I have tried so many times uploading blog entries on here, but now I finally seem to have worked it out! I have decided not to keep this blog in diary form, but more as a topical/thought process, which will of course be based around my experiences and perceptions of India!
So to start I thought I would explain what exactly it is I’m DOING here! I found Reaching Hand through 2 Way Development – http://www.2waydevelopment.com/ for anyone else who is searching for something more than just a ‘voluntourism’ programme, it would be worth your while looking into them, I would recommend it!! Through 2 Way Development I came to find Reaching Hand. Seeking a divided amount of time between office work, and work in the field, this was the best option for me, as they too wanted someone who could interact with the children and help the Director of Operations, (my great friend Akshay!) with fund-raising and communications!
First of all though, Reaching Hand is based in the city of Bangalore, India. Its primary purpose is to care for vulnerable children. Here are some basic facts for you –
Bangalore has an estimated 75,000 street children among that 85% are orphans. There are a combination of those on and off the street and those who are completely abandoned. They usually live in groups in self-dedicated areas of Bangalore. All of them are subject to severe kinds of exploitation, physical, sexual or financial. Substance abuse, high-risk sexual behaviour and non-availability of basic services are issues of immediate concern.
This charity is still fairly small, it houses 47 children in total, but has other projects such as a feeding programme, funding another government school, and a rural women’s empowerment programme. Reaching Hand wants to care for more children, and has a vision to build a complex that can permanently house, educate and care for up to 500 orphaned and destitute children at a time.
So how can I help?
I have been given a role outline by Reaching Hand that will develop my skills and help them in their mission. In the children’s New Home this includes – 1. Training wardens and counsellors to provide a better standard of care. 2. Documenting the history and profile of each child, along with their attendance and performance in various programmes across the year. 3. Preparing case studies of individual children and documentation on their performance. 4. Training children in music, sports, dance etc. 5. Taking children on day trips or exposure visits to different places within Bangalore each month. 6. Preparing growth chart of each child with medical background. 7. Counselling girls on the social and physical changes and issues that they will experience as they grow older.
And as a Fundraising and Communications Advisor – 1. Supporting the Director of Operations in planning, implementing and monitoring the fundraising strategy. 2. Writing proposals, Letters of Intent etc.
3. Preparing necessary IEC materials for raising funds. 4. Managing donor database. 5. Spearheading Reaching Hand’s participation in the Bangalore 10K Marathon 2013 event, by coordinating with runners and corporations to motivate them to raise funds for the organisation. 6. Building networks with new donors from UK & USA. 7. Promoting RH through Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in etc.
Already I have been made very busy with these tasks, but I just love it! Apart from my roles I am also hoping to delve completely into this culture and get to know the real grit of this vibrant country!