Thursday, 13 February 2020

International Volunteering Program

Udayan has re-launched its International Volunteering Program and has developed a detailed ‘Guide for Volunteers’ to help them in making the decision to volunteer and spend time at Udayan.  With the help and support of City of Joy Aid, UK and Hazel Nash, the program has kicked off with a bang – with 3 recent volunteers from the UK and more volunteers set to arrive in the coming months!

  • 2 x New Volunteers from UK

2 New Volunteers arrived this week from the UK and are presently spending time with our children in Udayan. Miss Joanna Musty passed her Bachelor of Arts with honours in Politics at Newcastle University and is presently working in an accounting Firm in Jersey. She is fond of teaching children & spending time with toddlers in Udayan. Miss Anna Sophie Rowan has completed her studies in Business Management from Newcastle University with first class honours degree. She has experience in working in corporate communication and is eager to use these skills to support Udayan Communications efforts. She likes to spend time with children and teach sports to the girls of Udayan.  Both of them would like to help Udayan in near future.  

  • 3 x Volunteers from UK

Udayan played host to 3 volunteers from the UK in late 2019 who spent a month at Udayan upgrading the Library, planning a revamp of Dominique Lapierre Park, teaching English and sports to children and partaking in all aspects of daily life at Udayan.  The experience provided an amazing cultural exchange for both the Volunteers and Udayan Children and Staff – injected loads of positivity on campus and motivating everyone.

“Udayan was honestly the most amazing and interesting experience of my life, and I am so grateful to you for organising it! 

For me, the most wonderful part of the experience was the people. Both the staff and children were so lovely, friendly and kind. The staff in particular went out of their way, bending their backs to help us and ensure we had a good time in every way they could. The love and positivity I felt from the children, is something I will always remember. And the friendships I made with the older girls is something I hope will last.

As well as this I also really enjoyed learning about leprosy in India, and the challenges faced by those affected by it. I really appreciated the conversations we had with Adrija, as she patiently answered so many of our questions. However, in a way a low point was visiting a nearby leprosy colony, as I found it extremely sad and heart-breaking to see the conditions there. However, it was uplifting to see the work that had been done there to improve it.

The highlight for me has to have been completing the library project. It was really hard work planning it, sorting through the books and painting it, and I can’t tell you how relieved I was to have finished it, and pleased I was that the children now have a pleasant and exciting library.” – Olivia Lewine Mair, Volunteer from UK.
  • Upgrade of Guest Rooms 
To support the re-launch of our International Volunteering Program, Hazel Nash has generously supported the revamp and upgrade of the Udayan Guest Rooms to be more homely and comfortable for long-term volunteers.  The upgrade included the installation of small kitchen appliances & equipment (fridge, kettle, cups, bowls, cutlery), furniture (dining table & chairs), recovering of an old sofa and lounge chair, purchase of Almirah for storage, clothes line for drying clothes and installation of mirrors, hooks and soft furnishings.  An air conditioner was also installed.  The Rooms will soon be painted and water proofed in preparation for monsoons – giving them a new lease on life!  Guest rooms are now warm and inviting and offer the comforts of home – a great asset for all guests for Udayan.  A huge thank you to Hazel & City of Joy Aid UK for their ongoing support, passion and drive!

  • Carbon Offset Program
In order to offset the carbon footprint made by volunteers who fly from abroad to Kolkata, City of Joy Aid, UK, Hazel Nash and Udayan are collaborating to establish a ‘Carbon Offset Program’ whereby trees are planted in the Leprosy Colonies that we serve.  It’s an exciting environmental initiative and one that many internationally are conscious off these days.  We also hope that the program doubles as a beautification and greening program for Colonies and can offer livelihood supplementation to colony residents who will plant and look after the trees in the long term.  Trees will consume the CO2 generated by airplane flights and of course provide oxygen into the atmosphere to help tackle climate change.

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