By Volunteer Barsha Bharati, FHI Bhubaneswar
Children are very sensitive to their environment. Childhood is a crucial period to shape personalities. Slowly, they become capable of making their own decisions. They can differentiate between right and wrong. Their upbringing gives them moral strength and teaches them how to behave in society. If children are not in the right hands or exposed to the dark side of society during the early age, then this social dogma damages their soul. It makes them vulnerable to those social evils. To curb such social evils like casteism, gender discrimination and racial abuse, which have been a failure as its ingrained into a person for years if not decades, we have to prepare our children. But how? How do we teach children who are too young to understand the complexities of these social evils?
We have to include some simple themes and tasks into the functioning of FHI and their events. It will not only convey a positive message but also boost their ethics.
Children imitate us. So all the volunteers should not talk to any child or among themselves using profanities and problematic language. We may talk like that with children but we do sometimes with our friends like that, which is not right.
We should look at the environment of the places where we are conducting our events. If we find anything that may be harmful or be a red flag for the development of the children. then we should report to the concerned authority.
During our visit, we can find out if any children are bullied and why they are bullied. We can make the bullies understand how bad it feels, if not directly, but by stories.
Children love listening to stories. We can conduct an activity on the theme in the form of storytelling and let the children tell us stories from their observations. It will help us to know their thought patterns. We can help them guide their thoughts in the right direction.
Just like storytelling, we can include a theme like creative writing, which will indirectly help children to express themselves. Also, we can select a topic which is relevant to social evils, and let them write and express.
Through the theme art, music and theatre, volunteers can show a play or a short movie for children to leave an impact in young minds. After that, we can ask them what they learn from it.
We can show pictures of great men and women, who have significant contributions in building not only our country but also the world. We inspire young minds by telling the life stories of the great ones.
We can make the children understand how every work is important, how every person has significance in our lives and to be grateful to everyone.
It will be better if a child psychiatrist will accompany us during events. Volunteers should seek the help of a psychiatrist, who is in our FHI family for their queries related to children.
Children are the messengers of love. With love and affection, we can water the seed inside them, which will grow to trees, spread their branches all over the world and fight against the social evils.
Fly higher India is the right platform to take these measures forward. Our events are very well planned and organized. We instill life skills through combined activities and fun. Our monthly projects will definitely help the children to stand out as responsible adults. They will make the world judge them by the content of their characters, not by caste, creed and colour.