Why I do what I do
In summer 2010 a friend of mine approached me about starting a youth team for CAREducation Trust. At the time I did not know very much about CARE and I asked him to explain a bit more. My eyes really started open, as he started explaining that CARE is formed of selfless volunteers who give their time to ensure 100% of all donations reach the underprivileged children they are committed to help.
My involvement was inspired by CARE’s core belief of providing children with the tools to fight poverty through their application of learnt trades and skills, which can give them the opportunity to lead financially independent lives.
Last year as you may already know, I took part along with another 8 of CARE Youth’s members in a mammoth challenge that involved driving over 1800 km across India in 3 autorickshaws. This has to be the most amazing, eye opening experience of my life so far!
The journey leading up to the trip was the better part of one and a half years. We held many fundraising events from a black tie dinner and dance, car boot sales, concerts as well as going on multiple live radio interviews and many more… including “shaving my head”!
Through these events I have learnt and developed myself as a better person. I am now much more confident when speaking in public, after having done many speeches at some of the fundraisers.
Through the “Rickshawalas” project, I got to visit some of the centers that CARE supports. While spending time in Bhuj and Manali, I had the chance to see how the money is being spent – putting smiles on the children’s faces! It made me realise that you can be happy and content by appreciating the basic things in life. At home we have computers and video games; all they have is a dusty open ground and a few stones – yet they seem to be happier than most of the western world.
The feeling you get seeing these children succeed and develop is addictive! To think that they were once slum children on the streets of India and now they are getting an education and can read, write and count.
All it takes is a couple of hours every so often to give your time in raising money and awareness to change so many lives. We can all do it, and I recommend everyone to give it a go and see how self rewarding it is as well as helping to make a change.
If you would like to get involved and make a difference in these childrens lives then please contact CAREyouth@CAREducation.org
Our next challenge is to climb the worlds largest free standing mountain – Mount Kilimanjaro!
Maybe you could be sharing these life changing experiences too in the near future?
By Kushan Shah