17 July 2012

Nick, Volunteer

Name: Nick Stewart
Nationality: Britain
Volunteered: May 2012
Programme: External Communications, English coaching, DISHA

I came to India to learn, and don't believe in the value of imposing a Western view of the world. When I read that volunteers at DGS are invited to ‘support staff, not replace them’ I knew that it was the right place for me.

Volunteers enjoy considerable freedom in what they get involved in at DGS. I focused on external communications, as that seemed a good way to use the skills I have picked up working in public relations in the UK. I wrote an issue of the quarterly newsletter which goes out to 4000+ friends of DGS around the world. The newsletter is an essential way to show supporters the difference their donations have made (click here to sign up for future issues of the newsletter). I also used my photography skills to record a range of events, such as an intriguing rendition of ‘Old Macdonald had a farm’ at the Deep Griha Academy open day.

I gave one-to-one English coaching classes to a number of the team leaders. I loved teaching. The results were tangible and it was a great way to get to know local people. I was able to give pre-exam English coaching to a group of boys at City of Child, as well as to the teachers at the Deep Griha Academy.

Shortly before leaving Pune I got to co-lead an HIV/AIDS awareness session for a group of men at a new alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre called Santulan. I had the help of local volunteer Anuja, who translated my presentation into Marathi. The men were curious and engaged, and speaking to them felt like a real privilege.

Two months went by quickly and I can't wait to return to Pune one day to continue my work.

Category: Volunteer

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