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During my time in India, I had the pleasure of working with Butterflies, a local NGO, as well as D.A.V. Public School. While the two were different in many ways, I noticed some striking similarities between the children I met at each program.

Butterflies focuses on empowering and protecting vulnerable groups of children through various programs that cater to different aspects of life. The programs offered by Butterflies are extremely unique because they are governed by children through democratic processes.

Our first week with Butterflies consisted of meetings with different program directors to learn details about various branches. One of the many programs we learned about is called the Children’s Development Khazana (CDK). CDK educates children on financial management and general life skills by allowing them to run a bank of their own where they can save their money for a future purchase, to pursue entrepreneurship, etc. The children organize their own meetings and elect a child manager every six months to oversee various aspects of the bank.

Although my time with Butterflies was limited, I will forever be grateful to the organization for showing me the power of children. These children have helped create something that will outlast them and benefit others in the future.

While learning about CDK, I was incredibly impressed by the large amount of responsibility given to the children and their successful management of the programs – all while balancing this with their everyday lives. Although my time with Butterflies was limited, I will forever be grateful to the organization for showing me the power of children. These children have helped create something that will outlast them and benefit others in the future.

The same passion and work ethic apparent in the children at Butterflies was also noticeable throughout the day at D.A.V. In each class I attended, the children were extremely eager to participate and share their ideas with the class. Their excitement to learn was contagious.

Unlike American students, Indian students choose a specific educational track in high school and spend most of their free time studying due to the competitive nature of university. The children spoke to us about their interests and studies with immense passion. They were proud of how far they have come and had faith in how far they will go.

The children of Butterflies and D.A.V. come from different backgrounds, yet they share a similar passion and work ethic. These traits were palpable; it was amazing to experience them in action. As I step back into my life in the states, I hope to embody the same exuberance and dedication that I saw in these children.

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