AMAIDI Volunteering in India

Portal for international volunteers, interns & professionals

Lien, Touring and Baby Sarah’s Home

Lien who won the second prize in a Belgian tour contest

Lien Nullens from Belgium has won the second prize in a contest written out by Touring, a Belgian organization. Lien and myself have drafted a mini-project letting the inmates of BSH make photographs of each other and their environment. The photos will be bundled in a photo-album (for sale) and the best ones will be printed as postcards to be sold in Belgium with the help of Oxfam and UNICEF.

Lien has come along with her parents (mother a social worker, father a photographer) and has already visited BSH yesterday. Today – New Year’s Day – the family is enjoying Pondicherry and Aurobeach. Tomorrow, Saturday, they’ll be on their way again (by bus) to the orphanage to see how their project has to be shaped to make sense to both the orphans and the mentally challenged children over there.

We wish Lien a successful project and eagerly await the outcome!

Camille/AMAIDI

Note: the opening of an open air exhibition of the results: http://amaidifoundation.ning.com/photo/albums/baby-sarahs-home

Filed under: international volunteers, travel blog, volunteering in India, , , , , , ,

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, , , ,

Reddichavadi

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

Dairy project in Sathankullam

Vannakam!

My name is Durk Haringsma, I am an Agricultural student, studying dairy farming at Hogeschool Van Hall Larenstein (http://www.vanhall-larenstein.nl) in the Netherlands. I have been working as a trainee on a dairy farm project for AMAIDI’s partner organization AID India. I made a report for establishing a dairy farm in Sathankulam. AID India hasn’t got a source of income at the moment which makes the organization dependent on funds, foundations and donations. That’s why AID India wants to start a dairy farm on their land to gain some profit. I have assessed the needs, costs and I have also made a management plan for running the dairy farm. When we have engaged the needed funds, AID India can start the project. Working for an NGO in India is a great experience and I have learned a lot during my stay in Sathankulam. I have not only learned about a totally different way of dairy farming, but I also got involved in Human Rights and Micro Credit Programmes and I have experienced much of the Indian culture. I think my internship was a 2 way process, in which both AID India and me gained profit. The hospitality of the AID India team is great and it was a great pleasure to work with them. The 19 weeks I worked there passed on in no time, and I feel sad that I have to leave them after this great time. I want to thank AMAIDI for bringing me in contact with this organization, the great guidance and the pleasant stay in their guesthouse and home stay. 

For more info: durkharingsma@hotmail.com 

Filed under: Agriculture projects, AID India, international volunteers, projects, volunteering in India

Why would you volunteer?

“There are more than 6 billion people you have never met, what are you waiting for? The type of people who travel in foreign countries volunteering have usually seen and done more with their lives and thus are more interesting than your average person. Becoming friends with locals will give you better understanding of what the people actually want, rather than what you believe they need….”

What is the number one reason for you?

(….)

Filed under: change, choice, needs, understanding, volunteering in India

Legal Status of Volunteers

I’m unable to find information on the exact legal status of international volunteers who work in India. Google and Wikipedia both have not rendered satisfying results. Perhaps someone can help me out?

Filed under: international volunteers, legal status, volunteering in India

Working in India as a volunteer

My name is Camille van Neer, I’m from The Netherlands, living and working near Puducherry, South-India. I’m happily married to Jansi, hailing from Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, South-India. We have two kids, a boy and a girl, Arjuna and Barati. We’ve set up ‘Amaidi Volunteering in India’, a facilitating org where the need of Indian organizations (NGO’s, schools, hospitals etc.) are matched with the need of aspiring volunteers, interns or professionals. All who’d like to spend some time AND make themselves usefull in India.

Who said that volunteering is boring? If you’re in India it definitely is not. There is no country in the world that has such a rich heritage and at the same time is technologically so advanced as India. Unfortunately, India’s growth has a big drawback: the community of people living of less than a dollar a day, is still growing.

Working as a volunteer in India, or doing your final year intership, makes that you are extremely useful to the local community you work in. Especially the poorer sections of Indian society. The people you will work with and work for, belong to the lower strata of the Indian economy. They live in villages or in slums, they have difficulty in maintaining even a low standard of living. You can and will make a difference while you’re here!

‘Amaidi Volunteering in India’ makes sure that you end up in an organization where the chances that you can make a visible and tangible difference to the communities you work with, are large enough.

Want to explore your possibilities? Check out http://www.amaidi.org/

Filed under: Introduction, poverty, professionals, trainees, volunteering in India

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AMAIDI Volunteer in an evening school

AMAIDI helps out evening schools in teaching the children English

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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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