As a volunteer, one might or might not have some experience working with individuals with special needs, however the qualities that are truly imperative include enthusiasm, imagination, commitment and energy! It would be beneficial to both, the Mann students as well as the volunteer if the latter could commit to at least three months of volunteering, however, more importantly, he/she must be flexible to work with others in a variety of circumstances and must be able to work with a diverse set of individuals/groups.
As a volunteer, one would be expected to:
- facilitate classroom activities and organize material under the direction of the supervising teacher
- provide instruction to and monitor (under the supervision of a teacher) the students in a variety of individual/group settings
- assist with loading and unloading students on the bus and with transporting them in and around school/on field trips
- assist with pre-lunch and lunch activities
- perform clerical tasks (making photocopies, filing etc.) to help the teacher get instructional material ready
By becoming a part of the Mann Family as a volunteer, one would be aiding the holistic development of intellectually disabled individuals, by largely helping to improve their self-image and self-esteem. The eventual outcome towards which the volunteer will be contributing, in whichever capacity, is paving the path for a bright future for these special adults and helping them live lives of dignity.
I had a great time volunteering at Mann. Though it was a bit difficult for me to travel to Santacruz but seeing the kids over there wave at me when I reached there made it all wothwhile. Everyone at Mann from the teachers to the students is extremely welcoming. The biggest lesson that I learnt was that the students might be called special for maybe many reasons but my interpretation of it would be that they have so much love to give that most people can’t and that too without expecting anything in return.They are indeed very special! Though I volunteered only for a few months what I got was much more. I am really grateful that I had the chance to be with such blessed souls,even if it was for some time.
Mann happened to me in an amazingly unexpected way & i can’t be grateful enough for that. When i first heard of Mann, i was so intrigued by its name and the concept of its being that volunteering was an instant thought to get associated with it.
My first day, I was extremely nervous but the teachers & especially the students of Mann were so welcoming & accommodating that it almost felt like home & more like a family each passing day. To me, students here are extremely special because the little thoughtful things that i learnt from them & about them, not only helped me in understanding them better but also led to my evolvement as a human being at every possible level. And this experience is indeed the one that i’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
It’s been 5 months since I first visited the Mann centre at Santacruz and the past few months have been blissful. I work as a Content Writer with Mann. Within this time, I’ve met so many beautiful individuals through interviews, be it the students now employed by various cafes or shared working spaces as well as their employers and colleagues. The ex-students that I meet speak very highly of the teachers and volunteers at Mann and recall their days fondly. Beverly and her team have been extremely supportive,guiding and co-operative and help me balance volunteering along with my long work hours. I hope I can be associated with Mann for a very long time, put in more effort and time and always be a part of this loving family.
Friday mornings have never been the same again..Volunteering with Mann feels like coming home to a safe space, a space where there are no pretenses or a certain way to be, a space that is beautifully vulnerable and authentic, a space where we teach each other things we know; me, the ways of the world them, the right way to live in the world…grateful, resilient, brave, honest, unapolgetically flawed and most of all with a love that knows no bounds or conditions!
I started volunteering at MANN when I was going through a very difficult phase; having lost both my parents I had a constant feeling of WHY ME!!! Afshan Virani who introduced me to MANN said ‘just go, all you need to give is your time’ but she failed to mention that I will walk out with much much more emotionally and mentally. My question hasn’t changed but I have found my answer to WHY ME!! Because only I can. As soon as you enter the place the whole atmosphere is so positive, no I take that back each and every person is so positive making it worth every second. Unfortunately due to work I am unable to go visit but I wish the best for each and every one of them.
Volunteering with Mann has been a very pleasant and joyous journey. The management staff here is extremely helpful and motivated to do good for the students. Personally for me volunteering here is a great stress buster as the students always greet you with happy welcoming faces. Moreover, conducting any sort of activities including educational turned out to be fun, owing to the energetic students and staff. Now that my time volunteering at Mann has come to an end, I will surely miss it and all the good vibes 🙂
I had the pleasure of joining Mann only 3 months back and yet somehow, I feel like I’ve always belonged here. It is a beautiful place filled with beautiful souls, all working for a beautiful cause. Everyone here is extremely kind-hearted, passionate and hard-working and they make me be the best version of myself. It’s not just an NGO I work for, it’s my family. It’s home.
As an origami tutor, the most satisfying feeling is when your students start to love the art of paper folding as much as you do. The students at MANN have given me this pleasure and proven to be at par with any other regular student much beyond my expectation. They make me proud with their enthusiasm to learn more everyday. The staff at MANN is absolutely wonderful and is doing their best to help the students reach their full potential. I am glad to be part of the MANN family.
Working at MANN has been the most assimilating experiences for me, I not only enjoyed working there but also grew as a person, the jovial atmosphere and encouraging personnel is what makes MANN a wholesome experience and a platform for beginners. I was only to privileged to thoroughly enjoy my internship and connect with a whole new world.
Working with Mann for the past 8 months has really been fulfilling and life changing. The kids here are definitely special; they taught me not only how to enjoy the simplest pleasures of life but also the joys of human relations.The positive attitude, patience and selfless love of the teachers here is amazing and worth appreciating. I am glad to say that I am taking back much more from the institute than I had hoped.
Working at Mann has made understand, appreciate and cherish difference. Spending time with them has taught me a great deal about handling difficulties. I was able to form meaningful connections and I loved working here because it made me happy that I was able to help. Mann is doing a great job and I’d love to volunteer again!
Before I came to Mann, I only knew of disorders or disabilities through various articles and books I had read. Hence, my knowledge was only theoretical, with no actual experience to supplement it. These 3 months have so far been the best months for me. The endearing people at Mann have taught me how to live life simply and embrace the joy in small things. What I miss the most is being greeted with cheerful faces and a “Good morning, Didi.” I’ve learnt a lot, personally and professionally, from Mann, be it from the helpers, teachers, the students or my mentors. It was a once in a lifetime experience. My time at Mann is something I’ll always cherish and look back upon with fond memories.
Working at a Mann was a really unique experience for me as it was my first time working with differently abled children. I never expected to get to be involved in their daily lives at Mann and to interact with them at such a personal level. I’d like to think I made a difference by being a part of their lives for this short time span and I would be glad to go back to work there again.
“My experience with Mann has been enriching, satisfying, engaging and life changing. I share an emotional bond of unditional love with each and every student and staff member at Mann. I am proud to be a part of the Mann Family.”
“The time I spend at Mann by far surpasses my vision of what my future at Mann would be. I salute their commitment and wish and pray that the Mann Family continues to grow and make the society a better place.”
“Initially i was apprehensive about the thought of volunteering my time with adults with special needs as I had no experience with them and I was sure that i would not be of any help. The students of Mann helped me to overcome this and now I cannot think of a day without Mann. It has become an inseparable part of my life.”
“Working with these special individuals, who are such a cheerful lot, gives me immense pleasure. I have not only taught, but learnt to appreciate the simple pleasures of life. It is truly something to be part of their beautiful world.”
“MANN, as the name implies, has touched my heart and mind. The children here are a tremendous joy to be with. I assist in the yoga class and also help them with various activities at the center. I can only say one thing eventually – SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT!”
“Many people spend their whole lives wondering what their purpose is,whether they have a greater calling, something bigger than themselves,well I did too until I stepped into Mann. Now I know the answer each time I look into the eyes of these precious ones. Helping them reach their fullest potential is my purpose.”
Assists the Students in the activities like indoor games, using the iPad computers, reading.
“I have been associated with from past 7-8 months, it has been an amazing experience and I look forward to go and work at Mann. Staff at Mann is also very cooperative and would sit and explain about each kid and their level in knowledge of mathematics and it helps her in knowing how to approach each child.
Assist the Students in the vocational activities at the Wellness Center. “It has been great to be a volunteer at mann. In the beginning after a few months after my interaction with the students I was amazed to see the resilience and patience and empathy shown by each one working with Mann.
I now understand why these children are called differently abled. They have tremendous strength and tenacity to hang on in difficult times and are more readily available to help others. I often feel that it is we who are mentally not able to handle ourselves and not them. I felt myself grow as a human being and am learning a whole lot of values from the Mann family. I look forward to being in their family in future too. Lots of luck and good wishes to everyone at mann.”
Assists the Students in the academic activities at the Wellness Center.
Mann is the most endearing and fulfilling experience i’ve had in life. I truly enjoy every moment that I spend with these kids as I find them no different from other kids. They are so full of life,effervescent and a pleasure to work upon. The selfless love, dedication of the teachers, other staff and the co founders of Mann Ms.Beverly and Ms. Gitanjali is priceless and unmatchable. Trust me or not these kids deserve a lot more from life and “Mann” is definitely the right answer for them. It has given many a new lease of life.
Assists the Students in the activities academic activities at the Wellness Center.
“I have really enjoyed my time with the founders, students and teachers at Mann! I also participated with them in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon this January. It, was loads of fun cheering, seeing them finish and receive medals at the end. Thank you to the American Women’s Club, Bombay for this opportunity to work at Mann.”
Videographer for Mann’s Annual Event There are very few things that have the power to completely transform your mood into something good and positivity is one of them. When I visited Mann for the first time, it was the positive atmosphere there that made my day much better and me happier. I knew I would do anything to be a part of this wonderful atmosphere. Everyone from the trustees, teachers and helping staff to the students, is amazing.
Photographer for Mann’s Annual Event
It was an overwhelming experience with a healthy and extremely cheerful environment. Volunteering at Mann was great, and in so many ways helpful. I am definitely looking for further opportunities from Mann.
Photographer for Mann’s Annual Event
My volunteering experience at Mann was exhilarating. I loved the annual function and thoroughly enjoyed my task, of capturing memories at the event. It was a crisp learning experience
Photographer for Mann’s Annual Event
Volunteering at Mann was an overwhelming experience for me. Seeing the students perform filled me with joy. I highly appreciate the efforts everyone takes to make these individuals lives great. May every member at Mann keep up with their noble task and carry on with their efforts to make the world a better place. Thank you for giving me a chance for associating my name with Mann.
Assists the students in the activities like using the iPad and reading.
“My experience at Mann was amazing, I only wish I met you sooner and could have volunteered for longer!! I think what you do is AMAZING. Really well structured environment with educational yet fun activities. Thank you so much for everything.”