Monthly Archives: November 2013

Winter camps

Winter camps

As winter sets in at Bangalore, we, at FSL, begin the new season with a series of winter camps. Planned for long-term volunteers who are involved in teaching, these camps are conducted during school holidays. Take a look at what we did recently:

Makkala Mitra Sparsha Trust

Our winter camp in Bangalore took place at the Sparsha Trust from 7th to 18th October. Sparsha Trust works to ensure children are not deprived of their constitutional rights and are provided a safe, nurturing environment that enables them to reach their full potential. The organization empowers underprivileged children and youth through education and skills oriented training, capacity building among rural youth in job-oriented skills that reduce rural to urban migration, helping to eradicate child labour, to name a few.

Together, more than 25 children benefitted from the work of 8 volunteers. The volunteers are currently based in teaching projects in and around Bangalore and Mysore. Here are some of the things they got up to:

Indian experiences of a volunteer

Indian experiences of a volunteer

Anna PaczesJoining us from Poland for close to 7 months, Anna Pacześ, one of our long-term volunteers writes about what it was like to work with physically and mentally challenged children in Arani, Tamil Nadu. She gives an insider’s perpective to what volunteering in India is all about, talking of her own personal journey through the months, from first impressions to final goodbyes. We hope you visit us again Anna!

‘May: Here I am!  My dream came true – I’m in India. I work at Arani, TN at the Day Care Centre with differently abled children. To be more exact I should say my workplace is [in a] rural area. That’s a challenge for me, but isn’t it all about [developing] yourself? Thankfully my project is connected with my studies back in Poland, so maybe it’ll make the work a bit easier. I just wonder how am I supposed to remember all the names of my students? There’s so many of them and the Indian names are so difficult… [what’s] more, the kids don’t speak English. The work won’t be easy. Read the rest of this entry

Work camps in September

Work camps in September
Work camp-September2013-Dharamshala

Environment protection activities in Dharamshala

FSL’s work camps usually last between 2 to 3 weeks and are held across India in some of the most historically significant and culturally vibrant parts of the country.

The month of September saw 4 work camps being held across 3 Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh. Take a look at just some of the things we got up to in our work camps. Read the rest of this entry

Preparing you for volunteering

Preparing you for volunteering

An Indian welcome

In October we welcomed a fresh and eager batch of 20 mid- to long-term volunteers (MLTV). Usually lasting anywhere from 1 month to 1 year, these engagements involve volunteers working with our local partners in social development projects across two Southern Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as well as in the Union Territory of Pondicherry.

As an MLTV volunteer, you will arrive in India at one of our offices either at:

  • Kundapur, Udupi District, State of Karnataka or
  • Bangalore City, Bangalore Urban, State of Karnataka

The first week, what we like to call ‘orientation week’, focuses on acclimatizing volunteers to the Indian reality: it marks the beginning of your intercultural learning and is aimed to provide you with the context you will need for your volunteering. But it is not just the Indian reality that you will be introduced to: orientation week provides an opportunity to interact with people from across the globe. In October, for instance, the 20 volunteers belonged to 9 different nationalities, ranging from Mexico to Finland. Some of the projects in which the volunteers were placed include sustainable agriculture, women’s empowerment, environmental education, slum development, water and sanitation, among others.

What happens in orientation week? Read the rest of this entry