AMAIDI Volunteering in India

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Goodbye CC4U

Thanks to the hard work of JoHo in the Netherlands, their excellent preparation program and their guidance, a group of 16 motivated young people from Holland have been in India for three weeks, working, learning and exchanging. We hope that AMAIDI Volunteering in India, at the Indian side of the organization, has reached its aim to make the Dutch participants realize that India is a country where people are sometimes unable to make the best of their lives, but that our personal involvement – as a supplement of the work of development NGOs – can make a (small) difference in the lives of those who have not.

AMAIDI is confident that all the DVA-activities will go well in Holland. We wish all the candidates good luck!

 CC4U & JoHo: thank you very much for making this possible.



Filed under: Bless, CC4U, culture, exchange program, international volunteers, music


February 28, 4 o’clock in the morning. The bus with driver Anbu is driving up the lane of IITPD in Chettikuppam, to catch the 16 participants of ‘What I See’, a project of AMAIDI Volunteering in India, CC4U & JoHo. It’s Auroville 40’th birthday and the whole group is going to watch the bonfire at the amphi-theatre, where on Feb 28, 1968 youth representatives of 124 countries put a handfull of their native soil into a lotus-bud shaped urn to symbolize the strive for human unity, the key-concept in Auroville. In New Creation and Last School Campus, for 10 days all were involved in music & other arts; they visited an Arts’ College in Ariankuppam, Anandi’s organic cooking class in Kottakarai, gave a Tai Bo and Boxing workshop in New Creation School and cooked a Dutch dinner for the village elders and youth of Kuilapayam Village. in Last School, a concert was given of Dutch danc’ styles and Tamil youth gave a dance show of their own, by way of exchange. It has been a full program, at times tiring but always surprising and with amply opportunity to meet local youth and artists in a series of cultural events.

Filed under: CC4U, culture, exchange program, international volunteers, music, Village life

“We learned a lot”

Saturday-morning, 10 am. The final session. Presentations of the volunteers with reflections on their work, experience and feelings during the past week of voluntary action in Reddichavadi and surrounding villages. A cow-shed has been ‘floored’, cows washed, lunch cooked, children taught (songs and body parts) and knowledge gained about ‘livelihood support’ by an NGO called ‘Bless’. Everyone was impressed, to say the least, of the impact of these (and other) projects on the lives of the beneficiaries in the villages. Some have determined to come back and do more voluntary work. Fact is that the group of 16 Dutch nationals is heading for a two weeks’ exchange program with local youth, in the field of music, art and culture. Culture Clash For You!

Filed under: Bless, CC4U, culture, exchange program, international volunteers, music, projects, Village life


In a rented bus, a trip of 1 hour and with boots, in case one has to work in the cow stable, our 16 participants gladly move themselves from IITPD in Marakkanam to Reddichavadi, where AMAIDI’s staff and the project coordinators of Bless are waiting to direct them to their projects: a livelihood advancement centre (giving vocational training to older school drop-outs), open school (for younger drop-outs), cows (milk-supply and model for farmers) and the construction of a new cow stable (flooring and bricks’ transport). From 10 am till 4 pm, with a tea- and lunch break, all of the members of CC4U are working hard ‘to get things done’. ‘This work can be done much more efficient’, is an often heard remark. ‘Come, let’s make a chain to pass on the sand, that goes faster ..’. The lunch is good (I’m personally chopping the fresh veg’s) and we all drink lots and lots of water. There are group-discussions, interactions with women Self Help Groups, with villagers and with Bless’ staff. There are daily eye-openers, through which the personal concepts of ‘development aid’ are changing. And, very important: everyone is enjoying it!

Filed under: Bless, CC4U, exchange program, Village life, volunteering in India

‘What new needs were discovered after Tsunami?’

Sunday afternoon, 4 o’clock: 16 Dutch participants are sitting in one of the ‘conference’ rooms of IITPD, in Chettikuppam, a hamlet close to Marakkanam and the East Coast Road. I’m informing all present about their program for the next three weeks: working at Bless’ post-tsunami development projects in Reddichavadi, Tamil Nadu; and a musical exchange with local youth from around Auroville and fishermen’s villages. Many questions, some regarding the program (‘What new needs were discovered after Tsunami?’), some connected with practical issues (‘where can we find shops?’ and ‘where can we make a phonecall home?’). At 6 pm most questions were answered, the sight-seeing trip on Sunday to Pondicherry was arranged. The kick-off of ‘What I See’ will be on Monday at 10 am, at Reddichavadi, when Bless’ executive director Mr. Anthony Samy will address the group, marking the start for the project-work.


Filed under: Bless, CC4U, culture, exchange program, tsunami

Culture Clash 4 You arrived!

This morning, around 6 am, 16 participants of the Dutch youth organization ‘Culture Clash 4 U’ (CC4U) ended up in their accommodation at IITPD near the village of Marakkanam, from where they will engage in various activities until March 4. This project, called ‘What I See’, is organized by AMAIDI & Bless at the Indian side and JoHo at the Dutch side. Its all about cultural exchange & -awareness and grass-roots development work in and around Puducherry & Auroville. This afternoon I will visit IITPD to see how our guests are doing at their stay close to the sea-shore. But first I have to conduct a tour through Puducherry for 6 teacher trainees from Belgium.


Filed under: Bless, CC4U, culture, exchange program, JoHo

Volunteers, Projects & Tamil music

From Feb 15 till March 4, in the surroundings of Auroville, Puducherry and Cuddalore, 15 Dutch students in the age-group between 17 and 30, all members of CC4U, will participate in various projects, hosted by the Indian NGO ‘Bless’ and join/give workshops & events centered around ‘music’ in South-India.

Through The JoHo Company in the Netherlands, CC4U – aspiring to integrate the different cultures that exist within Dutch society – wants to have a ‘live’ experience of youth-culture and grass-roots development in India.

CC4U’s members – and all who sympathise with their undertaking – are warmly invited to comment!


Filed under: Bless, CC4U, culture, exchange program, international volunteers, JoHo, music, projects, sending organization, understanding, , , , , ,

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