Promotion of volunteerism for field services and inter-cultural learning is the important channel for development cooperation. Every month new volunteers across the world join FSL-India. August 2012, is yet another eventful occasion for FSL-India to welcome new volunteers. For as many as 47 volunteers from five countries arrived in India to begin their voluntary service. FSL-India organised a week-long orientation for the new volunteers at Hotel Julie-Yo International, Kundapur between from 6th to 11th August 2012. It was facilitated by seven-member team of LTV Program under the leadership of Assistant Director and the Deputy Director.
The orientation sessions included theoretical input, group activities, field visits and excursion. On the first day all the volunteers visited the town and later in the evening, volunteers participated in henna session. They appreciated the beautiful design made by the local henna artists. The second day began with welcoming ceremony. Volunteers are welcomed with application of Kumkum and Turmeric paste on forehead. They received garlanded and Aarathi as a symbolic gesture of enlightenment. The significance of “Athithi Devo Bhava” is explained to volunteers during the Indian welcome ceremony.
During the orientation evening activities are organised to facilitate inter-cultural learning. FSL-India organised Musical Concert in partnership with Sangeetha Bharathi Trust. String Shehanai and Tabla accompanied by Harmonium was played by the professional artists. Volunteers and local audience immensely adored and enjoyed three hours of musical concert.
Friday evening was specified for both learning and sharing. Tea-party was arranged at three Host Families. Volunteers visited in three groups. It was an opportunity for the volunteer to observe a bit the living conditions and discussed with host families about some basic family norms of living. In one of the host families a volunteer who has been already living demonstrated how the Indians wash clothes.
Volunteers participated in country presentation which was organised in a hostel for destitute children run by Holy Rosary Convent. The program started with welcoming speech followed by dance and song performed by the children. Volunteer from Germany presented wedding ritual, a song from Bavarian region, watching and celebrating soccer paly and community dance etc. Volunteers from France and Sweden shared about the cultural features of their country. Volunteers from Italy and Spain presented song and dance.