18 November 2018 marks the day when lunch was served to around 100 senior citizens, residing at the Saint Jean de Dieu Hospice. The visit epitomises the values of YUVA where volunteers and students of the YUVA Academy were brought together to engage in social work and community service.
The lunch mobilised individuals from different communities and age groups, embodying unique values and visions, to serve the same purpose: to give back to society. This diversity ensured the exposure of each participant to the less fortunate and also to other mindsets which, in turn, enabled the sharing of ideas. The team was motivated and enthusiastic which was significant for the event to run smoothly. Furthermore, lunch was also served to the staffs of YUVA as well as to the volunteers by the group itself where the individuals present became more acquainted to each other and bonded. Therefore, the lunch was a success because it achieved its goal, being to work together for the enjoyment of the residents of the Home while disregarding the social hierarchies.
On the other side, few shortcomings were observed during the event. Food trolleys were prepared to assist in the smooth distribution of food and a set number of volunteers present were assigned to each trolley. However, at the very beginning of the food distribution, the plan was no longer taken into consideration and few volunteers rendered to be without any specific task. The issue was solved later on once other tasks were found to be executed and the remaining volunteers got involved once again. When it comes to the fun activities organised to lighten the atmosphere, playing cards and dominoes were not sufficient because a few residents of the Home were unable to engage in such activities due to old age and physical disabilities. Therefore, adhering to a well-established plan and diverse fun activities were required for better results.
Following the success of the lunch, more opportunities can be anticipated for YUVA and its team. Due to the exposure to diverse cultures and age groups as well as the purpose of the event, in the future, more volunteers can be deployed from schools and colleges to awaken and be induced the love for social work and community service to ensure their emotional, physical and spiritual empowerment. Such events also serve as an opportunity for Mauritians to empower others who are bound to an unfortunate fate.
Few threats can be identified in regards to the smooth flow of the lunch. Given that volunteers are from all over the island, bad weather condition should be taken into consideration especially when no transport was provided. Regrouping different members of society can also pose threat to the success of such event since they may not have the same vision and therefore challenge the goal to be achieved by the students of the YUVA academy. Concerning the remaining food, while it was distributed to the volunteers and staff of the Home, it could have been led to food wastage and therefore defies the values of YUVA.
Based on the success of the lunch as well as the opportunities it presents to the participants and residents of the Home, such gatherings are important to sensitise our youth, to learn from the elders and also to achieve YUVA’s goals.
ABDOOL SATAR TANWEER BANU
Student of Certificate II in LSC
School of Leadership & Development