Camp Diaries - The Perfect Destination that Transforms Children’s Lives (We have a surprise for you at the end of the story!) #ImpactLives
To join us as a volunteer in one of our cities, apply on the website - campdiaries.org
What separates one child from another? Why should some children have it all, while the others be denied of all those tools that can empower them?
Yes, there are some unfortunate students, who have the skills, but not the means to harness their talent.
Saraswati was no different. She was in the 7th Grade and a good student. She had many dreams that she wasn’t sure would ever get realised. Why? Because her parents didn’t have the kind of funds to send her to the best of the best schools or extra classes.
Imran was an angry kid. He was older than most of his classmates. Bad grades and angry outbursts defined him.
Simi’s (name changed) father took his own life. The young girl became depressed and lost interest in everything.
Sam’s (name changed) father was an alcoholic who tragically passed away before he could reform his ways. Sam was devastated and he withdrew into a shell.
What was common among these four kinds? Well, they were all in the 7th Grade of a government school in Hyderabad and were devoid of the exposure that good private schools provide their students.
Then came a young visionary who wanted to teach skills with value. He wanted to help these children find the passion that would transform their lives. He gave up a lucrative job in the IT sector. He forego the chance of joining some of the country’s most prestigious business schools- the IIMs, to take up a fellowship programme with Teach for India. He formed a deep bond with the children and realised how their education needed a complete overhaul. That catalytic reformer was Milind Chandwani.
Change is a given. However, to make a constructive change was his mission!
When Milind Chandwani and Camp Diaries came into these children’s lives in 2017, they were in a hopeless state. A lot of them were either broken, depressed, alienated or emotionally drained. Milind and his team of enthusiastic volunteers began interacting with these children, understood their interests and encouraged them to learn new skills.
Camp Diaries organizes weekend camps over 6 weekends and tries to impact lives by making children independent learners in one extracurricular and one co-curricular activity chosen by the student. Extracurricular activities range from dance, drama, music, art and craft. The co-curricular activities explore a vast range stuff like brain games, computer coding, public speaking and crazy science experiments. Camp Diaries then organises a showcase on the last day of the camp where the children share with pride what they learnt in the camp sessions, for the parents and outside people.
The teachings of each activity are goal and value-oriented. While the children enjoy the exposure, Milind ensures that it also widens their horizon.
And this is how Camp Diaries transformed lives…
Saraswati did phenomenally well in the entrance examination for the reputed Aga Khan Academy. She impressed the panel to such an extent in the personal interview that the academy accepted Saraswati with a scholarship of 120%. Saraswati credits her remarkable success to the confidence she has gained through the skills she had learnt at the weekend camps with Camp Diaries. Today, Saraswati walks tall among her new friends at Aga Khan Academy. She can match their skills not only in academic but also in dancing, dramatics and public speaking.
When Imran attended the Camp diaries, he didn’t realise that those 6 weekends would transform him. He not only conquered his temper but has understood how to use his age to his advantage. From someone who barely passed, Imran now scores 80% marks without much trouble. Not only this, he understood how Camp Diaries had changed his life.
He wanted others in his community to enjoy the same benefits.
He initiated Children’s Camp Diaries(CCD) which Milind wholeheartedly supported. Imran with his team of 13 volunteers (all Grade 7 students) have already shared their joy of skill-sharing with almost 500 children so far! This was a feat in itself. Children took up the social responsibility of sharing their learning with other children.
Milind arranged a one-on-one mentor for Simi who helped her find herself again after her father’s tragic loss. Her expertise in craft and science has boosted her confidence and she performed great academically as well.
Milind became Sam’s mentor and stayed with him at his house for days until he was able to cope with his father’s demise. He showed an interest in beatboxing and dramatics. You can see him share his joy of beatboxing on Instagram!
These are just a handful of children that Milind and his team of volunteers have enhanced through Camp Diaries. We have little Taqueen who was inspired by Milind to take parents’ classes and teach them basic English, Mathematics along with life skills training. The 25 parents Children’s Camp Diaries (Taqueen and her gang of like-minded students) worked with, can now do mobile banking, buy train tickets on their own, pay their bills over the phone and so much more! Taqueen is a leader in the making!
“Change is possible when you jump into the puddle and clean it.” - Milind Chandwani
When the team of Camp Diaries was made aware of rising alcoholism and domestic violence in a certain community/neighbourhood, they roped in the children of the area to do a street play. The play touched and broke hearts. 18 alcoholics gave up drinking and are trying to do right by their families.
Working as volunteers with Camp Diaries, many of the volunteers have also evolved as people. The organization is here to change mindsets and build leaders.
Acknowledging the 5000+ lives that Milind and his team touched across 4 cities in 1.5 years through the initiative Camp Diaries and his impressive stint as Principal/School Leader of a free English medium secondary PPP school, Milind was invited as a Real Hero to be a part of Roadies Real Heroes on MTV. Milind gladly accepted the invitation as it would give an exposure to Camp Diaries and his vision. The feat is big, but Milind remains humble and focused on improving the lives of underprivileged children.
“Social work is about creating change makers.” - Milind Chandwani
Milind was able to leave a lasting impression on the minds of the youngsters with his television appearance on the youth platform MTV. Camp Diaries can now boast of 12,000+ volunteer applications across 50 cities. Milind and his core team (all volunteers) have taken upon themselves to make Camp Diaries available in 18 cities(Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Indore, Dehradun, Faridabad, Bhopal, Shimla, Guwahati, Chennai, Lucknow, Vadodara) out of the 50, this year. The team aspires to eventually reach the schools in the rural areas as well through these 18 cities. Each quality camp that also provides after support to 5% most promising students of each activity, will cost over Rs 2.1 lakh per city for a year. To reach the required goal of Rs 35 lakhs, Camp Diaries has decided to come up with this online fundraiser. The money will be utilized for:
Various Celebrities have volunteered to meet the Top 30 donors and 6 Lucky Draw Winners over high tea as a gesture of appreciation.
(Please leave a message after donation with your name and city for being considered for this opportunity! You can also share a beautiful message for our work! We will get in touch with you in 3-4 weeks! You will get an opportunity to meet some of these celebrities in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, etc.)
Rannvijay Singha, Nikhil Chinapa, Neha Dhupia, Prince Narula, Raftaar, Sreesanth Nair, Zain Imam, Avika Gor, Shaleen Malhotra, Reem Shaikh, Sara Khan , Pratik Gandhi, Dharmesh, Mahir Pandhi, Vijay Kumeria, Manish Raisinghan, Nikhil Siddhartha, Raj tarun, Tejaswi Madivada, Aarushi Dutta and many others...
Even if you can contribute the amount you spend on a meal outside, a movie ticket, a new shirt or a trip somewhere, you can make a huge difference to the lives of those underprivileged children who deserve a chance to pursue their passion. Join real-life hero Milind Chandwani and the team of Camp Diaries change the mindset of the next generation by supporting the mission to build leaders of a happy and accomplished future generation. Donate and/or Volunteer! #ImpactLives
To join us as a volunteer in one of our cities, apply on the website - campdiaries.org
To find out more about Camp Diaries visit:
WEBSITE: http://campdiaries.org/ ----You can also sign up as a volunteer on the website!
MEDIA and TALKS:
Milind's JOSH TALK - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PPC8NAMQV4&t=445s
Milind's TEDx Talk - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdVQYHPAvCo&t=897s
The Hindu article - https://www.thehindu.com/society/camp-diaries-ngo-hyderabad-milind-chandwani/article29602972.ece
Edex article - https://www.edexlive.com/people/2019/aug/20/how-milind-chandwani-is-giving-govt-school-kids-the-chance-to-fall-in-love-with-camps-7543.html
The Logical India article - https://thelogicalindian.com/exclusive/camp-diaries-ngo/
Deccan Chronicle article - https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/viral-and-trending/050517/equipping-the-poor-with-skills.html
The Better India article - https://www.thebetterindia.com/101605/camp-diaries-teach-for-india-chennai-bengaluru-hyderabad/
Telangana Today article - https://telanganatoday.com/superhero-of-the-underprivileged