We introduced small businesses on our previous post and now we want to share with you one of Dubai small groups! There is something special about this group and we would hope you all feel the warmth of this article, because we have had the HONOR of interviewing the young ladies who brought this initiate as a part of change in today’s’ world.
The group is called Random Acts of Kindness (RAK), the name says it all. We don’t want to reveal too much because what came about as two college friends wanting to make people smile and spread kindness is now a series of events to promote kindness, spread smiles and their vision. So without further ado, we interviewed Chandni and Sonia (The founders and masterminds behind this unique, commendable group).
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Chandni. I’m 22 and i love that I’m writing this out right now. I’m passionate about people and change and a better world. I’m still trying to figure a way to sustain myself, my current attempts being a part time job at a software company coupled with acupressure training on my days off.
I’m Sonia and I’m still 21! I have a job that i quite love at an events company. My greatest joy is this initiative we have going. I’m super excited about all the possibilities and am particularly keen on how kindness can be incorporated into education.
How did Random Acts of kindness start and Why?
It’s an amazing story! We attended the same college in Bangalore but weren’t the closest of friends. After returning, Sonia reached out to me (Chandni) telling me she wanted help with an idea she had for the city. I sat and listened to her recite my plans to me in amazement of the way these things work.
Both of us have always felt a connection to the bigger picture and to all the people around us. We believe this lay dormant in us for a long time until it was fueled by our experiences volunteering with NGO’s in India. The opportunity to actually work to add value to people’s lives brought us to the realization that this would always be important to us.
Kindness is universal. It isn’t cause specific. We are rooted in the belief that kindness driven by empathy can indeed make this world a better place!
Our shared belief propelled by the energy of finding each other to mirror our dreams is how it all started 🙂
What gives you the motivation to carry on?
We can’t quite explain the feeling after each of the events we’ve had. It’s satisfying in this extremely heart-felt way. When asked what we can imagine wanting to do every day of our lives, this comes to our minds immediately. Forgive me for sounding cheesy but it’s blissful.
We’ve sustained ourselves for a year now (we can’t quite believe it) through the generosity and kind spirit of the people we have met along the way. Meeting new people under the agenda of connecting to kindness is a wonderful feeling. It creates a space for openness and comfort and it’s easy to be oneself. The relationships forged this way are priceless. These are gifts we are extremely grateful and our source of motivation.
Have you ever faced any negative or challenging situations? How did you overcome them? (If any)
Well, one challenge we have faced so far is the time constraint. We would love to give this all of our time but there are the practicalities of living in this world that need to be taken care of too. However it’s hasn’t reached a stressful point so far.
The other challenge is the lack of understanding from people close to us. An initiative like this isn’t going to take you places in the rational sense of things. So sometimes our commitment to it isn’t comprehended by some people whose opinions matter to us.
How would you describe the overall reaction from people to your events, Acts and Organization as a whole?
It’s safe to say that people leave each of our events feeling extremely good and also quite moved by the positive space and joyful experiences. People get to experience what connecting with strangers through kindness feels like and find it relatively easier to be themselves even around people they don’t quite know. We’ve found that these events bring out our good nature.
We’ve come this far as an organization largely because of the support of amazing people a lot of whom we found along the way. Their connection to the power of kindness and their enthusiasm and willingness to help is a testimony to the goodness and an inspiration to keep it going.
How can people get involved?
People can send us a request to be a member on our Facebook group “Random Acts of Kindness – Dubai”, we will send them a message and accept their request. Alternatively, they can email us on our id: [email protected] and wait to hear back from us!
If a company or sponsor wants to contribute what is the process? How do you get all the financial support for your events?
So far, our events have been successfully possible through people’s support and generosity. For example, to hold our events/kindness drives, we have been offered free space or we use public spaces like parks and more often than not, we get voluntary help from members of RAK that support the event. We believe that that is the beauty of what we do – it is all co-created with other human beings who share the same beliefs of giving. We haven’t yet felt a need to turn this into an organization that needs monetary funding. However, we have recently started to consider it and may do so in the near future.
What kind of things you have done so far?
So far we’ve had:
– Kindness Stall at the Dubai Flea Market ( Sep 2013 and Sep 2014).
– Meals for Workers – We get together, cook and pack a hot meal and go out distribute these meals to people working outdoors. We’ve had three of these mornings so far.
– Kindness drives – We’ve walked around with boards carrying positive messages and managed to get tons of smiles and a bunch of high fives from strangers.
– Letters to strangers – We’ve got together to write inspiring letters to strangers to uplift them.
– Joy of Giving – We celebrated Christmas last year with a week full of kindness activities and drives.
Mind blowing right? The girls passion and smiles not only come through in this interview but the constant (I kid you not, its 24/7) smile on Chandini’s face and the heart felt sincerity one senses from Sonia’s drive is unexplainable. We have attended the Dubai Flee Market event and hope to support many more. We would like to encourage our readers, old or young, get involved and let’s spread the harmony of kindness and happiness together.
We would like to leave you with a few quotes from the girls’ reflections and as they put it themselves; “we wrote to our hearts content.”
Dubai Flee Market Kindness Stall:
“In the last few months I’ve had more than one day at the end of which I was certain my life could never be the same again.”
“People have funny serious expressions when they are walking around and then they have this really nice pleasant change in expression when someone calls out to them especially in a sing song voice haha. It was really nice to see!”
“I don’t think there were a large number of people who did not connect with what we were trying to do.”
“It was so heart-warming when people hugged me!”
“And then there was this man who didn’t understand English and i don’t know how but i managed to get it through to him that these were free gifts and he burst into laughter which sent me into giggles too ! And we didn’t even speak the same language.”
Christmas and the joy of giving
“On Saturday we spent the evening at Dubai Mall being kind. We had planned a bunch of random acts of kindness. We were 11 friends and we’d divided ourselves into 3 smaller groups and each group had a bunch of Christmas cards, candy and chocolates to give out.”
“I watched friends who had never done anything like this reach out with such warmth to strangers around them. It was heart-warming.”
So to conclude, Words cannot describe their initiative enough, this article is mere crumbs of their success, hard work and admirable passion!