However old one grows, the child in us remains forever. The Storyfied event 2017 brought out the child in everyone involved and was a massive resounding success involving thousands of volunteers and several hundred thousand children in just a span of three days. The event was organized on account of Youth for Seva’s decennial celebration and saw 7411 volunteers, including corporate volunteers, college students and others, narrating the chosen story to 157067 children across 882 schools, orphanages and learning centres. Children being our focus area, stories became the best way to connect with them and inspire them to strive for bigger dreams. It was conducted in several towns and cities across Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Odisha and Delhi. Inspired volunteers conducted the events even in Pune, Kochi, Nasik and spread the reach as far as Jakarta in Indonesia.
YFS published an illustrated story book for this purpose titled ‘Maha: The rainbow child’ based on the life of Mr P K Mahanandia, an Indian-born Swedish artist. The story was based on the theme of “Resilience” drawing inspiration from Mr. Mahanandia’s journey from a small tribal village in Odisha to becoming a world renowned artist. The stories were a testament to one man’s strong will and determination to follow his dreams and the success that follows every sincere effort. The idea was to motivate students to recover from failure and strive towards success.
The ripple effects of this volunteering movement spread far and wide. Volunteers churned up their creativity in making the stories more interesting for the children by including dance and music in their narration. Several kids were motivated to make their own drawings based on the story as well.
The event reached a new high when the story was aired live on Red FM (93.5) at Warangal. The intoxicating spirit of volunteering was evident when Arthi Anand, a resident of Jakarta, conducted a virtual storyfied event in Ananda Vidyalaya, Bengaluru. The reach spread further when a teacher got in touch with YFS Delhi team to conduct Storyfied in two branches of their school. Following this, they have also opened up a ‘Katha club’ in the schools to share more such motivational stories every month.
Mr. Mahanandia himself extended his support for the event through an encouraging post highlighting the importance of passion and inspiration in ones life. His call for more volunteers to join the movement definitely served its purpose as volunteers grew both in numbers and in their levels of motivation.
A true validation of efforts came when the Honourable Education Minister, Government of Gujarat, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama conveyed his words of appreciation and encouragement for the program.
Staying true to YFS’ vision of inclusive empowerment, Storyfied was conducted even in special schools for the hearing and speech impaired children like Hellen Keller Institute, Hyderabad with specialists narrating the stories in sign-language.
The volunteers were provided all the support required in terms of training them for the big day. Professional story tellers were brought in from other organizations to coach the volunteers in effective story telling techniques in several of the cities and towns.
The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all the children as well as the volunteers. Each person involved went back with a story of their own to share and fond memories to cherish of a day well spent.
Testimonials from Volunteers –
“There is no substitute to experience. Thanks Youth For Seva for giving us an opportunity to experience something unique and special.” – Amisha Patra, Faridabad
“..All the kids loved it and we enjoyed it a lot. Thank you so much for providing such an amazing opportunity. Please let me know about any other events in the future. I really want to be a part of the YFS family.” – Priyanka, Bengaluru
“The kids were very happy to be introduced to the main character Maha. They showed excitement and curiosity while the story advanced. The adventurous journey of Maha gave them a lot of questions but at the same time they were convinced that it is important to believe in oneself. They loved the childhood of Maha…” – Zelam Tambe, Vadodara
“A cool experience, perhaps the best of all I [have] had till now, the joy of making others smile is the best and I believe it’s going to [stay] with me till eternity. Hoping for more chances from YFS and a heartfelt thanks to YFS for the same. Eagerly waiting for many other opportunities.” – Shashank, Hubballi
Testimonial from Beneficiary –
“I learnt that when we do not see our past we can do anything. I liked the story very much. The didi and bhaiya did actions after every line. I want them to come again and tell a new story.” – Vandana Bhatt, Class 7 student from Faridabad