Hi! This is Kallene Ryan from USA. Here I would like to Share my experience to you. last three months I have spent volunteering for PET have been some of the most interesting and engaging moments of my life. At first I was slightly confused as to what my role and purpose would be, however after a few patient weeks of observing I came to realize I had enormous potential working here. Potential which I feel I too full advantage of.
The organization is small, but very eager to take on any tasks/projects that will benefit their community and serve the poor. This type of work would not be possible without the selfless dedication of Moly Selvanathan and her husband.
After my observational period I discovered a serious need in the villages, which I could address. This need is increased awareness of Dengue Fever and how to prevent it. The current epidemic in Tamil Nadu is evidence of a general lack of awareness. I decided I wanted to discover a way to not only teach villages the steps to prevent spread of illness, but I also wanted to make sure they had the necessary means to do so. This includes acquiring and using mosquito bed nets. The net project unfolded over the following month, including a fundraising initiative through face book. In the end we raised over $1,300 to provide villages with nets.
In addition to this Stefanie (fellow volunteer for the first month) held Dengue prevention awareness meetings in the villages to ensure they were prepared to use the nets correctly. The last month was spent purchasing the nets and distributing them to the villages. In the end we will do follow up reports in the villages to ensure they were using the nets correctly.
The second major project I took on was teaching to children in the villages as well as having daily lessons in Chengam. The teaching was rewarding and included English games, songs, world map knowledge and conversational English. The children were very excited to be learning English, especially through fun and interactive activities.
We also spent time meeting with HIV patients that have no social outlets. This was extremely rewarding as well because these women and children have next to nothing and it was nice being there for them. I also participated in awareness programs in the villages including environmental, nutritional, and medical awareness.
All of the work I have done has been very fulfilling. I feel very accomplished as I leave PET and I hope, as its first volunteer, I have helped paved the way for future progress with new volunteers. My best advice is to always remain patient, open minded and creative. Be ready to work hard and have the time of your life doing it!
FSL-India Volunteer from USA