She was one of the first kids to run up to me with a big smile and shake my hand as I entered my centre for the first time. Since then I have gotten to know all the other kids too, but she will always remain special to me.
She is kind, caring, loving and STRONG. Yes, I used the word strong to describe a 9 year old. A few weeks ago, she received a call from her mother cancelling her visit the next day, I overheard her say “Its okaaaay mummy!” and hang up.
She returned with tears in her eyes. I noticed them and asked if she needed a small break to compose herself or if she wanted to play a game before returning to her studies. She hastily wiped her tears, looked up at me and said, “No akka (elder sister) I’m fine. How are you?”.
Having been an extremely adamant and stubborn child, my parents have told me numerous stories of my crazy behavior and tantrums. This small incident made me realise how much I take things for granted in my life. The constant love and attention my parents give me isn’t something I usually give a second thought to. This child made me feel so unbelievably lucky and ashamed of my past behavior. In a situation where any other child would’ve cried and thrown a big tantrum, she handled it all with such maturity. I admire her strength and happy go lucky attitude so much.
Apart from their love for kids and wanting to make a difference, I know for a fact that every volunteer at U&I has their very own kid that made them realize that they have so much to learn from these little children and it is what keeps them coming back every week!