Monthly Archives: October 2011

October: FSL India Welcomes the New Volunteers

October: FSL India Welcomes the New Volunteers

The early October 2011, was yet another momentous occasion for FSL India to welcome the new volunteers. This month a total of 26 volunteers from nine different countries arrived to be part of FSL India’s mission and venture into long-term voluntary service. As inter-cultural learning is the important dimension of voluntary service, FSL India organised a week-long orientation for the new volunteers. The orientation event was held at Hotel Ju-lio International, Kundapur, from 3rd to 9th October 2011. It was facilitated by the LTV program team of FSL India.

As required by the participants, the week-long orientation was divided into several aspects. Volunteers were picked-up from the meeting point and taken to Hotel Ju-lio International. On the day of arrival they walked across Kundapur and got themselves familiarised with the town. As the formal orientation commenced, volunteers were welcomed by FSL India team in a typical Indian style. They were welcomed with garlands of rose and vermilion tilak was marked on their forehead. The volunteers’ cheeks were besmeared with turmeric talcum powder. Aarathi (light from wicks soaked in ghee and camphor) was performed with a symbolic gesture of welcoming the volunteers as the most honored and respectable guests.

Different sessions were scheduled to give input on a range of thematic areas. Sessions were conducted with a blend of theoretical input and inter-cultural exposure. Introduction to FSL India and its works, Indian Philosophy and life, roles and responsibilities of the volunteers, setting up aims and objectives and conflict management during the voluntary service in India were the major topics dealt with. Volunteers were also given opportunity to share with others about their country and people. During the evening hour sessions were organised to introduce the volunteers on Indian culture. Volunteers also had interactions with the local community as part of inter-cultural exposure and learning. Teaching of Kannada and Tamil language, project introduction and visit to the social and development projects were also organised during the orientation. One live-show on India classical instrumental music was performed which the volunteers liked very much. Volunteers actively participated in all the sessions, presentations and group activities facilitated. On the last day of the orientation an excursion was organised.

Here is list of volunteers who participated in the orientation:

No.

Name

Surname

Country

Project/Placement

01

Adele

Oezelt

Austria

Kalvikendra, Tamil Nadu

02

Camilla Grye

Pedersen

Denmark

Abhayadhama, Bangalore

03

Catharina

Bigler

Denmark

Karunya, Hospet

04

Charlotte Dellgren

Geneser

DenmarkHattiangady School, Kundapur

05

Frederikke

Lund Jensen

DenmarkSparsha Trust Bangalore

06

Ida Marie

Vågenes Sekse

DenmarkNagapura School, Hunsur

07

Ida Priyanka

Kjærsgaard

DenmarkSparsha Trust, Bangalore

08

Kristine Sofie

Pedersen

DenmarkHattiangady School, Kundapur

09

Line

Nordhøj

DenmarkAbhayadhama, Bangalore

10

Louise Kloster

Poulsen

DenmarkNagapura school, Hunsur

11

Monica

NoëlleSchannong

DenmarkSanthwana, Bangalore

12

Nicoline

Gundersen

DenmarkSanthwana, Bangalore

13

Stine Vest

Nielsen

DenmarkKarunya, Hospet

14

Colin

Frezouls

FranceSneha Care Home, Bangalore

15

Viktoria

Szenftner

GermanyBless, Tamil Nadu

16

Synevar

Kegel

GermanySneha Care Home, Bangalore

17

Simone

Blasing

GermanyFPA Bangalore

18

Chun Wah

Wu

Hong KongSea Turtle, Kundapura

19

Andrea

Cavalleroni

ItalySpandana

20

Anna

Zolfo

Italy Deed

21

Davide

Salvadori

ItalySea Turtle, Kundapura

22

Gahng-hee

Kim

KoreaSt. Albans, Tamil Nadu

23

Erica

Janhunen

SwedenParaspara Trust, Bangalore

24

Cecilla

Malmgren

SwedenSneha Shikshana Samasthe

25

Astrid

Janbell

SwedenMercede

26

Zenobia

Lagerweij

Netherlands Sneha Care Home, Bangalore

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Sea Turtle Awareness Program

Sea Turtle Awareness Program

It is an undisputed realty that major changes have occurred in the oceans because sea turtles have been virtually eliminated from many areas of the globe. Commercial fishing, loss of nesting habitat and climate change are among the human-caused threats pushing sea turtles towards extinction. As sea turtle populations decline, so does their ability to fulfill vital functions in ocean ecosystems.

Our oceans are unhealthy and under significant threat from overfishing, pollution and climate change. It is time for us to protect sea turtles and rebuild their populations to healthy levels as a vital step in ensuring healthy and resilient oceans for the future.

In the coastal belt of Kundapur, for the last one and half decades the Sea Turtle population has been under threat from fishing and egg predation by locals. Three species of the protected Sea Turtle are nesting on India’s West Coast and all of them are endangered species. In this backdrop FSL India under its self-funded home based project     initiated sea turtle conservation program. The community based intervention operates along a 60 kilo metres stretch of beach in the south and north of Kundapur. Conducting surveys, awareness campaigns in schools, villages across the coastal belt, harbours and fishing communities, building hatcheries and information centres, and help with promotional activities are the major initiatives of the project.

Sea-turtle Conservation team of Kundapur organised an awareness program at Kanchugodu village on 1st of October 2011. With active participation of the international FSL India volunteers, the community people and the school children were made aware on the importance of sea turtle conservation. The community people and children were made aware through charts presentation and organised some quiz for children pertaining to sea turtle and the ecosystem. It was indeed a great experience for the team as well as the community people and the school going children. The program was organised with the support of community leaders.

A total of 40 school going children and 30 community people participated in the awareness program. The children through quiz program got to know more about sea-turtle. The quiz was very interesting as the questions framed were easy to answer by children. The session enhanced the ambit of understanding about the importance of Sea Turtle Conservation. Children and the community people also in the process raised lots of queries on sea turtle and its vital function in the ocean ecosystem. It was not only information sharing program but also to ensure the involvement of the community to take a part in Sea Turtle Conservation activities and learn to be eco-friendly.

A Glimpse on FSL India’s Sea Turtle Conservation Program as on September 2011

No.

Particulars

Cumulative Status

I

General Information

1

No of Villages covered

22

2

Sea shore covered

51

3

Families covered

460

4

Contact persons identified at every 5 Km

12

5

Turtle information centre established

07

II

Awareness and Training  

1

Contact persons Meeting

02

2

MTCI meeting held

30

3

Awareness created at Schools

04

4

Awareness created at Colleges

430

5

Awareness at families

03

6

Youth club activated

06

7

Harbour visit

07

8

Beach cleaning sessions

69

9

Beach awareness walk

127

10

Volunteer participated

19

11

Work camp organised

27

12

No regular volunteer placed

III

Hatchery Activities

1

Hatcheries established

02

2

No of eggs collected

5725

3

Incentive given for eggs

22600

4

No of Hatched eggs

423

5

% of hatchlings

52

6

Number of dead turtle located

06

7

No of adult Turtle rescued & released

30

Health on Stage… Open Day in Bangalore

Health on Stage… Open Day in Bangalore

On the 30th of September the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) along with FSL India the hosting organisation held “Health on Stage” Open Day in Bangalore. One and a half month lasting project concluded with the closing session in which participants shared their thoughts about the results and experiences of living and working closely with local communities in Bangalore, Chennai and Mysore. A group of 21 young Eurasian Volunteers with linguistic and cultural diversity facilitated Health on Stage and engaged in intensive dialogue with local community by using “forum theatre” as the medium for communication.

A host of local print and electronic media, NGOs and civil society organisations participated in the open day programme to get an update on Health on Stage and appreciated the efforts of the young volunteers. Each group represented the most popular performance that was implemented in the community. The audience could get familiar with how public health dialogue was being implemented by linguistically diversified group and witnessed how forum theatre can be an effective means for communication.

While addressing the inaugural function Rakesh S. Soans, the President of FSL India appreciated the young volunteers and reiterated that health is a global issue and global community need to work together to improve the health status of the people. Participating in the panel discussion Dr. Sanjay, the Vice-president of FSL India emphasized the need of forum theatre as an effective tool for information dissemination and public health dialogue. Forum theatre attempts to identify local solutions to the local health problems.

In the sharing session Ms Jaya Iyer (Indian forum theatre trainer) together with the participants Mr. Nagoor Kani from FSL India, Ms Rubini Raghunathan from the local community participant and member of the Chennai group, Mr. Felimon Blanco the volunteer from The Philippines and member of the Bangalore group, Ms Suzanne Prak the volunteer from The Netherlands and member of the Mysore group shared their views on the impact of the programme on the local communities. Most of the participants agreed that the Health on Stage was very successful and forum theatre worked successfully as a way of encouraging and engaging people in discussion about the public health issues. Some of them said that they already have plans for the future cooperation with other partner organizations in their respective countries. Other volunteers too agreed to use the newly gained knowledge and skills in their future course of action.

Addressing the participants, Amb Nguyen Quoc Khanh the Deputy Executive Director Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) expressed his delight and appreciation with the outcomes of the project as well as expressed possible future cooperation for public health dialogue. Responding to the queries raised by media and NGO delegates, Mr. Rakesh said “we will take this agenda forward and reach out to the people of India and engage them on public health dialogue.” Few NGOs and civil society organisations have expressed their willingness to collaborate with FSL India and integrate forum theatre to address water and public health issues.

As follow up of this intervention, ASEF has been documenting the impact and learning of Health on Stage. ASEF plans to bring out training toolkit and evaluation and recommendation of the 10th AEYVE: Health on Stage. It is expected that these publications would serve as resource and reference documents for others to learn and replicate the model.

Volunteers Speak…….

Volunteers Speak…….

We are staying in the Rain Water Harvesting for about one month and enjoy our work there a lot. We are supporting the work of our project-leader, who is also our guest father in terms of preparing presentations or writing proposals for harvesting concepts. We are also joining our boss Mr. Masagi on his surveys so that we get to see as much of the city and interact with people as possible. On our third week, we even spent the entire weekend with our guest family in Coimbatore where we visited a project site, went for sightseeing and could taste the special food of Tamil Nadu. The greatest thing was a refreshing bath in the Monkey Falls with a small picnic afterwards. Our guest family consists of three sisters and one brother, who are very kindly trying to introduce us to the Indian culture. The premises in which we are living are basic but completely sufficient. We are sharing one room in the third floor right under the rooftop which we do not only use for drying our clothes, but also for enjoying the great view there. Once or twice a week we meet with other volunteers who staying in Bangalore to explore the city or just to share our experiences with them. At the weekends we visit some of the places around Bangalore, either by bus or by train. Mysore, Mangalore or Dharamshala are just some of the places we visited already. Some days ago our housedog Pinky gave birth to 5 puppies. One of them is very weak, so at the moment we are trying to save it.

Jakob & Johan

FSL India Volunteers from Germany

I completed 5 years of work in FSL

I completed 5 years of work in FSL

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On September 23, 2011, I completed 5 years of work in FSL.Working here has helped me broaden my horizons and expand my mind. Apart from communicating, I learnt how to use ms office, email and the internet. However, it is the people of FSL who have made the deepest impression on me. Working with FSL staff has made me a better person and interacting with FSL’s international partners has been very inspiring.

K. Virokunuo Veronica 

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FSL India Volunteers in JCI Event

FSL India Volunteers in JCI Event

On the 14th September the international volunteers of FSL India had a great entrance and reached out to the people of Kundapura. Every year a youth club called JCI organizes varieties of cultural programme. But this year’s event had a special feature and an attraction to the audience as the international volunteers of FSL India too participated in the cultural programme. From 9th to 15th September people of Kundapur witnessed the celebration of different culture and cultural programmes.

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Climate Action Day by FSL India

Climate Action Day by FSL India

FSL India has been part of an international movement on climate action. The international volunteers associated with Home Based Projects (Eco Club and Environmental Project) of FSL India at Kundapur organised an event on International Climate Action Day 2011, which is initiated by the Organization 350. On the Climate Action day people all over the world moved together against climate change with the motto of “Moving beyond fossil fuels”.

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Sanitation Programme at Irunkattukottai Village, Chennai

Sanitation Programme at Irunkattukottai Village, Chennai

FSL India has been implementing a CSR project with the support of Hyundai Motors India (HMI). Under this CSR initiative, FSL India has promoted Model Village Project (MVP) in eight villages in Tamil Nadu. Development intervention being the multi-dimensional approach, issues pertaining to education, health, socio-economic development and environment conservation are the major components of the Model Village Project. Today, these model villages have encouraged a paradigm-shift in the mind set of people towards development sustainable human community in the proposed operational area. Community-based and community-driven development is being spearheaded through the model village project with NGO-Corporate partnership. FSL India as a development organisation is also getting specialised in planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of development projects involving the corporates.

As eight villages have been selected for this programme, Irunkattukottai is the first village for implementation of model village programmes. Remaining seven villages will be taken in a phased manner. One of the major activities under this programme is promotion of health and hygiene and water and sanitation. A total of 205 potential beneficiary families have been selected and assisted to construct Rural Flush out Toilets in this village. While all the hardware support is given by Hyundai Motors India, FSL India provides software assistance to the community people. FSL India has been facilitating awareness sessions for the community people on health and hygiene and water and sanitation issues. Besides, sessions are also conducted on usefulness of rural toilets, maintenance of the toilets, personal hygiene, environmental health, prevention of water borne, vector born and faecal borne diseases, disposal of human and animal waste, treatment and purification drinking water, and usefulness of kitchen garden and preparation of ORS.

Additionally, we have formed children’s parliament in the school. We organise awareness sessions on health and hygiene and water and sanitation such as washing of hands, personal hygiene, and contagious diseases. We teach them awareness songs regarding health and sanitation issues. The children are emerging as responsible change makers and will execute the health and hygiene practices with other children in the school. They work in tandem with staff of FSL India to promote health and hygiene. Everyday in the evening the members of children’s parliament would share the progress with FSL India. This initiative has created a good impact among the children and improved the level of personal hygiene and cleanliness among them and others in their family.

In the month September FSL India organised five awareness sessions on sanitation, personal hygiene and nutrition. In these training 75 household members participated and immensely benefited. Issues dealt with are maintenance and management of toilets, importance of Kitchen Garden and prevention communication diseases. FSL India also conducted two awareness sessions on drinking water and open defecation through Forum Theatre. A total of 234 community members participated and benefited from the forum theatre. Issues dealt with are such the menace of open defecation, quality of water and waterborne diseases. FSL India organised 6 training sessions on Personal Hygiene at the School. About 90 children participated and are aware of personal hygiene. The children as well as the community members are greatly benefited by this intervention.

Health on Stage

Health on Stage

Public health dialogue on public health issues is becoming increasingly important today in the world. Health which is the most buzz word today in the domain of global development agenda remains largely the principal factor for human progress and prosperity. If we look at the Millennium Development Goals, out of the eight four MDGs such as: 1) reduce child mortality rates, 2) improve maternal health, 3) Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, and 4) ensure environmental health and sustainability; fall within the purview of health. And global partnership for development (MDG 8 ) is the synergising factor for realisation of all MDGs.

 If one analyses this reality, it would not be inapt to state that health is not only the local issue but also the global phenomenon, the improvement and attainment of which would determine the local as well as global progress. Nationally and internationally the UN bodies, governments, aid organisations, local NGOs and civil society organisations employ different strategies and deploy sizeable amount of financial as well as human resource to address numerous health issues. “Health on Stage” spearheaded by Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) and implemented in India in partnership with Field Services and Intercultural Learning (FSL India), is one of such local and global efforts to mobilise community efforts for public health dialogue on public health issues.

What is Health on Stage and how does it relate to public health dialogue on public health issue is the question one needs to raise. “Health on Stage” is nothing but the 10th edition of the Asia-Europe Young Volunteers Exchange (AEYVE) programme, and is the theme promoted by ASEF. Although Health on Stage as a developmentally appropriate strategy is not a new conceptual framework for enhancing the health status of the people, the theme promoted by Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) in partnership FSL India is certainly a unique and new people-based development paradigm innovated for development actors to replicate. It is a unique model because, a group of young Eurasian Volunteers with linguistic and cultural diversity facilitated Health on Stage and disseminated information and engaged in intensive dialogue with local community by using “forum theatre” as the medium for communication.

Hosted for the first time in India, Health on stage was implemented in three different locations such as the slums in Bangalore, rural areas in Mysore and the eight model villages promoted by FSL India in Chennai suburban. Water, water related issues and water borne disease are important components of Health on Stage programme. Working in three groups, the 21 Eurasian Volunteers visited the slum-dwellers in Bangalore, workers in an industrial belt in Chennai and villagers in Mysore and performed forum theatre and promoted Health on Stage.

After a week-long inter-cultural exchange and learning the applications of ‘forum theatre’, these young volunteers of “Health on Stage” performed for one month. They were trained by Jaya Iyer, Indian forum theatre trainer. Health on Stage volunteers focused on public health, with all its social and cultural dimensions in the specific locations. The performances were indeed unique and enriching and above all original in its creativity. Its impact is significant as it opened up new avenues for health seeking behaviors of the local community. Under the broader framework of Water and Public Health, a wide range of local issues were taken up for dialogue and seek solutions. Hygiene and sanitation, waterborne diseases, preventive and curative aspects of health, water and environment, water conservation, indigenous water purification measures etc. are some of the issues dealt with.

They did not speak the local language. They were not familiar with the local issues and the local culture. How did manage to make a significant impact? But surprisingly language and cultural issues did not pose a formidable challenge for these young and enthusiastic volunteers. The forum theatre was not so much with language based. It was predominantly body language and action based communications. Initially the young development artist used to spend time in social mapping to identify the local water and health issues and through forum theatres analyzed the issues with the community to design locally available solutions. People did not take initiative to find the local solutions. They did criticize the government and someone will come and do – this was the kind of mind set. But this has triggered the thought of the people and now they have realized that it is the people who are principally responsible to find out locally available solutions to their numerous water and public health problems.

As these volunteers assembly in Bangalore for a three days evaluation which culminates in addressing the international media on 30th September, Miss Debasmita the Media Coordinator form Singapore says that the movement has created a ripple effect and the global issues are converged with the local issues and the local issues with the global. With a scaling up measures these volunteers as they return to their respective countries, would mobilize the local mass and continue to identify and address local issues pertaining to water and health.

Whether Health on Stage or health off the stage; sustainability is supremely important in any development intervention. This is only the pilot phase and it is expected that with replications and ripple effects this effort will continue to make the headway to address water and public health issue. Mr. Rakesh S Soans, the President of FSL India says that “now it is the responsibility of FSL India to take this agenda forward and reach out to the other parts of the country for engaging the people on public health dialogue.”

In India there has been overwhelming response. NGOs and civil society organisations have been approaching to integrate Health on Stage strategy to address water and public health issues. And therefore, Health on Stage and public health dialogue is a new people-based development paradigm for the global community for applications and replication to address the community issues and problems.