Monthly Archives: June 2014

Get-together in Mysore

Get-together in Mysore

      On the 12th and 13th of June, a monthly get-together (GTG) took place in Mysore, Karnataka. Attending this GTG were three long-term volunteers (LTV) and four FSL-India staff members.


      Besides experience sharing and one-to-one talks with their coordinators, LTVs got a chance to meet local farmers to discuss agriculture, the kinds of crops they grow, irrigation systems, labour and more. Participants also visited a small-scale sugarcane industry, Nimishamba Temple and Sangama.


My Journey Towards Promoting the Importance of Sanitation to Children through Puppetry

My Journey Towards Promoting the Importance of Sanitation to Children through Puppetry

      Margaux, a long-term volunteer (LTV) writes to us again about an awareness raising activity on sanitation she has been carrying out for children in the Kanchipuram District of Tamil Nadu. 

      “On 17th June 2014, I (Ms. Margaux, LTV volunteer working in Water and Sanitation with FSL-India) continued my journey towards promoting good hygienic methods towards achieving better sanitary conditions among children in Panchayat Union Primary School in Thenneri, Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu.

     I found that puppetry is a good medium to get the attention of children which make them attentive to the issue addressed. On this finding, we conducted a puppetry show for the children belonging to the 8-9 years age group in Thenneri. It is a kind of fairy tale telling to the children through puppets. I drew the characters of the tale and made the puppets by sticking the pictures drawn on the stick.

puppet show image 1

      It is the story of the kingdom in which the people fell ill all of a sudden and the reason for their illness was anonymous. The princess Stella asked the wise Horseman of the kingdom to roam through the kingdom to find out the cause of the disease and how to cure it. He travelled across many lands and seas, finally found that the water which was supplied for drinking purpose from the pond caused the illness. He met the magician on the way back and the magician made the soap out of magic and asked the horseman to give to the people for use. He further insisted the horseman when and how it had to be used like before eating food and cooking; after going to the toilet etc. Then the horseman met the doctor who insisted that the water has to be boiled before drinking; he also explained how the water is getting polluted such as through open defecation etc. Finally the horseman came back to meet the people and insisted the personal hygiene methods to keep away from diseases. He left the message that “PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE”. 


      I am really excited to convey the message through puppets by acting out as the puppets behind the screen. Of course, FSL-India Chennai Team helped me with Tamil voice over. I am very happy to make the children to be attentive to hear the fairy tale story through the puppets. I believe that they carry the message and not only follow the personal hygiene themselves but also spread among their friends as well.”


Sea-turtle rescue operation

Sea-turtle rescue operation

      Sea-turtles are sporadic creatures and are considered to be an endangered species. In the west coast of Karnataka, on the shores of Kundapura and Byndoor, seven wounded sea-turtles were found. Injuries are caused by the rough waves of the monsoon season and getting trapped in fishing nets.


      Upon finding the wounded sea-turtles, local fisherman immediately called up FSL-India’s Home Based Project (HBP) team members. The rescue operation took place from the 19th of June to the 23rd of June, whereby the sea-turtles were treated at the local veterinary hospital and kept in the departmental rescue center. Once they recovered, the sea-turtles were released back into the ocean during low-tide period. 



Appropriate Technologies Demonstration

Appropriate Technologies Demonstration

     On the 10th of June, 2014, the Home Based Project (HBP) team carried out an appropriate technologies demonstration in Senapur and Marvante (Kundapura). 23 children gathered for the demonstration.This activity was inspired by a demonstration that previously took place in our HYSCO camp in Tamil Nadu.

The HBP team members carried out three demonstrations:

Using tetra-packs to make mats

By cutting and ironing out 145 tetra-packs, HBP team members, along with the children created 12 floor mats.












Using spoiled milk to make paint

Spoiled milk, lemon juice and beetroot juice were added together before being filtered to create natural paint for children to use












Using eucalyptus oil to make natural hand sanitizer

Adding cooking oil and lemon juice to eucalyptus leaves, storing it for five days before filtering out the liquid, participants produced natural hand sanitizer





13th HMC pre-visit

13th HMC pre-visit

      From the 26th of May to the 28th of May, representatives of Better World Organisation, Hyundai Motor Company (Korea) and FSL-India visited the shortlisted villages for the 13th Happy Move Camp (HMC) in Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu. The three day schedule included (i) The delegates meeting with FSL-India and Hyundai Motor India for logistics of selection of villages; (ii) A visit to the nine villages that were shortlisted by the FSL-India Chennai team; (iii) A final meeting between the partners to finalise the schedule, events, accommodation etc. The six villages selected during this pre-visit were Alapakkam, Karur, Nallur, Kuthirambakkam, Neykuppan and Melottivakkam.


      The 13th HMC is scheduled to take place from the 20th of July to the 31st of July. There will be 120 Korean volunteers, 18 Graduate Engineering Trainees and 12 university students participating in the HMC. Participants will be undertaking renovation and educational activities in the six villages. 



Vidyaniketan Field Learning Session – CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

Vidyaniketan Field Learning Session – CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS


      The Vidyaniketan Field Learning Session (FLS) will take place on the 5th of July. Vidyaniketan, a non-governmental organisation, came into being in 1988 with a view to impart quality education to children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. The organization envisions ‘an exploitation free and environmentally sustainable society’.



        What started as a small, formal kindergarten for 7 children has today grown to include close to 220 children from nursery to 7th standard (around 13 years of age). Other education initiatives of the organization include: 

–          Child labor bridge school, to help reintegrate children back into the education system

–          Formal School at Jaraganahalli,

–          Literacy classes for the women,

–          Girl Child Laborer’s rehabilitation Centers,

–          Residential Bride course for the school drop outs,

–          Early Learning Centers (ELCs), and

–          PTA/ Primary Education.

       Apart from its education initiatives, the organization has also initiated various intervention activities to realize its vision of ‘an exploitation free and environmentally sustainable society’.

      Participants of this FLS will first be meeting an international long-term volunteer (LTV) who is currently working for Vidyaniketan’s Eco Club programme. The Eco Club programme’s aim is to create awareness and to initiate intervention activities that work to achieve environmental sustainability. The LTV will introduce participants to the concept of International Voluntary Service (IVS) and their experiences at the project.

      After that, participants will be taken to the Vidyaniketan 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 Vidyaniketan will also give participants a fuller understanding of its current situation. Vidyaniketan 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.


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

–    Sensitise participants to the problems faced by disadvantaged populations and the actions taken by Vidyaniketan to aid it

–  Encourage participants to become involved in social issues such as those addressed by Vidyaniketan


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 by the 2nd 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.

Please click the following for the registration form: Registration form Vidyaniketan FLS

      Participants must also arrive to the location punctually, preferably 10 minutes prior so that we can begin on time. Since this FLS begins at 13:00, it is advised for participants to arrive at the FSL-India office by 12:50 (address given below). 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, 5th July 2014, 12:50 – 19:00


FSL-India: #453, 1st Floor, 15th Cross, Lakkasandra, Wilson Garden, Bangalore, 560030  (

For questions, please email or call +91 9164138777.

Sarakki Lake – Field Learning Session

Sarakki Lake – Field Learning Session

       On Saturday, the 14th of June, the Youth Development Programme (YDP) ran its first Field Learning Session (FLS) at Sarakki Lake. The theme of this FLS was environmental conservation, in particular, reviving Sarakki Lake. For this FLS, we partnered with the Sarakki Lake Area Improvement Trust (SLAIT); an organisation made up of ordinary, yet dedicated citizens working towards the revival of Sarakki Lake.  Untitled

      Participants were first introduced to the problems of Sarakki Lake and the actions that SLAIT has been taking towards it. Afterwards, participants were taken on-site to see the conditions of the lake first-hand. The debrief session at the end demonstrated everyone’s enthusiasm to work towards Sarakki Lake’s cause.  


The Journey of a Plastic Bag

The Journey of a Plastic Bag

      Margaux, a long-term volunteer (LTV) working in Tamil Nadu writes to us about her experience during World Environment Day. 

      “I am Ms. Margaux from France, volunteering in the Model Village Project (MVP).  On 5th June, the day began as “World Environment Day“.  We (I and the FSL-India Chennai team) planned a puppetry session for the primary school children of the age group between 8 10 years in Panchayat Union Primary School, Thenneri, Kancheepuram District.

     We focused on the hazards of plastic polluting our environment and insisting the importance of throwing out our waste in a garbage bin. We made our puppets with old socks, papers, wool and wooden sticks.Untitled

      The story was about the Journey of a Plastic Bag which was carried away by the wind. During its travel it meets a snake, a turtle and a young girl. All these characters share their sadness with the plastic bag and tell him how the environment gets destroyed, causes of health problems due to pollution, water pollution etc. Then they all worry how their next generation is going to survive in the polluted environment peacefully and healthily. At the end, the plastic bag understands the importance of segregating waste and recycling. It meets the village chief, headmaster of the school to spread this message to the villagers and school children.


      It was really a great experience to hide behind the screen and express the dialogues through shaking the puppets on the screen. As I could not speak the local language Tamil very fluently, one of the FSL-India Team members gave me the voice behind the screen. I thoroughly enjoyed the session and can visualize the attention as well as the enjoyment of the children being behind the screen.”

Home Remedies

Home Remedies

      On the 28th and 29th of May, our Chennai team, along with Margaux, a long-term volunteer (LTV), conducted a workshop on Home Remedies for Diseases in the villages of Thenneri and Echoor in Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu.

      The aim of the workshop was to show participants how diseases or illnesses such as cholera, malaria and the common cold can be cured by natural resources that are available at home. The session began with an informative video on cholera, malaria and the common cold – how it spreads and what steps to take to tackle it. After that, the facilitators actually demonstrated to the participants how to make home-made solutions from resources such as ginger, neem leaves, lemon, onions and black pepper.



Beautiful memories for us to remember India

Beautiful memories for us to remember India

FSL-HKIED-Bilateral camp-April

Location: Maralkunte, Bangalore                 

Theme: Education / Environment / Culture

Number of volunteers: 13 Hong Kong & 3 local volunteers          

Team leader: Mr. Manjunath.K.M and Mr. Chandan

Dates: 12th to 26th April, 2014

Dear Readers – here is a blog article written by our volunteers from Hong Kong who were part of the Group workcamp that was held in Maralkunte. Every year, FSL India receives a group of students from Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIED) to take part in a workcamp in India as part of their Leadership program. This year we received a group of 13 motivated volunteers. We hope you enjoy reading about their experiences in this visit saree wrapping walking towards farm

Read the rest of this entry

Orientation week in June

Orientation week in June

From the 2nd of June to the 6th of June, FSL-India hosted its monthly orientation week for newly arrive long-term volunteers (LTVs). Facilitating the sessions were 11 FSL-India staff members. Six volunteers from the Czech Republic, France, Italy and Sweden took part in this orientation week.



Orientation sessions cover topics such as Expectations and Fears, Roles and Responsibilities of a Volunteer, Safety Guidelines, Indian Culture and Lifestyle and much more. The LTVs will now go on to volunteer in projects around South India doing work such as animal care and conservation, slum development and prevention of child labour/promotion of child rights.


World Environment Day

World Environment Day

     World Environment Day is observed every year on the 5th of June to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action to protect nature. The first World Environment Day was observed in 1973.


      Every year FSL-India, in collaboration with different departmental and community stake holders, celebrates World Environment Day. This year FSL-India’s Home Based Project team in Kundapura organized a series of sessions on the theme of “Healthy Environment and Good Health”. The event was organized at K. Jagannatha Rao Government High School in Koni, Kundapura and 96 school children and teachers benefited from these sessions.


The five stake holders that collaborated with FSL-India to celebrate World Environment Day were:

Taluk Education Resource Center Kundapur

Primary Health Center Basrur

Village Panchayath Koni

K. Jagannatha Rao Government High School Koni 

Sarakki Lake Awareness Raising Activity

Sarakki Lake Awareness Raising Activity

Sarakki Lake, one of the largest lakes in South Bangalore, is an important lake that is fast deteriorating due to unplanned urbanization, encroachments, littering and carelessness. Due to unplanned urbanization, encroachments, littering, the lake has completely changed for the worse, and its condition is worsening every day.

SLAIT, the Sarakki Lake Area Improvement Trust, are working towards reviving and saving the lake, and restoring it back to the way it used to be. As part of an awareness raising campaign for school children, SLAIT, in collaboration with us, want run awareness raising sessions in the form of fun activities and a short lesson on the history of the lake, the importance of the lake and ways to improve its conditions.

SLAIT is a perfect example of active citizenship and participation. The work of SLAIT goes to show that we, as citizens, can and should collaborate to work towards a meaningful cause. FSL-India has partnered with SLAIT, and will be intervening in different projects, whilst working towards the larger plan of reviving Sarakki Lake. The objective of this activity is to instill in community members a sense of ownership and responsibility towards our natural resources. Volunteers will, through this activity, gain experience in facilitating awareness raising activities and learn how to create dialogue with community members on the topic of environmental conservation.


The details and dates are still in the works, so the agenda is tentative but we are beginning to recruit volunteers now!

The (tentative) agenda is:

  1. 21st June, 14:00 – 18:00 at FSL-India head office

Initial information session with SLAIT members and participants to gain background knowledge on the current situation of Sarakki Lake, and the awareness raising action plan. Note that a presentation has already been prepared in advance. Volunteers will just be expected to provide input for improvements.

1. 22nd June, 14: 00 – 18:00 at FSL-India head office

Meeting of all the volunteers to prepare and practice awareness raising presentation.

2. 28th June 2014, 12:00 onwards at three public schools in J.P Nagar

Awareness raising presentations in three schools. Ideally, there should be two-four volunteers per school to carry out activities to teach students about the lake and the importance of lakes etc.

3. 12th July 2014, 12:00 onwards at a public school in J.P. Nagar

Painting/drawing competition gallery. Based on their learnings from the awareness raising activity, the school students will be asked to create a piece of art which will be entered in a competition and displayed in a gallery.


We need as many volunteers to carry out the activities of the 28th of June. If volunteering, you will be asked to take personal time out in the coming weeks to plan and organize the events. Please email with your name, number and  “Registration for Sarakki Lake Awareness Raising” as the subject.


The details are tentative and are open to changes, the only thing that will not change is our need for volunteers. Please sign up by the 18th of June, 2014; we need as many of you as possible!


For more detailed information, contact