In the month of August we received 2 volunteers from FSL India named Louis Bohny and Malte Ruger to Sristi Village. Sristi Village is an inclusive, self-sustaining and eco-friendly community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
We are located on 8.39 acres of land in a small rural town in Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu, Southern India. Our mission at Sristi Village is to create a community in which people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can live a happy, dignified and wholesome life. One way in which we wish to achieve this is to convert our land into an entirely eco-friendly and self-sustaining village. We feel we could not have achieved our goals without the help from volunteers alike Louis and Malte.
After Louis and Malte being at our village for a very short time, we have been able to do so much to improve our organization. They have been working hard to not only come up with innovative and creative ways to improve our farming, but also to interact with our community members and overall make Sristi Village a better place to live. We would like to take time to appreciate all they have done for us.
One thing that speaks to the hard work and dedication of Louis and Malte is the fact that they are always happy, adaptable, and coming up with new ideas to improve our project! They share a house with volunteers from around the world and never complain or cease to adapt to living with different people. In addition to their ability to adapt, they are incredibly hard working. Although they have the weekends off, Louis and Malte often come in to work on Saturday and Sunday to happily engage with the community members and work on the farm.
Louis and Malte are also creative and innovative. They came to us with almost no agriculture experience, and have learned so much since they arrived. While being with us they made the observation that there is a lot of unused waste water in our village. They decided to take this issue into their own hands and have engineered a plan to help us re-claim waste water. This will allow us to provide more water to our plants, meaning more yummy organic food for our residents, and overall help us achieve our goal of being more environmentally friendly. They are currently in the process of executing their project, and we are happy to support them.
Although we are very happy with the inventive work they have been doing on our farm, the thing we are most appreciative about from our wonderful volunteers is how well they have adapted to Indian culture and have become a part of our community. Louis and Malte are constantly showing interest in our culture, whether it be from learning to make Indian food, dressing in traditional Indian clothes, or simply through their day to day interactions with all of our community members (despite the often struggle of not speaking a common language). It has been very wonderful to see them learn so much since their arrival in India. Everyone in Sristi Village is grateful of all the time they have put into sincerely getting to know our community members, especially those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Whether it is playing a game of chess with one of our members, giving a hug to someone in need or teaching them how to properly use a farming tool, they are constantly engaging the members of our village. We feel confident in saying that they have helped to improve the quality of life of all our community members.
We are very thankful to FSL India for sending us Louis and Malte, two dedicated and hardworking volunteers. We are happy to have them for the next nine months and are excited see all that they achieve in their remaining time at Sristi Village. Best regards,
Director, Sristi Foundation