Are you creative? Do you believe in volunteering? Start where you are! Use what you have! Do what you can! Join us along with international volunteers for ‘Hand in Land’ Work Camp from 10th to 23rd July, Kundapur.
Hi all, greetings from FSL India’s Centre for Experiential Living (CEL), Kundapur!
Number of Volunteers: 19
Camp Activities: Volunteers attended Yoga Class every day from 4.30 to 6.30 p.m. They were also involved with painting and conducting games with the children in Special school. The special attraction of the camp was the sessions on Ayurveda for volunteers. Sessions were conducted at the Parassini Kadava Ayurvedic College.
Inter-cultural Learning: As part of the inter-cultural exposures, volunteers visited Muthappan Temple, and watched the Teyyam dance. They learnt about Indian cooking during a visit to an Indian family and participated in country presentation. The other visits included the Snake Park, Toddy (local alcohol) collection centre and Kallari Payat (Martial Arts) School.
Number of Volunteers: 13
Camp Activities: As part of the camp activities volunteer participated in school wall painting, construction and renovation work and organised fun activities with the school children.
Inter-culture Learning As part of inter-cultural learning volunteers spent a good deal of their time in interacting with Tibetan Monks. They also had Tibetan cooking session, visited a Hindu temple and waterfalls, visit to Main Dalai Lama Temple and museum, Tibetan Art Gallery and Carpet Factory. They enjoyed visiting Tibetan children village and spent time in Four-day trekking at the Himalayas.
Number of Participants: 17
Camp Activities: In this camp volunteers cleaned School premises and did the educational painting. They also participated in teaching School kids, conducted some educational and fun activities with kids and held discussion with Indian teachers on education system in India.
Inter-culture Learning: As part of inter-cultural learning volunteers visited Hindu temples, participated in Country Presentation at the local school. They also paid a visit to Bylukuppe- Tibetan Monastery, Dubare and Elephant Camp.
Number of Participants: 19
Heritage Conservation: A total nineteen volunteers in Hampi cleaned the surrounding areas Ganesh Temple. Importantly volunteers’ work has been widely appreciated by the Archaeological Survey India. The camp also got wide media coverage.
Awareness: With a view to create awareness on the importance of the heritage site, volunteers did the painting in local government school. Volunteers conducted activities for the school children and facilitated session for school children to create awareness and protect heritage monuments.
Inter-culture Learning: Volunteers learnt cooking their dishes for the Host family and local volunteer. They also visited the temples in and around Hampi and Anegundi. The camp also arranged for a special visit to a Tribal Welfare centre run by a French Couple at Kaddirampura.
Number of Participants: 14
Camp Activities: For conducting camp activities Govt. Higher Primary School, Moodu Gopady, Bijadi, and Govt. Primary School, Koni were selected and volunteers were engaged in wall painting and educational drawing. In the afternoons they were engaged with children in “learn with fun” activities taught them English through fun games. The communicator Mrs. Vandana also visited the Camp and interacted with the volunteers.
Inter-Cultural Learning: Monsoon continued its fury at Kundapur and volunteers had the chance to enjoy the “Indian Monsoon”. A local family hosted a grand Indian lunch for the volunteers. Other activities involved Henna application, Saree wrapping, Hindu family visit, Indian cooking demonstration, local sight-seeing visit to light house, beach, Hindu temple etc. The volunteers also watched a ‘Sandalwood’ movie “Shiva” in the theatre to get a taste of the local film!!
Number of Participants: 19
Camp Activities: Volunteers cleaned the premises at NAB to prepare a kitchen garden. Volunteers also participated in wall painting in school, tree plantation (25 saplings planted), peace march with visually challenged children. Volunteers also blindfolded themselves to feel how the children felt.
Inter-culture Learning: As part of the inter-cultural exposure, volunteers visited Indian Family, interacted ion with trainee teachers, local youth who catch snakes and release them to forests. Volunteer also participated in Independence Day celebration with school children.
“Health on Stage” is an initiative that intends to promote public health dialogue among community people on water and health issues using Forum Theater. A total of 11 volunteers from Taiwan, Germany, Spain and France arrived in Mysore to share three weeks for Health on Stage Program organised by FSL-India. The volunteers who participated in the Health on Stage 2012 are: Loire Mathilde, Pauline de Bortoli, Marion König, Antoine Retours, Jing Huei Huang, Lluís Martinez, Marie Acard, Katia Gianfermi, Clara Muñoz Serdà, Caroline Seifert and Dominik Holdau. The group gave seven performances and more than 1000 spectators watched these in various locations of Mysore and Bangalore. Besides participating in the performance, volunteers also had umpteen numbers of opportunities to enrich themselves with intercultural exposure.
Vandana Hattiangadi- Tallur
Communicator, Work Camp
We will always remember those three wonderful weeks we spent in India!
Rain, traffic jam, humans, cars, rickshaws and animals on the same road in a very chaotic traffic. Noise, pollution, heap of garbage at each street corner. These were our first impressions of Bangalore. But when we visited Lal Bagh Garden and how people from the slum of Lakshman Ram Nagar were nice and smiling, we felt a little bit more at home.
First day of work we started by social mapping in the biggest slum of Bangalore and discovered many similarities but also differences compared to Mysore. There we met Maria, a woman who is very committed to help the people of the slum. Back at the accommodation we were eager to write a special script for Bangalore slum and therefore we went to Lal Bagh Garden where we enjoyed the calm atmosphere of the nature.
Next day we practiced our new script until we were perfect to perform in the evening. We counted more than 400 people watching health on stage play. Wednesday was all about social mapping and interacting with people. Our first stop was at a school. Girls answered how the teachers expected them to, thus it was difficult for us to define the problems. But they were really cute and sang a song for us. Compared to the school it was easy to get to know the problems of the slum because people were open to all our questions.
We ended our work with an exhausting Thursday that was packed with action. Luckily, an Indian volunteer named Shraddha, who arrived on Wednesday, was there to support us. After practicing for one and half an hour, we were excited to be invited to an Indian Family Lunch. Something Superb! Later we were welcomed by over 600 girls and the teachers. Performing for them was a real joy because we felt comfortable in our actions on the big school yard. Our play was followed by a dance performed by the girls that we appreciated a lot. The kids could not get enough of us so we stayed one hour longer to play with them. Performing in the slum was not that good because of rain and less space but we felt that people had lots of fun and thanks to the play their eyes were opened to the problems they face and the solutions they could find.
Since some volunteers and our dear theater teacher Chakkrapani had to leave on Friday, we decided to celebrate a big party all together. On Friday we looked back on the last three weeks. We were sad to know that the end was near. We will always remember those three wonderful weeks we spent in India.
To view the video footage on HOS at Bangalore click on the following web-link
Caroline and Marie
Health on Stage Volunteers
During the second week we could implement all the theory about forum theatre that we learned. All the training we have undergone with Chakrapani & Team dancing and acting helped us feel more confident with the performance we had to do in slums, a village and in a school. At the beginning of the week it seemed for us very complicated to create our own script after the different social mappings. We were eleven people with different opinions and points of view. Hence it wasn’t easy at the beginning to put our ideas together. Our knowledge about forum theatre wasn’t very high and we also needed some help to represent the habits of people in India. Our director Chakrapani helped us do the things in the Indian style, like cleaning clothes, the open defecation, the way of carrying water or sweeping. We were showing everything only with body language by some sounds and music. Finally, we all were quite satisfied with our first script. We were ready to act!
Our first presentation in public was in a slum, around Mysore, where we conducted social mapping the week before. To our surprise when we arrived there lots of people especially the kids, seemed to be happy to see us again. We spend some time trying to attract the community singing, dancing and walking around. Some journalists were also very interested in the project of FSL-India. In that moment some of us realised that there were high expectations of us and that we were involved in a significant program. The play was good and the public was glad to see us. At the end we could interview and talk with some of the audience. A part of them realized that they should change some behaviours related to waste, water, sanitation and other health issues.
The second acting was in a village during the Independence Day, the 15th of August. The children from local school were dancing and celebrating with their families, teachers and relatives. After some speeches we performed forum theatre. It was very interesting for us to act again because we could see different reactions –and also lots of laughs to see white people dancing and trying to act like Indian people. Beyond the laughs, we were sure that the community thinks about the themes from the performance.
It was very nice to visit and to do some social mapping in a governmental school. The children, director and the teachers were very open-minded and were interested in a Health on Stage project. Having understood their difficulties in the school and at home, we started our second script. It was easier to create because we had more experience and were working all as a group together. The results of our work were very good, because a teacher and a pupil explained the others, at the end of the performance, what they have seen and how to be more aware about waste, sanitation and health.
The last show of the week was in another slum which we could perform after the social mapping. It wasn’t easy to get the attention of the people, maybe because we arrived during the lunch time and it was very sunny. However, we could learn how to motivate the audience and to believe strongly in our work.
In conclusion, we can say that during this week we have worked a lot and we understand more our tasks in the work camp. We can also confirm that forum theatre is a good way to show real problems and make some people talking and thinking about. The first step to change something is to be aware of it. In addition, our group is getting more and more together and we are right now like a little family, respecting and loving our differences.
To view the video footage on HOS at Mysore click on the following web-link
Marion & Clara
Health on Stage Volunteers
A first week report by volunteers of “Health on Stage” Camp held at Mysore / Bangalore scheduled for 6th to 26th August, 2012.
“Health on Stage” is an initiative that intends to promote public health dialogue among community people on water and health issues using Forum Theater. On the 6th of august, 11 volunteers from Taiwan, Germany, Spain and France arrived in Mysore to share three weeks with each other. They are helped by 3 Indian team leaders (Dinesh, Bharathi and Arun), 2 specialists in Forum Theater and FSL-India team.
Our team leader Dinesh knows hundreds of motivational games to make us know each other. And what a better way than having fun together! Those games helped us break the ice and made us grow as a team, ready to experience incredible India! As it is first time for everybody in India, it was necessary for us to get Cultural Orientation. Mrs. Vandana, the work camp communicator of FSL-India taught us the Life Skills
What Forum Theater is all about? In few words, Forum Theater is an interactive way of making a group of people aware of their problems that affect their life. After Forum Theater is performed, the audience gets the opportunity to participate actively by acting on the stage and try to find viable solution to their problems. Most importantly we are not here to give the solution but to show people that they have the solution
Now, let’s do it! At first, we were all shy and hesitant to act in front of each other. We managed get out of the shyness and started acting cows and mosquitoes. What an improvement and only in three days!
Here in India, it’s all about dancing – to get the people to come to our performances, Mr. Chakrapani, our Forum Theater specialist teaches us some dances and rhythms. In the beginning we felt shy. However, dance made us to be together. We are all amazed to see how much we can share and understand from the body language of the teacher who doesn’t speak English.
It’s time to see the world – with the team of FSL-India and Forum Theater specialist, we go to a slum and village to meet people and collect information about their water and sanitation conditions. We were worried and a bit scared of going to villages. “What are we going to see, discover, face and hear? We were constantly hounded by this question. Even if it was not easy for everyone to go to the slums, we all agree that the people were kind, smiling, welcoming and enthusiastic to meet us. They spoke quite easily about their problems. After two visits, we felt that we have seen India. This phase of the work is the Social Mapping which is an important phase of Health on Stage.
Last step before performing – having conducted social mapping, we all meet to write the script we intend to perform. We realized how hard it is to write a script. First of all we don’t have to give the solutions we think are the ones and secondly we are an international group with different way of working and thinking. Anyway, we made it and we found that all the games and sessions we learnt really helped us do it great and be creative. Now we are on a week-end break and we are looking forward to perform next week.
Every week, we will give you information on how the project is going on and the most striking moments we are sharing together and with the local community. We hope you’ll enjoy following us in our journey and this project would give you the will to act in the same way.
Volunteers of Health on Stage
Loire Mathilde, Pauline de Bortoli, Marion König, Antoine Retours, Jing Huei Huang, Lluís Martinez, Marie Acard, Katia Gianfermi, Clara Muñoz Serdà, Caroline Seifert and Dominik Holdau
On the 30th of September the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) along with FSL India the hosting organisation held “Health on Stage” Open Day in Bangalore. One and a half month lasting project concluded with the closing session in which participants shared their thoughts about the results and experiences of living and working closely with local communities in Bangalore, Chennai and Mysore. A group of 21 young Eurasian Volunteers with linguistic and cultural diversity facilitated Health on Stage and engaged in intensive dialogue with local community by using “forum theatre” as the medium for communication.
A host of local print and electronic media, NGOs and civil society organisations participated in the open day programme to get an update on Health on Stage and appreciated the efforts of the young volunteers. Each group represented the most popular performance that was implemented in the community. The audience could get familiar with how public health dialogue was being implemented by linguistically diversified group and witnessed how forum theatre can be an effective means for communication.
While addressing the inaugural function Rakesh S. Soans, the President of FSL India appreciated the young volunteers and reiterated that health is a global issue and global community need to work together to improve the health status of the people. Participating in the panel discussion Dr. Sanjay, the Vice-president of FSL India emphasized the need of forum theatre as an effective tool for information dissemination and public health dialogue. Forum theatre attempts to identify local solutions to the local health problems.
In the sharing session Ms Jaya Iyer (Indian forum theatre trainer) together with the participants Mr. Nagoor Kani from FSL India, Ms Rubini Raghunathan from the local community participant and member of the Chennai group, Mr. Felimon Blanco the volunteer from The Philippines and member of the Bangalore group, Ms Suzanne Prak the volunteer from The Netherlands and member of the Mysore group shared their views on the impact of the programme on the local communities. Most of the participants agreed that the Health on Stage was very successful and forum theatre worked successfully as a way of encouraging and engaging people in discussion about the public health issues. Some of them said that they already have plans for the future cooperation with other partner organizations in their respective countries. Other volunteers too agreed to use the newly gained knowledge and skills in their future course of action.
Addressing the participants, Amb Nguyen Quoc Khanh the Deputy Executive Director Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) expressed his delight and appreciation with the outcomes of the project as well as expressed possible future cooperation for public health dialogue. Responding to the queries raised by media and NGO delegates, Mr. Rakesh said “we will take this agenda forward and reach out to the people of India and engage them on public health dialogue.” Few NGOs and civil society organisations have expressed their willingness to collaborate with FSL India and integrate forum theatre to address water and public health issues.
As follow up of this intervention, ASEF has been documenting the impact and learning of Health on Stage. ASEF plans to bring out training toolkit and evaluation and recommendation of the 10th AEYVE: Health on Stage. It is expected that these publications would serve as resource and reference documents for others to learn and replicate the model.
Public health dialogue on public health issues is becoming increasingly important today in the world. Health which is the most buzz word today in the domain of global development agenda remains largely the principal factor for human progress and prosperity. If we look at the Millennium Development Goals, out of the eight four MDGs such as: 1) reduce child mortality rates, 2) improve maternal health, 3) Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, and 4) ensure environmental health and sustainability; fall within the purview of health. And global partnership for development (MDG 8 ) is the synergising factor for realisation of all MDGs.
If one analyses this reality, it would not be inapt to state that health is not only the local issue but also the global phenomenon, the improvement and attainment of which would determine the local as well as global progress. Nationally and internationally the UN bodies, governments, aid organisations, local NGOs and civil society organisations employ different strategies and deploy sizeable amount of financial as well as human resource to address numerous health issues. “Health on Stage” spearheaded by Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) and implemented in India in partnership with Field Services and Intercultural Learning (FSL India), is one of such local and global efforts to mobilise community efforts for public health dialogue on public health issues.
What is Health on Stage and how does it relate to public health dialogue on public health issue is the question one needs to raise. “Health on Stage” is nothing but the 10th edition of the Asia-Europe Young Volunteers Exchange (AEYVE) programme, and is the theme promoted by ASEF. Although Health on Stage as a developmentally appropriate strategy is not a new conceptual framework for enhancing the health status of the people, the theme promoted by Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) in partnership FSL India is certainly a unique and new people-based development paradigm innovated for development actors to replicate. It is a unique model because, a group of young Eurasian Volunteers with linguistic and cultural diversity facilitated Health on Stage and disseminated information and engaged in intensive dialogue with local community by using “forum theatre” as the medium for communication.
Hosted for the first time in India, Health on stage was implemented in three different locations such as the slums in Bangalore, rural areas in Mysore and the eight model villages promoted by FSL India in Chennai suburban. Water, water related issues and water borne disease are important components of Health on Stage programme. Working in three groups, the 21 Eurasian Volunteers visited the slum-dwellers in Bangalore, workers in an industrial belt in Chennai and villagers in Mysore and performed forum theatre and promoted Health on Stage.
After a week-long inter-cultural exchange and learning the applications of ‘forum theatre’, these young volunteers of “Health on Stage” performed for one month. They were trained by Jaya Iyer, Indian forum theatre trainer. Health on Stage volunteers focused on public health, with all its social and cultural dimensions in the specific locations. The performances were indeed unique and enriching and above all original in its creativity. Its impact is significant as it opened up new avenues for health seeking behaviors of the local community. Under the broader framework of Water and Public Health, a wide range of local issues were taken up for dialogue and seek solutions. Hygiene and sanitation, waterborne diseases, preventive and curative aspects of health, water and environment, water conservation, indigenous water purification measures etc. are some of the issues dealt with.
They did not speak the local language. They were not familiar with the local issues and the local culture. How did manage to make a significant impact? But surprisingly language and cultural issues did not pose a formidable challenge for these young and enthusiastic volunteers. The forum theatre was not so much with language based. It was predominantly body language and action based communications. Initially the young development artist used to spend time in social mapping to identify the local water and health issues and through forum theatres analyzed the issues with the community to design locally available solutions. People did not take initiative to find the local solutions. They did criticize the government and someone will come and do – this was the kind of mind set. But this has triggered the thought of the people and now they have realized that it is the people who are principally responsible to find out locally available solutions to their numerous water and public health problems.
As these volunteers assembly in Bangalore for a three days evaluation which culminates in addressing the international media on 30th September, Miss Debasmita the Media Coordinator form Singapore says that the movement has created a ripple effect and the global issues are converged with the local issues and the local issues with the global. With a scaling up measures these volunteers as they return to their respective countries, would mobilize the local mass and continue to identify and address local issues pertaining to water and health.
Whether Health on Stage or health off the stage; sustainability is supremely important in any development intervention. This is only the pilot phase and it is expected that with replications and ripple effects this effort will continue to make the headway to address water and public health issue. Mr. Rakesh S Soans, the President of FSL India says that “now it is the responsibility of FSL India to take this agenda forward and reach out to the other parts of the country for engaging the people on public health dialogue.”
In India there has been overwhelming response. NGOs and civil society organisations have been approaching to integrate Health on Stage strategy to address water and public health issues. And therefore, Health on Stage and public health dialogue is a new people-based development paradigm for the global community for applications and replication to address the community issues and problems.
The Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary services (CCIVS) have organised the Preparatory meeting for Health on stage project under10th Asia- Europe young volunteers Exchange. The program was organised from 19th -22nd April, 2011, at ASEF premises in Singapore. The program Health on stage will be focussing on Public Health through the use of Forum Theatre as a non-formal education tool.
The program will be hosted by FSL-India and implemented in one location in Tamil Nadu and two locations in Karnataka, focussing on Water related issues. Mr. C.Doreswamy, Joint Director of FSL- India represented the meeting and other participants include representatives from ASEF, CCIVS, Forum theatre experts and Health Experts.