Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Wanting to do good

Before coming to Pune, I researched places that I could maybe volunteer for whilst I'm here. I think it would be really great to not only do some good but also to alleviate my boredom. As nice as it is sitting around all day playing on the computer and watching TV, it can get a bit mundane after a while. 

I came across an organisation called Deep Griha Society which helps people living in the slums of Pune, On Thurday 10th Feb, I decided to visit The Family Welfare Centre branch to investigate whether there was any opportunity to volunteer for them. I got an auto rickshaw to an area called Bund Garden (which is about five minutes further into the centre of town past Koregaon Park) and walked down a road called Dhole Patil Path to the building that was on the corner of a small side street. 

The Family Welfare Centre was quite a large building on a gated plot that was set back off the road with a driveway and room for parking in front of it. I went in through the front entrance and asked what seemed to be a receptionist, who I needed to talk to in order to volunteer. She wasn't that sure but she sent me up to the second floor to find someone called Patinine (I think that was the name). Once upstairs, I asked a couple of people where I could find Patinine and I eventually I was escorted to him. I was a bit taken back though when I was introduced to him because I'd assumed that it was a woman I was looking for, judging by the sound of the name! He lead me into a small room that had a few computers around the sides of the room and introduced me to the Volunteer Coordinator, Ashlesha. She said she'd talk to me after he had shown me around the building.

The building has three floors, including a really nice roof terrace, where they operate initiatives such as a Medical Clinic, HIV and AIDS Awareness, Childcare, Youth Empowerment, Child Empowerment and Women's Empowerment from the centre. 

I was led back down to the second floor to meet with Ashlesha and we had a chat about what I could offer and what kinds of projects I could get involved in. She was really nice, positive and got very enthusiastic about the fact that I was a trainee teacher and had a creative background. She said it would be good if I could help run some activities that children aged 8-14 would enjoy, such as crafts and games. She also suggested that it maybe good for me to meet with the in-house teachers and help them with their English and teaching methods. If I wanted, I could also go and visit their new school that they have just set up in a village 60km from Pune, which would be interesting.

Ashlesha took my name and number and said she would be in touch after she had worked out exactly how I could fit in with the organisation and how she could make good use of all my skills.

It was really nice to visit the organisation and meet some of the people there because I now know what to expect and I have a better understanding of the things they do and how I could possibly help. I am actually quite excited about volunteering. I think it should be a great experience for me and an opportunity for me to improve my teaching skills and do some good in the local community. 

1 comment:

Rob said...

That sounds like a really great first contact. I guess you will keep us in suspense on how this has worked out :)