We are Lea and Sonja from Germany. We have the honor to stay in the beautiful Tamil Nadu in South India for one year. Our Project is a christian institution. It is a Day-Care-Center for disabled children and also a school for those who are able to receive education.
Although we are living with three nuns together in our Project, we celebrate some Hindu-Festivals. Referring to our Headline Pongalo Pongal: One week ago we celebrated “Pongal“. One of the most important festivals of Tamil Nadu, organized by our staff because all of them are Hindus. During Pongal they thank the Gods for the good harvest. One part of the celebration is cooking some special kind of rice called Pongal. Once it over boils everybody shouts “Pongalo Pongal!“. After that we sung and danced around the fireplace. During Christmastime we baked some traditional German cookies and helped the nuns doing their Christmas snacks. For Diwali, another Hindu festival they got so many snacks from their friends and the staff, that is why they made cakes and snacks for everyone
We are lucky to work and live with such open-minded people, because they always show interest in our German culture as well as they try to help us to get through our new and unusual daily life. Especially in the beginning we were glad to have some support. But know after the half of the time we feel very confident and found our personal place. Of course while travelling you get to know lots of people, different point of views and different food.
Due to our Tamil language class, three times a week, our work has become way more easy because know we are able to talk to the children and also understand most of the time what they try to tell us. Seems like nearly every mysterious is solved, except for the arrival and departure times of the Buses.
A background of the project/local partner in which they were placed :
Daughter of the Heart of Mary (DHM) is a registered society (Tamil Nadu Act 27 of 1975, S. No 153 of 1979) with its Head Office at Chennai (formerly Madras), in the state of Tamil Nadu. DHM Roshni Developmental project and DHM St. Albans Health centre at Parangipettai are its outreach Projects. The organization has been in the fields of education, livelihood development and healthcare since 2005, reaching out to the economically backward in and around the villages of Parangipettai and Killai, with a particular focus on women, youth and children. The organization aims to empower vulnerable and stigmatized sections of society with the ultimate view of enabling them to become economically and socially in dependent and self-reliant
What the volunteer did during their volunteering tenure- Physically and Mentally Challenged Children’s:
- You will be working in one of the day care centers of the organization to assist and help physiotherapists in taking care of disabled children
- Assist the staff in children’s bathing, dressing, feeding and other routine activities
- Take care of the health and hygiene of children
- Conduct fun games/activities for special children and the teaching faculties
- Assist in computer based report work, documentation, photo/video documentation for the organization