AMAIDI Volunteering in India

Portal for international volunteers, interns & professionals

Marc Zuckerberg joins Call for Umiversal Purpose 




Yesterday, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg delivered visionary commencement address at Harvard, the school where he attended before dropping out to start Facebook. The focus of his address – PURPOSE.

“The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose.”

“Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness.”

The research clearly backs up Zuckerberg’s assertion. In the studies by leading academics as well as our research at Imperative we have found that when people embrace purpose in their careers it is transformational. Higher performance. Higher wellbeing. Stronger relationships. The list goes on and on.

Zuckerberg, in his Harvard address, lays out a three point plan for creating a world in which everyone finds purpose in their work and lives.

“First, let’s take on big meaningful projects.”

“The second is redefining equality to give everyone the freedom they need to pursue purpose.”

“The third way we can create a sense of purpose for everyone is by building community.”

I wrote the Purpose Economy and co-founded Imperative to make purpose universal. We have to make this vision a reality to achieve our next major step forward as a society. 

It is possible and within reach.

  1. We have the science now to understand what it takes to unlock meaning in work for everyone.
  2. We have the data and predictive analytics to redesign our management and educational systems to empower people to embrace purpose.
  3. We have the CEO desire to create this change at leading organizations in every sector and industry.

At Imperative we are working with over 50 courageous and visionary employers to begin to realize the vision we share with Zuckerberg. We can do this and we must do this to create the future we want for the next generation.

That is, at the end of the day, my motivation. When my 9 and 11 year old kids enter the workforce, it must not resemble the workforce I entered in 1997 or the one we see today with 66% of people unfulfilled

There is no change that we can make in society that would have a greater impact. Universal purpose would radically improve our health. It would take our economy to new and sustained heights. It would give us the agency and resilience to address any challenge we face now and in the future.

Please join us and become part of the movement for universal purpose.

Source : Aaron Hurst is an Ashoka Fellow, award-winning entrepreneur and globally recognized leader in fields of purpose at work and social innovation. He is the CEO of Imperative and founder of the Taproot Foundation which he led for a dozen years. Aaron is the author of the Purpose Economy and has written for or been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg TV and is the author of the Fast Company Purposeful CEO series.

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,400 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 5 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 58 posts. There were 2 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 113 Kb.

The busiest day of the year was March 13th with 46 views. The most popular post that day was Mother Theresa Hospice Pondicherry .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were amaidi.org, facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, networkedblogs.com, and google.co.in.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for social networking, chirag.org, http://www.chirag.org, voluntourism, and volunteerism in india.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Mother Theresa Hospice Puducherry June 2009
7 comments

2

Working for a year with CHIRAG in Uttarakhand May 2009
7 comments

3

Miss Getty and Women Rights in Tamil Nadu, India April 2009

4

Social Networking December 2009

5

Dairy project in Sathankullam January 2008
1 comment

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1%CLUB

An ecofriendly solution for ground water pollution by human faeces

Non polluting ecosan toilet

De 1%CLUB is a Dutch online marketplace for development projects. The projects are small and concrete.One asks only 1% of people’s time or money to invest in projects of one’s own choice from a list of ‘project owners’. So far only Dutch ‘owners’ could ask for support through the 1%CLUB’s website (see link attached). From January 1 foreign based organizations (NGOs and CBO’s) are invited to directly apply for 1% support.

AMAIDI is going to apply for funds for an ecosan toilet for its own project: AMAIDI Child Care Center in the slums of Cuddalore Old Town in Tamil Nadu. In addition to fundraise activities currently undertaken by Miriam and Lisanne van Zwol and Machteld Wit from the Netherlands, members of the Dutch Support Group of our CCC. The current toilet is not only insufficient for the 15 children and staff, it also pollutes the ground water close to the center. An ecosan toilet will keep the faeces not only separated from the soil (catching it in an above ground  container), it turns it into compost, usable for the (future) vegetable garden. The advantages for the children and staff from there on are obvious!

Join us by checking in the website of the 1%CLUB. After 1 Jan the international website will be operation. Be sure to come back by then and give as much as you can.

We hope for the best,

Regards,

Camille & Jansi

Filed under: charitable business, choice, control, Millennium Development Goals (MDG), new partner, projects, Uncategorized, ,

AMAIDI Child Care Center

Children in the AMAIDI Child Care Center

Care taker with a number of children from the Cuddalore slums

The slums in Cuddalore O.T. : some 1000 families live under deplorable circumstances with open gutters, giving rise to various intestinal diseases, a high unemployment rate, omnipresent alcohol misuse and a high crime rate and domestic violence that go with it. Children – especially the younger ones – and women are the victims: malnutrition, school drop out-ism and lack of awareness in the field of education, hygiene, legal rights and work opportunities.

AMAIDI Foundation, the offshoot of AMAIDI Volunteering in India, wanted to do something about this. Being near to Cuddalore and knowing the local situation very well, AMAIDI Foundation started in May 2009 using the unused ground floor of a community building in Cuddalore O.T., at the backside of St. Philomena School (for girls) at Pensioner Line’s Street. The first floor is in use as accommodation for volunteers (especially in January when teacher trainees flock Old Town for a traineeship in St. Davids Matriculation School nearby).

Lisanne, the first volunteer to work with the starters’ group of 15 children and a warden, was so touched by the work, that she decided to give the AMAIDI Child Care Center, as it was being called, a colourful face-lift. With merry colours and picto’s on the wall, inside as well as outside, and a lot of games and toys plus some tables and chairs, she transformed the center into a safe haven and heaven for the children and their care taker. With only one toilet for all the children and staff, the need to build an additional sanitary facility was badly felt. A proposal to get subsidy for such a toilet – a drawing has already been made – has been sent off. It will be a so called ‘Ecosan’ toilet: ecofriendly in the sense that the faeces will be kept away from the soil in a sealed container above the ground to ferment into compost after a while. When we manage to create a small ‘kitchengarden’ with veggies and other edible plants, the compost will come in handy. And the natural circle is closed, a perfect example of how you can preserve our nature and resources in a small but effective way.

Lisanne is now – together with her mum, Machteld and Corine, all from the Netherlands – actively fund raising to enhance the quality of the service given to children and parents in the ACCC. ‘Femmes d’Europe’ is one of the donor organizations they’re contacting for a subsidy to supply more play material, better nutrition and a better infrastructure. Wherevertheneed UK through the help of Bless in Cuddalore are also sought to help financially and materially. In the future local shop- and restaurant owners as well as traders will be asked for a contribution to this newest of the private child care centers in Cuddalore.

At present the ACCC is open on weekdays from 8.30-12.30. Around 10 the children – numbering 15 at present – get a healthy snack and at noon a healthy lunch. Something they had to fore go when they were still at home with their (impoverished) mothers.

AMAIDI Child Care Center in Cuddalore O.T. wants to create a replicable model for other slum areas in Tamil Nadu and Puduchderry.

For more information, mail us at info@amaidi.org

Thanking you,
Camille van Neer
AMAIDI Foundation

Lisanne at ACCC in Cuddalore Old Town

Lisanne, first volunteer and sponsor, at the entrance of ACCC

Filed under: Bless, charity, Uncategorized, volunteering in India, , , ,

Social Networking

Social Networking

There's no way around it (for non-profits): social networking is here to stay

In 2020 the number of NGO’s in India applying for foreign donations will be half the number we have now. Why? Because the other half is still not – or never going to be – social networking. Using the ‘social web’ or ‘web 2.0’ as it is being called, is increasingly going to be critical in acquiring attention (and who doesn’t get it, doesn’t get it) from ‘important others’. And, lets be honest, this is all that matters for local NGOs who want to implement their social projects for the beneficiaries they serve in the villages and urban areas in India since many years. We have to rephrase the term ‘digital divide’ in ‘social divide’. Not necessary to insert the term ‘digital’ anymore, as the ‘real’ world and its ‘digital’ representation on the Internet are increasingly interwoven. Take public health services, tax payments, agricultural news, marketing and interpersonal communication. More and more people will either ‘also’ or ‘only’ use social networking as a communication tool.

In other words: whether we like it or not, we have to jump on the bandwagon called ‘Social Networking’, get down to the specs as how to use it in our particular (hyperlocal) community.

Here’s a few leads to get yourself started: Social by Social – a Guide to Social Network, How to manage a Facebook group?How Non-Profits Can Use Social Media

Go ahead!

Camille

AMAIDI Volunteering in India

Filed under: article, charity, information, social networking, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,

Volunteer Aid

AMAIDI  is working together with Volunteer Aid Denmark, the brainchild of Kristine and her husband, both social workers in Denmark. The contact has come about through a coincidental meeting of Camille (AMAIDI) with Alexandra Sorensen, who was looking for some voluntary work while in India. Kristine was her friend. As a result the first 4 Danish volunteers have come and are presently working in 3 different projects: REAL (NGO in Puducherry), Baby Sarah’s Home (orphanage in Puducherry) and BLESS (NGO in Reddichavadi, Tamil Nadu).

For all you Facebookers out there: here’s Stephanie and Alexandra.

Happy FBing!

Camille

Filed under: Uncategorized

Voluntourism

 

Voluntourism is a concept that integrates traveling, voluntary service and charity.The idea of combining voluntary service with travel is not a new concept. In fact, it can be traced back for many thousands of years in various cultures and religious orders throughout the world.Missionaries, healers and/or medical practitioners, sailors, explorers, and countless others have rendered service in conjunction with their travels.But what about modern day VolunTourism?
Well, VolunTourism in its current iteration received a very big boost from the founding of Volunteer Service Overseas in 1958 by Alec and Mora Dickson and that of the U.S. Peace Corps, established in 1961 during the John F. Kennedy administration.he first organization to use the word Voluntourism was the Nevada Board of Tourism (NBT) in 1998. The NBT was making an effort to attract local residents to volunteer to support the development of rural tourism in remote locations of Nevada. Although this is quite different than what the term is currently being used to describe, it is an interesting bit of trivia nonetheless.In 2000, Catalyst Marketing, Inc. (CMI) became the first company in the world to dedicate resources to officially bridge the business & leisure travel segments of the tourism industry with the nonprofit industry. (This approach was called VolunTours™ and has since been developed by the “Parent” of VolunTourism.org – Los Niños, Inc.). In 2008 and beyond: VolunTourism.org (VT) is leading the world in the provision of educational content as well as promoting and developing formal practices of VolunTourism at the global level. What practices work? Which ones do not? How are the four primary stakeholder groups involved? How can all stakeholders benefit from VolunTourism? What “permanent” and sustainable changes can occur through VolunTourism?
After this brief overview of VolunTourism’s history, the question to be answered, is of course: is VolunTourism good for the people that are supposed to benefit from it: the travelers and the communities they visit/work in? 

 

WebVoluntourism is a concept that integrates traveling, voluntary service and charity.

“The idea of combining voluntary service with travel is not a new concept. In fact, it can be traced back for many thousands of years in various cultures and religious orders throughout the world.Missionaries, healers and/or medical practitioners, sailors, explorers, and countless others have rendered service in conjunction with their travels.But what about modern day VolunTourism?

Well, VolunTourism in its current iteration received a very big boost from the founding of Volunteer Service Overseas in 1958 by Alec and Mora Dickson and that of the U.S. Peace Corps, established in 1961 during the John F. Kennedy administration.he first organization to use the word Voluntourism was the Nevada Board of Tourism (NBT) in 1998. The NBT was making an effort to attract local residents to volunteer to support the development of rural tourism in remote locations of Nevada. Although this is quite different than what the term is currently being used to describe, it is an interesting bit of trivia nonetheless.In 2000, Catalyst Marketing, Inc. (CMI) became the first company in the world to dedicate resources to officially bridge the business & leisure travel segments of the tourism industry with the nonprofit industry. (This approach was called VolunTours™ and has since been developed by the “Parent” of VolunTourism.org – Los Niños, Inc.). In 2008 and beyond: VolunTourism.org (VT) is leading the world in the provision of educational content as well as promoting and developing formal practices of VolunTourism at the global level. What practices work? Which ones do not? How are the four primary stakeholder groups involved? How can all stakeholders benefit from VolunTourism? What “permanent” and sustainable changes can occur through VolunTourism”. 

<Source: http://www.voluntourism.org/inside-history.html>

After this brief overview of VolunTourism’s history, the question to be answered, is of course: is VolunTourism good for the people that are supposed to benefit from it: the travelers and the communities they visit/work in? I mean, what is the head target anyway? Is it to lure more travelers to far-away destinations (by making them feel good as givers to charity)? Or is it a genuine attempt by the travel industry to help vulnerable communities with their development? 

Cement 2343

Filed under: Uncategorized

Free volunteering abroad. Is it possible?

The dream of every volunteer: to be a volunteer! That is: working for a good cause without being paid for it. But most definitely without HAVING to pay for it. Not so in foreign volunteering. A sometimes hefty sum has to be paid – not even mentioning a flight ticket – before the first voluntary action can come about. In orphanages, hospitals, schools and in grass-roots charitable NGO’s. On top of that, intermediairy organizations – like AMAIDI – are asking money (‘way too much’ according to some) AND the host organizations sometimes demand money too, for guidance, admin, transport and/or meals. Is this really necessary? Is it not possible – with exception to the flight ticket – to do is against paying NO extra money? Or even receiving a stipend, a salary of some sorts for the effort you bring in?

Yes, says an organization such as Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), Doctors Without Borders, Health Volunteers Overseas, United Nations Volunteers, Flying Docters, International Red Cross and a number of other larger but lesser known INGO’s or sending agencies.

Free volunteering How is this possible? Often through a conglomerate of professionals, organizations, funding agencies/donors and sometimes the government as well. Through provided funds in the home country of the organization, in general. And through extensive requests to generously donate towards the organization.

Is it possible for a small organization like AMAIDI to offer its services for free? To ask for a donation instead?

I don’t think so. first of all: people – volunteers and interns that is – wouldn’t simply know how much to donate. They’d probably donate a fraction of what is needed (assuming that we at AMAIDI know best what is needed) and they’d be asking us for ‘advise’: ‘what should we donate?’, will come close to the question: ‘Okay, so what does it cost?’.

Letting the host-organization pay is a move that we discarded from the start. Most – smaller – organizations don’t have any funds available for anything close to a subscription to an org that provides volunteers. They would not even start to think about having them in the first place when money becomes an issue. Instead, volunteers are paying THEM for made expenses such as mentioned above (admin, guidance etc.)

So what to do?

Perhaps asking an even bigger amount, but from that let money flow to the projects, so that the volunteer does not have to pay there anymore for his/her expenses. This would make the work have a more ‘voluntary feel’ compared to having to raise ones wallet after having worked as a volunteer.

Welcome your feedback on this …

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

Mother Theresa Hospice Puducherry

 

Mother Theresa's hospice cares for the destitute in Puducherry, India

Mother Theresa's hospice cares for the destitute in Puducherry, India

In Reddiyarpalayam, just outside the main town of Puducherry on the way to Villupuram, lies Mother Theresa Hospice, run by the Missionaries of Charity. Inge Renckens, AMAIDI volunteer already done with her project at partner NGO ‘REAL’ in the same town, has decided to help the dying and destitute in Mother Theresa’s Hospice in Puducherry for the remainder of her stay in this part of India, another 3 weeks. 

A not less than courageous undertaking, because the atmosphere at MTH is not particularly uplifting: old women shuffle around, sounds are produced but not much is spoken, feeding is a challenge as is bathing and being bathed. And amidst them all are the ones that are dying, waiting for the end to come, lying on their beds all day, not able to move or speak. 

I have great admiration for Inge who has taken up this task as a non-professional in this area (being a Bacholeor in Finance and Accounting originally). All of us at AMAIDI are wishing her all best of luck in her work and the needed inspiration. 

Camille – CEO

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Working for a year with CHIRAG in Uttarakhand

the Himalayan State of Uttarakhand

the Himalayan State of Uttarakhand

Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (CHIRAG) is a non-profit grass roots development organisation registered under Societies Act (1860). CHIRAG is dedicated to empowerment of rural communities through their integrated development and has been working in the Indian Central Himalayas since 1986.
CHIRAG & the Ford Foundation offers an opportunity to work with a rural development agency in India for a year in the following areas:
1. Primary education
2. Primary healthcare
3. Rural livelihoods
4. Environmental regeneration

Eligibility:
Anyone between the ages of 21 and 28, with a graduate degree or a diploma (after 12th standard) and 2 years of work experience. Individuals who are likely to have examinations between July 2009 and June 2010 are not eligible. Leave will not be granted to take examinations during the year.

Process of Applying:
An application form needs to be filled. The form is available at http://www.chirag.org or can be requested for by writing to youth@chirag.org or info@chirag.org or Click Here to download the form. The filled in application form including a one-page statement of purpose have to be received by CHIRAG by the 15th of May 2009.

Stipend
The participants will be provided with a modest stipend to cover their costs of food and to meet other basic necessities. A monthly stipend of Rs 4000 per month will be paid to the participants. The travel costs will be taken care by CHIRAG and the host organisations during the course.

Process of Selection:
CHIRAG will select a maximum of 30 youth from the applications. By the 10th of June, all candidates – those accepted as well those who cannot be accepted this year – will receive intimation by email or post.
The information pertaining to selected candidates – based on their thematic preference, academic background, work experience and statement of purpose – will be matched with the interests and requirements of host organisations. Information about the organisation that will host each youth will be intimated to them by the 20th of June.
CHIRAG is organizing a 2 week foundation course which will be held at CHIRAG, in Nainital District of Uttarakhand, in early July for the selected youth. The foundation course seeks to provide an orientation about life in rural India. The course will commence with an exploration of issues and tools to understand and analyse life in villages. The course will include sessions on primary education, community health care, the relationship between natural resources, humans and livestock, agriculture, community forestry, animal husbandry, off-farm rural livelihoods, water, the not-for-profit sector, governance and Panchayati Raj. The course will be interspersed with visits to villages – including night-stays in homes. Participants selected will then join their host organisations and will be located there for the next 11 months.

The programme starts on July 1, 2009. Send in your applications by May 15, 2009.

For more information: http://chirag.org/swades_more.html

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

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AMAIDI Volunteer in an evening school

AMAIDI helps out evening schools in teaching the children English

AMAIDI Foundation

The AMAIDI Foundation is AMAIDI's latest offshoot. AF is meant to support (ex)volunteers in their funding and implementing projects they support during or after their stay/work in India. For partners in India it is also an instrument that enables them to find (new) sponsors and donors to invest in their projects. And for donors to find the implementing agencies they need to realize their social targets/harvest their profit/social ROI

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