“I don’t know what you do…honestly…writer? Editor?”

I got this from one of my siblings recently. I also got slightly the same from a good number of people I sent evaluation questions to at the end of 2016 – 10% didn’t respond. Another 30% had a faint idea while 60% responded with their harmless version of “I don’t know.”

Here’s a clue:

Presently, I’m an Atlas Corps Fellow serving as a Partnerships and Communications Fellow at Restless Development, the agency for youth-led development. But that’s just one layer of the onion. If you care to know what I do, please check my LinkedIn profile summary – it’s quite succinct. 🙂

Here’s what I also want to you to know:

First, we love young people. We really really think they have the potential to change our world. So as part of our new global strategy at Restless Development, the US hub (my organization has about 10 hubs globally) is chronicling the change and impact our young volunteers are making in local communities across our country programs in Africa and Asia.

We are presently running a series of Q&As with Restless Development volunteers. I have the privilege of speaking to young people about how they lead development, the challenges faced, ups, downs, merry-go-rounds, perks, and the pains of their painstaking but impactful work in local communities.

Mukhi (middle) speaking with young girls in her local community.

Murki (middle) speaking with young girls in her local community.

In January, I spoke to a female volunteer with Restless Development India – 22-year old Murki Murmu (middle blue blouse) who campaigns against child marriage. She also provides access to Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) information for young girls. At her young age, Murki has already stopped two child marriages. But as the eldest daughter of a family of eight (parents, a sister, and four younger brothers) living below the poverty line in India, She had to take care of certain “unspoken responsibilities”.

However, volunteering and working alongside other young people changed her direction in life. Today, she is studying for a Bachelor’s degree and has changed the way young girls are viewed in her community.

Read more of my Q&A series on www.wearerestless.org (you can also send in opinions/ideas on issues that matter most to you).


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