Time for a high-five: flying feathers of FHI
By Volunteer Jay K Laddha, FHI Ahmedabad
“The soul is healed by being with children.”
― Fyodor Dostoevsky
India today is a cauldron of possibilities. It’s a moving mountain of progress embraced by the rivers of democracy. Within 75 years of independence, it has become the world’s fifth-largest economy with a growing middle class, a young and educated workforce, and a rapidly expanding digital economy. Yet, despite being one of the fastest-growing economies, the societal reach of economic progress in India has been remarkably limited. The economic growth has been protruding with little thought given to health, education, and a disarmingly foggy understanding of human capabilities, resulting in a dismal record for long-term social infrastructure and human development. And that’s where arises the significance of life skills, skill-building, and by extension, a non-profit like Fly Higher, in a nation as young and aspirational as ours.
Started in June 2018, Fly Higher World is the brainchild of Vishal Mimani and Preetham Murva with the common goal to instill 21st-century skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, digital literacy, etc. in children from disadvantaged backgrounds. They started their journey with a small team by organizing an event in a Government Primary School in Bangalore. Today, after five years, it has grown multifold – 14 cities, and 1200+ volunteers, touching the lives of over 5000 children, covering a wide range of activities, including awareness sessions, mindfulness and recreational life skills themed activities and games.
Volunteers helping children, kids rejoicing in games, showcasing creativity, happy and proud faces – FHI’s social media is full of their event testimonials. Every event’s theme is based on a particular life skill. City volunteers decide the event coordinators, who plan the event at care homes/Govt. schools after considering the ideas and suggestions of the volunteer group. Through engaging energetic volunteers for numerous events across the country, and its mentorship initiatives, FHI reinforces children’s attitudes, making them realize that aspiration is the language of desire and life skills, the grammar of upliftment.
Widening the societal reach of economic progress through the medium of non-profit vehicles is not new. For instance, NGOs in Bangladesh have made significant collective contributions through microcredit services and social mobilization, among many more things. That’s why it boasts social indicators that are superior to other Asian states. FHI, through its unique pedagogy of activity-based learning and mentorship initiatives, is creating a social platform with the fundamental belief “Skills for All, All for Skills.” It further aims to partner with organizations across various spectrums, activate CSR for volunteering, funding, and increased visibility, and build libraries in existing orphanages, shelter homes and schools for the underprivileged – augmenting the country’s social capital, little by little, step by step. After all, even the sky is not the limit when we fly high!