Southern India has a rich and colorful culture. The state of Tamil Nadu is famous for their 30000+ Hindu temples. Dance, music and movies are highly integrated in everyday life. The capital city of the state is Chennai, which is the fourth biggest city in India.
The state is one of India’s most industrialized areas, creating opportunities for the privileged parts of the citizen, but unfortunately not for everyone.
Travel and Learning Center local development expert and volunteer coordinator Mr. Murugan Ethiraj will lead an introduction course for the first days at the time of your arrival.
You will visit some of the development projects that WED Trust supports, participate in cultural events and explore some of the fantastic nature of the Tamil Nadu state. After the introduction course you will be placed in one of the projects described below.
You will be working with ambitious and well-educated staff. Translators are provided in some projects who will assist you in your work.
Indian society is divided into three communities; caste, outcaste (Dalit), and indigenous (Adivasi). The caste community consists of four castes; the Brahmins (priests); Ksatriyas (rulers and warriors); the Vaisyas (business persons) and the Sudras (the labourers).
Second, related to, but outside of these four segments of the Indian human society there exists a fifth outcaste community called under the labels “outcaste,” “untouchable,” and “Dalit.”
Arunthathiyar Dalits are the most oppressed among Dalits. They live in miserable conditions working as manual scavengers, cobblers (shoe repair). Arunthathiyar are treated as untouchables not only by the upper caste but also by the other Dalit subgroups.
Almost all the countries situated around the Bay of Bengal were affected by the Tsunami waves in the morning hours of 26 December 2004. The state of Tamil Nadu was the worst affected on the Indian mainland, with a death toll of 7,793.
In Tiruchendur town, (Tuticorin district of the state) – 104 families belonging to Arunthathiyar Dalit caste who lived on the back water area near the coast were also severely affected.
Read about the three different projects you can volunteer in:
Volunteer in STARS’ Model school
Disadvantaged children are denied the opportunity to get good education. Apart from the course curriculum, some schools are not able to involve children in other activities like sports and competitions.
STARS’ Model School aims at sustainable development of marginalized communities through better quality education. There are about 400 children studying in this school. The school has the objective of making quality education available especially for the children of Arunthathiyar and poor who gets free education in this school.
As a volunteer you will assist the school and the teachers in a large variety of activities involving teaching, social programs, outdoor activities etc.
Volunteer in the Self Help Group project
Self Help Group is a group of rural/urban poor, especially women, who have volunteered to organize themselves into a group for eradication of poverty of the members and to develop their communities. The members of the group agree to save and use this common fund for economic development.
In their regular weekly meetings, in a democratic manner, the members exchange views and participate in the decision making process. Each Self Help Group consists of 12-20 members. The groups participate in various training programs, including group dynamics, accounting and communication.
Linking with financial institutions and government agencies is also a part of the program. The Self Help Groups have established their own integrated enterprise in palm crafts, detergent making and homemade sweets.
Volunteers working with the Self Help Group will engage in documentation of individual micro credit business activities and determine success, failures and new opportunities/suggestions. The volunteer will also motivate and encourage individuals in the group within their projects.
Volunteer in WED Trust community development programs
A tremendous scope exists to promote appropriate technology such as fuel-efficient stoves, which will help to reduce the burden on women; improve their health and save the environment.
In addition to this, volunteers will construct additional houses for Arunthathiyar in Maveerar Nagar using locally available materials/appropriate technologies and train local people on block making using appropriate technology. Volunteers can also teach languages especially English to the students in community centers during evening hours.
WED Trust will arrange accommodation for all volunteers during the program. If you are working in the city, WED Trust can arrange an apartment/studio/guesthouse. When working on shorter projects in rural areas you may sometimes stay in community buildings or in a home (one of the villager’s house).
These home stays are well organized and the participating families enjoy these occasions and are compensated for food and housing.
(General itinerary depending on your length of stay)
- Day 1. Arrival in Bangalore.
- Week 1. Introduction week
- Week 2-22. Work & Activities
|Project||4 Weeks||8 Weeks||12 Weeks||16 Weeks|
Included: Transport from airport, accommodation all nights, food and daily transport to project sites during introduction week (Day1- 7)
Not included: VISA, Flights, airport drop-off, weekend trips, food after introduction week, insurance cover, internet, telephone calls
Program start dates in 2012: Recommended start day is last Sunday of every month (arrival in Bangalore) - (April- 29, May- 27, June- 24, July- 29, August- 26, September- 30, October- 28, November- 25, December- 30)
Please email your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form below to get more information and sign up.