the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into the right places, and despite hiccups during the course, the team was all set for first-ever Ignite Fest in Bhumi Bengaluru.
The event day witnessed kids pouring in from different Ignite shelter homes from all over Bengaluru, flooding the campus of MVJ College(venue for Ignite fest) with smiles and enthusiasm. The kids participated in one of a kind events based on the concepts of Ignite classroom subjects. Kids even turned up to show their prowess of artwork and held spectators spellbound with wonderful robotics projects.
While the event was intended to allow the kids to showcase the practical aspects of their learning, the event also intended to inculcate in kids, a learning experience via workshops. The kids were seen grooving to the beats of Western and Bhangra dance forms, wearing sweat beads like pearls on the playground, and moral lessons via storytelling were loved by all.
Krutika, a home-specific volunteer quoted,” The kids were not willing to leave the ground even to have their lunch. They were somehow convinced by telling the coach won’t be around in lunch so they should have food first.”, such was their level of enthusiasm.
Harshith, the coordinator for Volunteer management quoted,” the kids were really curious and enthralled by the robotics show and were well engaged with different projects at the display.”
Indeed, the day was a slide on a learning curve which kids rejoiced and hopefully, they carried the learnings along with them even after the day event went past the twilight.
The event was indeed a roller coaster ride for volunteers too. The initial spark, sometimes went high, sometimes went low, but at the end of 7th week, the Ignite Torch went ablaze, kudos to an amazing team effort!
WordSmith: Samar Pratap, Volunteer (Bengaluru)
Bhumi’s Ignite Programme at shelter homes, supported by corporates like Oracle, BNP Paribas, Flex, and IM Gears Pvt. Ltd., provides supplementary education through weekend volunteering.