Written by Barkha
On finishing my Post Graduation in Social Work I joined the development sector with the naïve conviction that it consisted of only people who were well meaning. Soon enough this conviction was busted and I realized the multiple shades of grey. I was unable to cope with the harshness of the real world and went back into my cushioned comfort of academics. Soon that period was over too and I moved to Goa. It is here that I wrote to Bookworm for a three month volunteer time not knowing I would be writing this 12 months later and no longer only a volunteer!
I have always felt most comfortable in an open space which is why I wanted to be a part of MOP (Mobile Outreach Program) only for a long time. I was afraid I would be a complete misfit in a school system and a structured set up. I spent the initial month witnessing the amazing work and energies at St. Inez and Chimbel MOP sites, both of which were wonderful in different ways. The children were most lovely and the perseverance of the team was inspiring.
Gradually I was initiated into the school program and soon enough I had the opportunity to witness and learn from many people on the school program.
I have just completed a year at Bookworm. I have spent the last year with many amazing people from whom I have learnt many things.
I still remember meeting Sujata for the first time and feeling so unreal. Till today I am amazed at her positivity and the good she sees in all of us that we often forget. Her inner strength is admirable.
I have often been judgmental and more negative than positive but I feel that the energies at Bookworm have had just the best effects on me and I am beginning to see a little of the spark that Sujata sees in all of us.
I have worked very closely with Deepali on the school program and she has always been supportive and understanding keeping the vision of our work in mind. She has always been a patient guide to me.
I have worked on MOP with Melcom and I have learnt many ways of talking to and reaching out to children from him.
I have spent time with Niju on library related projects especially Fund raising and even MOP and I admire how he thinks of the little details till the very end.
Both Jewel and Analia are very helpful and have supported me in understanding many aspects of the program and working well in a team and teaching me that I must also adapt my ways to different people.
Priya has been warm and thoughtful in helping me orient myself with many things at Library.
When I first joined I spent some time with Sheena and I have to say her energy was completely contagious and we look forward to her return.
Priya Naik’s focused approach and timeliness was something I wanted to develop in my own working and while she no longer works on the team, we often draw on her memory at Bookworm.
What I have received at BW both in terms of experience and warmth cannot be easily explained in a few words. I know the following year will help me grow more as I continue to learn here. Thank you everyone for making me feel so welcome!