Unless you are residing under a ginormous rock, you HAD to have noticed a bunch of teens running around in colour-of-organization t-shirts selling stickers, flowers, etc. Haven’t seen them? Aww, don’t worry. Give it a month. By then you’ll have seen enough of these kids, paid for about a gazilion charities and would have decided to it would be better if youdid live under a rock. There’s a fundraiser almost every FREAKING week now! Social Work Organizations are growing out like mushrooms (as pointed out by Azmain bhai –> http://www.umnotablogger.com/misc/co…-disguise.html). Giving some of us teens a more ‘valid’ excuse for hanging out with our buds, and to some others, a new addition to the list of things ‘my-mom-won’t-let-me-do’.
There’s a fundraiser almost every FREAKING week now! Sad, isn’t it? Something as big and important as social work has been turned into just another worthless teen gathering for ‘addazzzz’ and ‘pinikkkzzz’! I don’t know what you’re definition of social work is, mate. Because what you do is NOT social work.
Sad, isn’t it? Something as big and important as social work has been turned into just another worthless teen gathering for ‘addazzzz’ and ‘pinikkkzzz’. I can almost see you kids roaring with rage, “I care about my country!” Well, sure you do. I suppose the shisha bars/fast food places after the event is also caring about our country, right? And a new facebook album must help feed so many hungry children, right? I don’t know what you’re definition of social work is, mate. Because what you do is NOT social work.
Don’t take it in the wrong sense. I’m not saying every freaking one of you are wannabe-social workers, I’ve seen plenty (okay, few) teens really wanting to help. What is up with all these fundraisers by selling stuff, getting people to sign a stupid piece of paper so they’ll give taxes (I mean, wtf? You can’t be THAT naive), distributing leaflets about traffic safety (Newsflash! Most of our population is illiterate!). And I don’t see no kids benefiting from your matching outfits, what’s the point? Maybe few of these organizations are legit (JAAGO), but what about the rest? Do you know where their money goes? Better question, do you even care?
Don’t take it in the wrong sense. I’m not saying every freaking one of you are wannabe-social workers, I’ve seen plenty (okay, few) teens really wanting to help.
To those of who will ask – ‘what can I do?’ There isn’t much option in Bangladesh – ‘we have to make do with whatever we can’. Social work can be boring – ‘why not have some fun while we’re at it? Stop being so uptight!’ First of all, my narrow minded sweethearts – there are PLENTY of social work that won’t involve selling stickers. Social work / Community service, whatever you want to call it – doesn’t have to be about taking kids out on a fun day out, or feeding poor people for a day. Have you wondered what happens to them for rest of the year? Who’s going to stop them from starving for the next 364 days? Don’t you think doing something to help establish one family for their whole life, is better than feeding a million families for one day? Social work is valued when it has an impact on the society. One day of fun or food isn’t going help anyone. Not permanently, anyway. Think bigger. You don’t have to be affliated with an organization to actually help the people of your country.
So you want to know what YOU can do. Why don’t 20 of you and your friends donate 100 each to buy a poor man a rickshaw, he can make a living out of it for him and his family.
The definition of social work has changed so much to all of you. I can give an example to all of you about some small cases of social work, and you would be scoffing. “That’s not social work!”Then you tell me, what is? I can see your faces going blank. No surprise, there. As for example, I would like to point to my mom. She financially helps one cardiac patient every year. She isn’t doing it for God’s blessing, being an ardent atheist, and of course she isn’t doing it for a certificate and nor for publicity. In fact, I believe she’s going to punch me for actually mentioning this in my article. But I’m just saying, I’m proud of her. Maybe it’s one person a year, but their lives are being changed forever.
Think that the writer is a democrat or a crazy woman? Another UNAB’er has actually found UCD 2011 a life-changing experience and thinks that you should join in on the frenzy. Read about his experience here!
So you want to know what YOU can do. Why don’t 20 of you and your friends donate 100 each to buy a poor man a rickshaw, he can make a living out of it for him and his family. Why not financially support one child, till he finishes his college education – I’m sure he/she can make something out of their life afterwards. It doesn’t have to be poor people. Why not help that weak student pass his exams? Or buy a disabled child a wheel chair? Ever been to Thalassemia Clinic? Rewind, do you know thalassemia is? It’s a blood disorder that makes abnormal form of haemoglobin. So yes, I once visited a Thalassemia Clinic as a part of a social work project. The sight could have brought even the coldest person to tears. Little, adorable children who look so fragile come up to you and ask, “Apu, I have thalaseemia. Will donate some blood for me?” or “Apu, did you donate blood here. Thank you.”
These kids who have to keep fighting these genetic diseases for the rest of their lives, need 2-3 bags of blood every month. This gets kind of hard for the families to afford. Their fragile smiles and innocent faces make you want to cry. It makes you feel almost helpless that you can’t make things right for them. None of it was their fault; they are just living with it. And they never forget to appreciate blood donors. If your parents allow you to (and you’re over 18), I suggest you do something to help these kids. The smile on their faces is worth so much more than any certificate.
I can see readers, turning away. I’m sorry for getting sappy. The thing about social work is, it gets all these emotions running high. I’ve never seen any of the so-called fund raisers feeling anything remotely close. In fact, I’ve seen heinious people – who have even stolen money from the amounts they’ve raised. To you, I have got nothing to say – you cost a street child a meal or a treat they never had. I’m sure you could’ve sacrificed whatever the hell you were going to do with that money (cellphone credit, KFC, shisha), considering your mom and dad would pay you anyway.
This is for those of you who are willing to join organization based Community Clubs. Yes, you’ll get a certificate (That’s the first question that pops to your mind, doesn’t it?). And yes, these certificates have much more value than any of your one-day event certificates for XYZ organization. Though, I have to warn you – that you have to be a regular service provider, throughout the year.
International organizations like Leo Club (the youth sector of world renouned Lions Club) hold community service events like ‘Plant-a-tree’ and even eye camps. There’s also the Rotary Club, holding similar community service events. You might want to check them out, if you’ve got an yearning for social work that constitutes, much more than just ‘socializing’.
[Side note: Leo Club holds a 3 day camp in various parts of Bangladesh after a year full of servicing! That’s fun social event for you.]
As usual I’ll end my article with an advice. I hope my opinion has had an impact on you, and made you want to reallyhelp. Even if one person sees his way and changes to really help the people, it would be better than having 50,000 volunteers on the streets asking for money.
Stop painting the streets in colors. Do something that actually matters.
The opinions expressed by the writer is purely her own and is not shared by this syndicate, and she says that she doesn’t really care if you’re offended.