FSL-India organized a work camp from 11th-24th September 2017 at our Centre for Experiential Living- Kundapura. The theme of the work camp was Sustainable Agriculture, Yoga, Culture & Kids.
During the first week of the camp, there was a warm Indian welcoming ceremony with our field staff from the centre. The centre promotes a field-based, non-formal educational learning, community stay, involving agricultural activities and experiential learning methods. FSL-India’s Dinesh explained about the project and schedule. 3 volunteers participated in this camp – Jake and Simon from Canada and Irina from Italy. They worked on a sustainable model of CEL Kitchen Garden and planted jasmine and amla plants in the local community under ‘Tree for India’ program by FSL- CEL, visited an organic farm, went on a Kundapur town tour, participated in educational drawing and English teaching classes at Neralakatte School.
Another volunteer’s aspect of spending time abroad is getting to know a new culture, learning about its traditions, foods, songs, and finally being able to feel comfortable in your new home. FSL-India organized yoga classes, where every morning, the volunteers practised yoga at sessions conducted outdoors at the centre, with Vivek, an expert Vedic Yoga teacher. To quote him, “Yoga means ‘union,’ and when it is practised outdoors, it seems like the union with nature, humanity, and the universe is truly felt,”
During the first week of the camp, the volunteers participated in kitchen garden maintenance and different skilled activities at Neralakatte Gov. Primary School. Totally, 48 children, 4 school staff, 3 kitchen helpers and 8 SCDMC members took the initiative in this program. The participants visited a cashew factory to learn about cashew nut processing and had a lively interaction with the workers. Next, they participated in fruit plant maintenance activities by weeding and composting the plants, compost preparing, and biomass collection. They visited Nammaboomi, an eco-village charitable trust, conducted a puzzle contest and country presentation of Canada and Italy. After conducting a quiz for the kids, they distributed prizes and taught about waste management to the children. The children were curious to know the interesting facts about zero waste system and nature. FSL-India also organized a Bollywood movie night to learn about Indian cinema.
The volunteers visited Koteshwara Kotilingeswara temple, Koteshwara Lake, and the Hanuman statue. They also visited an Indian family and celebrated local New Year (hostu in Kannada) with lunch on traditional banana leaves with the family members. The volunteers enjoyed the hands-on experience and interaction with the schoolchildren. FSL-India received a very good feedback from the school committee and staff. They enjoyed the work and understood about the different cultures and appreciated the effort and contribution of the volunteers. On behalf of FSL-India, the team thanked all the volunteers for their great contribution.