Weaving together Raju’s story ~
Collaborative Post put together by volunteers Siddharth, Ankit, Ravina, Shritama, Jay, Mitali, Aashi, Barsha, Sharada, Devashree, Himani, Adhithya & Sauvik from across India
Raju has been unable to cope with lessons at school, as he learns slowly. The lockdown and remote learning has exacerbated these issues. Raju is always sad and hurt due to his low performance, poor remarks, and his fellow classmates’ taunts and teases.
But one day after his school reopened, there was a workshop in his school by Team Fly Higher (FHI). That day started as a regular one for Raju but when he reached school, his mind was boggled when he saw the excitement level of his fellow classmates, they were all different that day. Filled with zest, some were huddled up in a corner trying to figure out the treasure hunt clue; while some were trying to revamp a mug into a pen stand. Raju’s heart smiled noticing the change in his school’s air. He instantly joined other students in these activities. He cheered, laughed, and soon realized he enjoyed collaborating with his classmates. Raju could finally relate and resonate with his classmates more and even the teachers could see the change in his behavior. When the volunteers discussed the learnings of various activities with the students, Raju thought that learning could also be fun. Not only did Raju realise the importance of collaborating and interacting with fellow classmates, but he also got a chance to explore his own creative side. Now, he did not feel hurt due to his poor performance in academics, because through FHI he could see and realise that there is always a creative way to learn things. To remember and understand the concepts, he used diagrams and story formats which helped him to answer correctly in exams. He also started writing and reciting poems to express his thoughts on several social occasions in school. His teacher praised him and let him participate in the state-level creative writing competition where he bagged a prize too! Raju now became more confident and self-aware, happily participating in all FHI events to learn something new every time.
Raju was once asked about his favourite part in the FHI events he has attended. The little eyes sparkled immediately and said, “FHI-Book Joy”! The excitement in him couldn’t wait to share the reason behind it before asking why and narrated a small incident. He said, “I received a book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in my first event. I read the first ten pages and was hooked to the entire series. I discovered that Harry is an orphan living with his abusive aunt and uncle. On Harry’s eleventh birthday, he discovered his talents and enrolled at Hogwarts School which completely changed his life”. Raju could relate to Harry Potter’s life and he started believing in the power of miracles and magic. Raju believes that FHI is the Hogwarts in his life where he is able to unleash his true potential. Out of all the great impacts that FHI left on him, the most valuable to him, among them was Believing in Oneself. And he realised how this works so magically, because when he started believing in himself, everyone around him started believing in him. His faith in himself and in his abilities grew deeper and stronger. While contemplating his journey with FHI, his little bright mind recalled a beautiful line from another book he had received, “When things change inside you, things change around you”.
Raju was always eager now to see the FHI volunteers every month. He realised how life had become easier for him through the skills taught by volunteers. Be it communicating, solving any problem or even taking care of mother earth. Through FHI, he learnt skills that were never taught in school before.
Just like Raju, FHI has inspired a lot of other younglings. It has taught them some real life skills and aided them to believe in themselves. FHI indeed is a magical haven for kids as it assists and guides those young minds to find magic within their own selves.
Raju with his friends took the initiative of starting their own FHI school club under the guidance of the FHI team. They started teaching those valuable skills to their juniors which they learnt in FHI events. Also they started their mentorship program where each junior class student was assigned an individual mentor trained by the FHI team. These mentors gave them personal guidance and also conducted various counselling sessions from time to time. This collaboration of both FHI and students was appreciated by the school principal. Government also decided to felicitate FHI with an award for being the best NGO in INDIA.