Volunteer Den – Maria Philip

Project in Bhumi: Artoons 

City: Chennai

Volunteering period: February 2017 onwards

Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m Maria, a native of Kochi, Kerala, currently doing 2nd year UG in English at Madras Christian College. I stay at Tambaram, and it’s my second year in Chennai and I’m totally loving it.

How did volunteering with Bhumi happen? (Including beginning, which project you volunteered for)?

I’ve always wanted to bring about a positive change in the little things that I do and believed that if I have been given more, its my duty to give back more to the society and Bhumi offered me that opportunity. I found out about Bhumi by searching on internet. From the beginning, I’ve been volunteering with Artoons and the experience has been great.

What change did these experiences bring in your life? How has Bhumi altered you, personally?

I come from a teaching background and never knew that I could do it before I joined Bhumi. These experiences have led to many realisations. To teach arts to kids is itself very refreshing and to know that they enjoy it is even more satisfying. Not all kids have a temperament for science and maths. Some express and understand better with images and colours and to be able to impart and guide with my humble artistic abilities has been very gratifying.

Also, I’ve seen how volunteers of Bhumi work tirelessly with much vigour and that has never failed to inspire me to push myself harder to do better.

One most memorable incident in your life as a Bhumian:

Since I come from Kerala, I struggle a little with my Tamil and the kids know it too. And every time I go for classes they will ask me in Malayalam ( which I taught them), if I had food and if I’m keeping well. There has always been this mutual learning process happening with me trying to learn Tamil from them and they English and Malayalam from me. My teammates have been very supportive through this language barrier.

Tell us about one Bhumian, who has been an inspiration

My project coordinator, Sudha. Our project, Artoons got a name because of her. I know of the relentless efforts she has taken to engage every volunteer efficiently. The commitment she shows is admirable and has been very understanding. Her kind of dedication is one we all can draw inspiration from.

Any specific, special moment with kids or volunteers you would like to share with us?

Ignite fest of 2017 was a beautiful experience. It was great to see all the kids actively participating, pouring in their creativity and enjoying themselves.

A message to every volunteer at Bhumi:

Keep up the great work you are doing; together we can do even better and be the change we wish to see.

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