The Barrier Free International Kite Festival’18

The Barrier Free International Kite Festival was conducted on the 25th of Feb, 2018, with over 450 differently-abled beneficiaries participating at Kovalam. The idea behind festival was “to encourage inclusive celebration and throw light on the lack of disabled friendly spaces,” said Jolly Johnson, Chief Executive Director and Founder of H2O. The Fest saw national flyers from Gujarat, Chandigarh and Tamil Nadu, as well as international flyers from US, UK and Malaysia, flying uniquely made and eco-friendly kites – each to their own distinct technique. This first of its kind festival was supported by UberKerala Tourism and Social Justice Department, Kerala.

Volunesia’18

The Kite Fest was followed by H2O’s first Volunteering Awards Night, Volunesia ’18, for the 1300 volunteers present on the day. The evening for awards was graced by Shashi Tharoor (Member of Parliament, Thiruvananthapuram & Writer), Sabriye Tenberken (founder of Kanthari, Trivandrum), Nipun Malhotra (founder of Nipman Foundation and Wheels for Life), Latha Nair (founder of Amrithavarshini, a society for children with Brittle Bone syndrome) and Sanjeev SJ (Founder of Kerala- My Own Country, for sustainable and green living). While Tharoor acknowledged and appreciated the role of the youth in creating change, Tenberken stressed on how “we need our volunteers to be with the differently-abled and fight for them, and with them.”

Volunesia ’18 ended with Vian Fernandes‘ (of Thaikkudam Bridge fame) very own band – VF Official – performing for the volunteers and external audiences. The performance was both a fund-raiser for H2O, as well as a musical treat to the volunteers, whose constant support and passion to help the beneficiaries of H2O, has brought the organisation this far! Volunesia ’18 was also supported by Uber.

We would like to extend our gratitude to the ONE INDIA KITE Team, Our National and International Kite Flyers, The Social Justice Department, Kerala Tourism, Kerala Social Security MissionUber, Hotel Raja, Cool Divers and Bond Ocean School, Hotel Sea Rock, Hotel Beatles Kovalam, Rapport Entertainments, VF Official, Ananthapuri Hospitals & Research InstituteNavajeevan Bethany VidyalayaTerumo Penpol LimitedTrinity College of EngineeringNeerali Movie, Public Relations Department, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Nipun Malhotra, Madhusudhan Srinivasan, Latha Nair, Sabriye Tenberken, M Vincent, Nissa Bheevi.