For some people giving back feels good and for others making an impact out of the goodness of their hearts is all they care about.
I believe there is a number of reasons or factors that motivates an individual to begin volunteering.
Unlike other aspects of your life you can not control, volunteering allows you to choose where and how to make a real difference. If you really care about something in life then it would be very easy for you to get inspired with your cause. Also it will be very rewarding to see you are making a real and direct impact.
Volunteering for me started many years ago when I found myself teaching children in a very poor and small village outside Lima (Peru) 🇵🇪 call San Juan de Lurigancho.
After a few weeks in the “job”, I realized then and there that my health improved quite a lot even though I was surrounding by very little, mainly poverty and disease. But what little these people had they were very happy and their happiness brushed off on me through my volunteering.
I felt physically healthier, happier and with no stress because I was also surrounded by hundreds of very happy children most of whom never saw a computer before.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation in INDIA
This August-September I had the pleasure to travel to India with the aim to help one of the top NGO for children in India. Let me tell you briefly how I came across this amazing charity organization first.
Five months before traveling to India I was doing a PMD at IESE Business School in Barcelona when an extraordinary person call Sundeep Talwar (Chief Marketing Officer at The Akshaya Patra Foundation in INDIA ) gave us an amazing presentation about what he did for Akshaya Patra and helping children in India. I listened to Sundeep speak about how they were feeding children in India and his words gave me a chill all over my body.
Sundeep speech deeply impressed me and made a very positive impact on me that day in Barcelona and after in his lovely country so I would like to thank you. I will never ever forget it.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF), runs the world’s largest school lunch programme to end child classroom hunger & to support education. Their headquarters in Bengaluru (India) strives to eliminate classroom hunger by implementing the “Mid-Day Meal Scheme” in government schools and government-aided schools.
Alongside, Akshaya Patra also aims at countering malnutrition and supporting the right to education of socio-economically disadvantaged children.
Since 2000, Akshaya Patra has been concerting all its efforts towards providing fresh and nutritious meals to children on every single school day. There are continuously leveraging technology to multiply their reach. The state-of-the-art kitchens have become a subject of study and have attracted curious visitors from around the world. I had the chance to visit one of these kitchens and what I saw was mind blowing.
Their partnership with the Government of India and various State Governments, along with the constant support from businesses, individual donors, and well-wishers have helped then to grow from serving just 1,500 children in 5 schools in 2000 to serving 1.76 million children.
Today, Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest (not-for-profit run) Mid-Day Meal Programme serving wholesome food every school day to over 1.76 million children from 15,668 schools across 12 states in India.
Give back and make a difference
I had the pleasure to visit one of the schools supported by TAPF and spoke to their students. These kids are the planet’s most affectionate humans!. I have become very fond of them. However this is a place full of untold suffering and every kid is in need of help right now.
They are incredibly skinny. This is a fairly typical sight around here though. If there’s anything in this world skinner than an Indian child I would be afraid to see it. It frustrated me not being able to help all children.
In such an environment, it is maybe little shallow to be thinking only about where are you going to have your next wonderful meal with your best friends! but I truly believe that the happiest people are not those getting more but those giving more or needing less.
We all have some kind of skills from which someone else could benefit so please don’t be afraid and make a move in your community to put your unique skills toward helping others.
I had the intention to setup a blockchain platform to help them with the donations but I happily ended-up talking to children in a classroom and delivering the food to the schools this morning in a truck. The thing I love the most about working with NGOs is that I feel like a little kid in a candy shop because I can be involved in so many different areas.
That is how I know you would be very surprised to learn that by helping others you would be also helping yourself. For instance, I went to have a meeting with Mr. Vijay Kumar, head of IT department at TAPF, to see how we can help him with todays technology to bring their costs down. After all technology is my area of expertise.
Well, I got out of the meeting knowing so much about cutting cost around producing mid-day meal for children that it was mind blowing. They don’t need blockchain or fancy cloud computing stuff to produce proper and quality meals for children for under 0.20 cents of a dollar per meal. What they need is kindness, caring, understanding, love and team-work efforts and I have to tell you all of that they have in abundance!
So what would you like to be remembered for? Do you want to be remembered for what you have accomplished? (money, prestige, social status …) Not me!.
I would like to be remembered for who I have made better and for what I have given back … And giving back to our community has become one of my dreams and vision in life.
So How can you help?
As a company policy every year at JMG Virtual Consulting we all have to help a charity organization of our choice. Although there was a big financial cost for me and my company to come here to India I was paid in the kind of currency we all seem to have forgotten about.
I was paid in love and kindness from every single person at TAPF and the children they support. These children have a smile that could stop poverty. Some of the staff who work at TAPF now were kids once before and were fed by TAPF. The karma doing its magic: what goes around comes around, as we say in Ireland.
Anyway, I wish we could all unplug sometimes and get inside our own heads a little more often to open up our heart for other people, because the world needs you and it needs the things you carry within your heart. We were all designed to help and be kind to each other.
JMG Virtual Consulting would be donating 1% of its net annually income over the next 5 years. And you can also make a difference. Please click the bottom below and show your appreciation. Every little counts!.
Stay tuned! Thanks for giving back to the community. Oh yes, and out there we are all the same …