We recently had an interesting family on our primary teaching combined with boys orphanage placement in Udaipur, in Northern Rajasthan. Mum (Suniti) was 59 years old, her daughter Nameeta, a solicitor, was 35 and Vinay was just 16.
What was interesting wasn’t just that they were a family embarking on a volunteer holiday but also they were the first P.I.O. (Persons of Indian Origin) volunteers to visit this Indian charity. Also, Vinay had been adopted himself from an Indian orphanage some years before!
They stopped off in Delhi on their way to Udaipur to buy some cricket equipment which Vinay was going to give to the orphanage. Vinay loves cricket and I told him that when I visited the orphanage with my daughter in February 2011, I noticed some of the boys had snuck off (out of a window) and were playing cricket on the dirt backyard with an old piece of wood that they had clearly found!
Although Vinay coached the boys in cricket, he said that they already knew so much! I suppose it was like trying to teach football to the Brazilian street children! I am sure that the orphanage will treasure the cricket equipment that he donated to them and value the time he put in coaching them.
During the morning, the volunteers prepared their lessons to deliver in the rural primary schools. Volunteers follow a curriculum and keep a diary so that those who follow them can carry on where they left off. A large cupboard full of materials helps the volunteers prepare their lessons. Suniti and Nameeta taught the children in class 5 and Vinay and another volunteer helped out with another class.
A spokesman for the charity said “Their Indian origin helped them as the children were able to relate to them easily and relished to spend time with them.”
A mini bus took them to their schools and then collected them at the end of the morning and took them back to the Volunteer House for a delicious home cooked lunch.
After a rest, the volunteers prepared something for the boys orphanage and organised stimulating after-school activities to help these boys catch up.
In the case of Suniti, Nameeta and Vinay, they didn’t need the Hindi lessons that the charity gives to the volunteers on arrival as part of the induction. They also declined the included excursion to the Taj Mahal already visited many times and instead opted for an excursion to the Monsoon Palace.
Vinay says he loved his placement and is planning to go back again as soon as he can. The family definitely left their footprint in this deprived part of Rajasthan and will be remembered for a long time.
This placement is suitable for all volunteers 18+ and also for the under 18’s providing they are travelling with a family member. Other placements are teaching sewing for the ladies as part of the Women’s Empowerment Programme, health promotion in the villages, working in pre-school child centres and building and d.i.y. skills as part of the building renovation scheme every July.
For more details, see our website http://www.volunteervacations.co.uk, give us a ring on (0044) 01483 331551 or (0044) 07833 208 158 or send us an email on: firstname.lastname@example.org.