Our names are Anne-Lise and Ewen. We are 2 French mid-term volunteers…We stay 2 months (February & March 2015) in FSL program. Before coming in FSL program, we were working in France as architect and draftsman. We chose the FSL program “water and sanitation” because it was the only program with some constructions, which are our original jobs. When we arrived in Chennai office where this program took place, we were a little disappointed to see that the Happy Move Camp (HMC) where our construction skills will be helpful was over just before our arrival.
We spent all the first week to visit what HMC built with one FSL staff. It was very interesting to see those small villages, to have time to discuss with indian FSL staff (sometimes, it takes a lot of time to go there). They made a very good work, but with our architect eyes, we saw some possible improvements, but it was not the first need of FSL and the villages. We decided, in accordance with FSL, to work about 3 topics during our stay : hygiene, environment and low-cost houses.
We spent 2,5 weeks for each topic, hygiene and environment. For both, we prepared short theoretical presentation, interactive panel, outdoor games and practical session. We did this teaching in the schools of the 5 HMC villages. Sometimes the theory presentation didn’t get their attention until the end. It was hard for them to keep focus, maybe because of language problems. Every time the children were happy participating to fill the panel and even happier to play outside. During practical session, they were very enthusiastic to show us how they are doing well. When we have time to stay, in the school, children enjoyed to play with us, to show us local dances and songs… These were very nice moments and we will never forget it.
At the end, we tried to work on low cost houses project. We had just the times to present 2 kind of houses. We hope that they will be used for next HMC. We would like to follow this project until the construction but we can’t stay longer, our life is calling us from somewhere else…