Sailing on the RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching)
Question: What measures higher and greater than being smart people?
Answer: Helping build a new generation of smart kids.
Question: How do you do this?
Answer: Help communities inspire, engage and educate children through the power of hands-on teaching.
Question: Is there someone to drive this effort in California?
Answer: YES. RAFT (www.raft.net Resource Area For Teaching) is a non-profit organization founded in 1994 with a vision to promote the simple, yet powerful concept of “Learning by doing”.
Question: How does SAP support this vision?
Answer: Under the initiative of SAP’s Month of Service, colleagues have volunteered and visited the Raft centers in Silicon Valley, helping up with several activities.
Did I get you interested? Now, please read on…
The day of 11/3/2015 started on a busy note for colleagues at Sunnyvale, but a very important task awaited them in the afternoon. About 35 volunteers from the Apps & CSE teams gathered at the RAFT center, Kern Ave, Sunnyvale very eager to help and do their part in transforming the learning environment for children.
Starting at 1pm, the group led by Sudheer Bhojwani and Aarathi Vidyasagar transformed the Volunteer room into a beehive of activity. After a brief introduction and training session of what to do, people divided into different groups and work tables.
Interesting tasks taken up included building Germination kits, Puff Rocket kits, inflating footballs etc. It was a throwback to days when we all built models for school projects and the friendly banter was a reflection of competition between work tables for maximum output and throughput. The burn-down on tasks was so good that the Raft representative was left trying to find newer work to give us. The energy level was so positive that none of the volunteers were even willing to take suggested water breaks and never left their tables until we literally ran out of newer material and kits to assemble or pack.
Upon completion of kits assembly, most of them were marked and packed for handling and stowage. With the practiced pace of professionals the portfolio of expected work was completed in a heart beat and left the team wanting and eager to do more.
Eventually when all the tasks were completed around 4pm, a quick tally revealed that the voluntary work contributed, would be sufficient to support, instruct and help about 12,000 kids. The team congratulated each other, passed around high 5’s and resolved to return back some other time and day to help out.
I felt an incredible rush of energy and was highly pumped up and motivated to see my leaders and colleagues lead from the front. Along the way, they proved that no task was little or trivial and below them including “Cleaning Up” after completing the work.
Thank you SAP! for letting us volunteer and make a small difference to our local communities and support efforts to better living for every one!