Mid-term volunteering in Italy: the testimony of Pooja

Mid-term volunteering in Italy: the testimony of Pooja

 

Volunteer’s Experience- World in the Classroom- It’s wonderfull !!

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Hi ! I am Pooja from Delhi. Bored with monotonous working life, I was looking for doing something meaningful and just by chance got through the website of FSL India. Being a cultural lover, the outbound volunteering concept highly fascinated me, and I contacted them and had a luck to have words with Julien Soyer, Directer of Outbound Department there. I was well guided through all the way until I got  finally to the destination. And i moved on with all positives and negatives possibilities and really it proved to be one of best decision of my life. I had wonderful experience that i can never forget in my life. I regretted later why i didn’t do earlier.

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July GTG

July GTG

         On the 17th and 18th of July, a monthly get-together (GTG) took place in Yercaud, Tamil Nadu. Eight volunteers and four FSL-India staff members attended this GTG.

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      Participants visited Mundakabati village and planted saplings in a playground. They also interacted with the inhabitants. Volunteers also had a chance to have one-on-one talks with their coordinators.

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LTV Orientation

LTV Orientation

      July’s monthly long-term volunteers (LTV) orientation took place from the 5th of July to the 9th of July in Bangalore. Seven LTVs attended the orientation that was facilitated by ten FSL-India staff members. The volunteers hailed from France, the Netherlands, Japan and Germany.

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      Amongst several activities, the volunteers also gave country presentations at a government school, had language and yoga classes, understood their roles and responsibilities as a volunteer and more.

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Sparsha Trust Field Learning Session – CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

Sparsha Trust Field Learning Session – CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

Background

The Sparsha Trust Field Learning Session (FLS) will take place on the 2nd of August.

Sparsha Trust is an organisation that works to create a society free of exploitation of children and help children manifest their inherent potential and talents

Approach

Considering that close to 42% of India’s population is below the age of 18, education is key to the country’s development and future. It was this motivation that led to the establishment of Sparsha Trust in the year 2005. The aims and objectives of Sparsha Trust are:

  • Eradication of child labor – to ensure that children are not deprived of their childhood and are allowed to realize their latent potential.
  • Helping children enjoy their constitutional rights
  • Providing quality education for children who are deprived of the same.
  • Empowerment of street girl children and women by giving them education and skill-oriented training.
  • Providing job-oriented skills to rural youth who migrate to urban areas in search of jobs.

 

The major initiatives of Sparsha Trust are:

  • Makkala Dhama at Kuduregere for 50 children: a home for the children who are engaged in quarry work, single parents, orphans, school dropouts and neglected by the community and family.
  • Shikshana Mitra-1 at Sanjivininagar for 45 children: A shelter for school dropouts, affected by poverty, children with learning disability, lack of care and protection in the family
  •  Shikshana Mitra-2 at Mastri playa for 45 children: a home for children of migrated families who are engaged in construction work and deviated from education
  • Chinnara Thangudhama at MS. Palya for 35 children: a home and de-addition center for children who have got deviated from the mainstream education, children of drug abused, sexually abused, orphans, run away, begging, rag picking, child labour, conflict with law and non-serious offence.

Participants of this FLS will first be meeting an international long-term volunteer (LTV) who is currently working at Sparsha Trust. The LTV will introduce participants to the concept of International Voluntary Service (IVS) and their experiences at the project.

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After that, participants will be taken to the Sparsh Trust project site to attend a presentation by staff members about the organisation, the work it does, the different projects it runs, success stories etc. By witnessing and meeting people working in the development field, participants will enhance their understanding of different social causes and see how organisations are working towards them. Being able to go on site and see first-hand the problems addressed by Sparsha Trust will also give participants a fuller understanding of its current situation. Sparsha Trust will introduce participants to actions that they are taking towards an exploitation free and environmentally sustainable society, and hopefully encourage them to also take action towards it. In addition, these field learning sessions will encourage participants to get involved in working towards other issues and causes that are socially relevant.

Objectives

-          Make participants aware of International Voluntary Service, and understand the experiences shared by international volunteers

-          Sensitise participants to the problems faced by disadvantaged children and the actions taken by Sparsha Trust to aid it

-          Encourage participants to become involved in social issues such as those addressed by Sparsha Trust

 

What do you commit to?

 What do participants commit to?

To participate in a FLS, participants must firstly be 18 years of age, or above, and commit to filling out this registration form and emailing it back to fslydp@gmail.com by the 30th of July 2014. Not doing so would largely limit the preference of said participant attending the FLS in the event that all slots are full. This would also make planning for us much simpler if we know how many participants there will be.

Participants must also arrive to the location punctually, preferably five minutes prior so that we can begin on time. Since this FLS begins at 14:00, it is advised for participants to arrive at the Sparsha Trust office by 13:50 (address given below). Participants can also choose to arrive at the FSL-India office by 12:50 (address given below) and travel with us to the Sparsha Trust office. Please be on time as we would have to reach the Sparsha Trust office by 14:00. Participants will be asked to cover the costs of travel and transportation related to the FLS. We will not cover travel fares that are incurred by participants during the FLS.

Lastly, participants must commit to being present and attentive throughout the FLS. Participants are discouraged to exit in the middle of an FLS.

What does the YDP commit to?

The YDP commits to organising and arranging all details of the FLS for the participants, and providing important information to participants prior to the FLS. We will arrange transportation (although not cover the costs) to any locations during the FLS.

Practical details

 Date and time: Saturday, 2nd August 2014, 12:50 – 18:00

CONTACT BOXFSL-India: #453, 1st Floor, 15th Cross, Lakkasandra, Wilson Garden, Bangalore, 560030  (https://goo.gl/maps/tYqtf)Sparsha Trust: S No. 28, 1st Floor, Above SBM, 60 Feet Road, Mathikere Main Road, Yeshwanthpura, HMT Layout, Mathikere, Bangalore, KA 560054 (https://goo.gl/maps/se4r6)For questions, please email fslydp@gmail.com or call +91 9164138777.

 

Volunteer’s voice – Sarah

Volunteer’s voice – Sarah

      Sarak Keamper, a long-term volunteer (LTV) from Germany has been volunteering at SINAM since September 2013. SINAM is a non-profit organization in the Tiruvannamala District working with poor and destitute children, promoting the welfare of differently abled people, underprivileged women, unorganized and marginalized labourers, widows, Dailits and people suffering from HIV/AIDS. Following is a testimonial of her thoughts and experiences.  

      “To empower women in India, a lot can be done. One way is to give them some knowledge they don’t get in school. Computer education is one opportunity. A lot of young women don’t have experiences with computers. What is normal for most western youngsters is something extraordinary for girls in India. A lot of families can’t afford computers or laptops and this means their children don’t know how to operate a computer. To give girls better chances for a higher education and job opportunities, computer classes are a good possibility. In a world where nothing seems to work without computers anymore it is important to make sure that also girls from poor families can gain access to this world to ensure a better future for themselves and their families.

      For me, as a volunteer, is was a great experience to see young Indian girls learn how to operate a computer and help each other out when someone needs help. I was able to teach them not just how to operate a computer but also give them some background knowledge about how a computer works, the history of computers and the internet.”

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Testimonial on Nadine

Testimonial on Nadine

      Following is a testimonial about long-term volunteer (LTV) Nadine from Germany, who has been volunteering at Gnanodaya High School in Chennai. Rubini, her coordinator, writes to us about Nadine’s experiences. 

      “I don’t know how to start the article because I have lot to say about this volunteer Nadine. She is the most amazing volunteer that I have met in my career. Nadine did lot of good work in the project. She was working with orphan children in Chennai; she came to India for 4 month from January to April 2014. When I had spoke to her at end of her volunteering service, I really impressed by our conversation.

      The first thing she said that when volunteers got the chance to go abroad, she decided to come to India after seeing very beautiful pictures on the Internet. Then she applied to come to India for 4 months. Nadine was very happy to travel to country where there were lots of tourist places. The first day she joined the project, Nadine felt that she had to start her traveling from the coming weekend onward.  Then second day, Nadine planned her journey for 4 months to where and all she can go. After working with orphan children for the first three days, Nadine decided not to go traveling. She decided instead to work with orphan children for the rest of her time in India.

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      Nadine had complications with the children because she didn’t know the local language and the children couldn’t speak English. Then Nadine took the initiative to learn the local language. After learning basic Tamil, Nadine started to teach English to the children. There are around 126 children in Gnanodaya, but she focused on 6th, 7th & 8th grade children and taught them English, Maths and Environmental Education. She not only focused on Education, but also made all the children to have fun in the evening once they all returned from classes. She had a really nice time with the children in the project.

      After three months, Nadine was so happy to see the result of her work in the project. Almost 50 children were able to communicate in English with her, and not only that… Around 80 children broke out of their shyness and took steps to speak with international people. Along with Nadine, there was another volunteer who helped Nadine to achieve her goals. Nadine is now feeling that without any help, the children can form sentences in English and speak with people. Nadine felt that she attained her objectives in the project.”

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Orientation of the 13th Happy Move Camp

Orientation of the 13th Happy Move Camp

      The Orientation of the 13th Happy Move Camp (scheduled between 20th – 31st July 2014) was conducted for       Graduate Engineering Trainees (GETs) of Hyundai on the 8th of July in the training centre of Hyundai Motors India, Irungattukottai, Sriperumbudur Taluk, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu.  Three members of our Chennai team facilitated the orientation for 18 participants with the coordination of Mr. Sridhar from Hyundai.

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      During the session, the Chennai team introduced the vision, mission and projects of FSL-India, then introduced the Happy Move Camp:

-          The schedule of the 13th HMC

-          Roles and responsibilities of being a volunteer

-          Field services during the camp

-          Intercultural activities such as the Indo-Korean Forum, Indo-Korean Workshop, special events, historical places to visit etc.

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          Both counterparts, Korean and Indian, are looking forward to working towards benefiting the community. 

Bangalore Chapter – General Assembly

Bangalore Chapter – General Assembly

On the 6th of July 2014, the Youth Development Programme (YDP) finally hosted its General Assembly (GA) of the Bangalore Chapter. Attending the GA were 15 participants and FSL-India staff members. Amongst others, some of the objectives of the GA was to formalise the Bangalore Chapter, finalise upcoming social projects and elect board members.

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By the end of the evening, many decisions were made and many debates were had! The Bangalore Chapter now has a solid group of board members, and a promising list of social projects. We are very excited to see what is next for the Bangalore Chapter!

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Vidyanikethan Field Learning Session

Vidyanikethan Field Learning Session

      On the 5th of July 2014, the YDP organised its second Field Learning Session (FLS) which took place at Vidyanikethan. Vidyanikethan has been a local partner organisation of FSL-India for a while, and many of our long-term volunteers (LTV) have worked there. Participants were given a presentation on Vidyanikethan and were shown around one of Vidyanikethan’s schools. Participants also had the chance to meet Ms. Susheela, the founder of Vidyanikethan.IMG-20140705-WA0003

      The organisation works to impart quality education to children from disadvantaged socio-economic background, and they envision an exploitation free, and environmentally sustainable society. Some of their initiatives include rehabilitation centers, eco-clubs, women’s self-help groups, watershed development and more.

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First Aid Training

First Aid Training

      The Youth Development Programme of FSL-India will be arranging its first Skills Acquisition Workshop in the month of July. The workshop will be on First Aid Training, certified by the Red Cross Society.

      First Aid training is important when faced with an emergency situation at work, at college, walking down the road etc. Being equipped with basic first aid knowledge, an individual can respond quickly and effectively to such emergency situations; thus preserving life, preventing further harm or the preventing a condition from worsening. This first aid training workshop will cover emergency situations to do with asphyxia, bleeding, poisoning, fractures, burns, and unconsciousness, amongst others.

       The date and times have yet to be fixed (but will most likely be held towards the end of July), and more information on this is coming soon! However, if you are interested, please send an email tofslydp@gmail.com as soon as possible expressing so.

 Fee: 300 INR

Thanks a lot and see you soon! :)