By Vrica Vij:
“I can’t put my finger on it. There is something this place brings out in me, and others around me- an ability to do things that we never thought we were capable of. My own work spans so many levels- from direct advocacy with policy makers on young people’s health and rights to working with communities of young people in Uttar Pradesh from across the socio-economic, educational backgrounds on advocating with local communities and governments” (Gopika, 26, Projects Manager)
I was fairly indifferent to these kinds of statements while I worked in another organization. Eight months into that job, I got sharp sporadic pangs to hunt for something new and when I finally stumbled upon TYPF quite accidentally, I jumped on it without realizing the seriousness of my actions. It was more hardcore than I could have imagined and also quite ironically full of happy madness. We have captivated a volunteer base of thousands, and have people here, that work full time on issues of human rights, gender and sexuality, access to primary education and health services, enabling artist rights and livelihood sustainability, digital media and child rights, good governance and policy/advocacy.
Where else do you get people coming back day after day, for work that they’ve been doing for anything between a few weeks (yours truly) and even ten years! Where do you have colleagues that’ll drop everything in a second to help you with that finance thing you’re struggling with? It’s strange really. People come here, work to their bone, and still, remain so painfully optimistic and happy, that it just seemed plain strange to me. That is, until I was working for a while. Maybe it’s the pink and blue office, maybe it’s the work, or maybe it’s the people. The one thing that’s certain is that YP is love.
Maneesha (24, Programme Coordinator, Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights) when asked why she chose a youth-led and -run organization says, “TYPF, regardless of age gives young people the reins to lead one’s own programme. This organization really does invest in everybody, as it wants to create people who can take the lead in processes that direct their own situations in life. She also added, “It is imperative for young people regardless of their position in the organization to represent at policy forums to make sure that the policies made for young people are really representative of their demands and context at national and international levels; and at TYPF that is not distant dream.” Radhika (23,Project Coordinator, RTI Branch) adds, “There is abundant freedom of creativity in terms of our programmatic divisions – I get to design, implement and evaluate my programme and at the age I am, that’s really amazing.”
Three weeks into my new job I can see that people here are putting their time to good use and not doing everything the conventional way, which is what makes this space interesting. It is a youth-led; youth-run organization that’s more of a close-knit unit where everyone is on everyone’s checklist!
Vrica Vij is the latest addition to our crazy family of young people here at TYPF, joining us a few weeks ago. The YP Foundation is looking for more eclectic and passionate young people to join our team and be a part of this experience. To know more, visit us here and apply!
Published as a partnership between Youth Ki Awaaz and The YP Foundation