(Please read all the following information before applying) 2008 Summer Projects
We will be working at two sites in India this summer. One group will go to the AGN School and the other will go to the Aarti Home. All sites will provide volunteers with meals and a place to stay for free.
Dates: ~June 20 – July 20 (Final dates will be determined as a group)
Minimum stay: 4 weeks (not including transportation time)
Background: AGN is a school of approximately 2500 students, in the heart of Tamil Nadu, halfway between Salem and Erode. About 200 of the students board at the school, with the rest coming from the nearby villages.
Summer Project: The teachers and administration are all very flexible and welcoming to any projects volunteers wish to undertake. Volunteers will work with all grade levels (K-12). During the spring, volunteers will develop workshops to implement over the summer to grades K-12. The workshops should model interactive teaching and emphasize creative and critical thinking. Volunteers will live in a guest house on the AGN campus, though they may be asked to do home-stays with some of the commuting children.
Vijay Foundation Trust (VFT)
Dates: ~August 1– September 15 (Final dates will be determined as a group)
Minimumstay: 8 weeks (not including transportation time)
Background: Vijay Foundation Trust (www.vftrust.org) is an Indian NGO that works at the grassroots level to provide social, economic, and infrastructural help to underprivileged men, women, and children from rural areas of Andhra Pradesh. Its largest and most successful project is the Aarti Home, which provides food, shelter, education, and love to over 70 orphans of all ages. The circumstances that bring each child to the home vary, but more than 80% of the children who reside here are girls who were abandoned by their parents simply because they were born female.
Summer Project: This summer, VFT has asked Project Dosti to send volunteers to teach English and communication skills to the older children of the Aarti Home (ages 8-18). Prior to leaving for India, volunteers will develop an 8-week project-based curriculum teaching conversational English, public speaking, interview skills, internet browsing/research skills, and critical thinking. During the 8-week stay in India, volunteers will implement their curriculum throughout the week (Mon-Sat).
VFT has also asked for help in setting up a functional English language lab in the Home’s computer lab. During the spring, volunteers will research and find effective software that teaches English, typing, and other useful skills and then will download this software and train students and teachers at the Aarti Home how to use them.
*There is no language requirement to participate on any of these trips. There are people at both sites who speak proficient English and all of the children at both sites are being instructed in English.
Spring Quarter Responsibilities
Selected volunteers will be required to attend short weekly training workshops held by Project Dosti throughout spring quarter. Volunteers will also be expected to complete necessary forms and obtain required visas.
One group member from each group will be required to communicate with Dosti leaders at least once a week through email to update us on your project status. Note that both sites will have access to the Internet.
After volunteers have returned from India, they are responsible for the following during the next academic year:
Present a PowerPoint outlining what they accomplished in India to fellow Dosti volunteers.
Plan one awareness event concerning the social issues they witnessed and experienced while in India. Project Dosti leaders will provide volunteers with the necessary information on how to do this when the time arises.
Trip: Mark your preference: 1=1st preference, 2=2nd preference, leave blank if you absolutely cannot make that session.
___AGN School: Minimum of 4 weeks at beginning of summer (~June 20-July 20)
___Vijay Foundation Trust: Minimum of 8 weeks at end of summer (~July. 15-Sept. 15)
Please answer each of the following 4 questions. Please try to limit your responses to no more than 250 words (approximately one-half of a page) per question.
Why are you applying to Project Dosti? What do you hope to gain from this experience?
Discuss how your skills, personal characteristics, and past experiences (travel, service, academic, etc.) can contribute to the following:
The effectiveness of your group’s service work in India.
Your ability to adapt to the unique experience of living and working in India.
Assess an important change you brought about in an organization (professional, service, or academic) and how you grew as a leader because of it.
Describe a frustrating public service experience you have had and why you did not enjoy it. Alternatively, describe what you would imagine to be a frustrating experience in India this summer. (Possible topics to discuss are: leadership, group dynamics, organization, and attitude of fellow volunteers).
Please note that interviews will take place during February 19-21. We will notify you of your interview status and available slots by Friday, February 15.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jenny Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for applying! We look forward to reading your application!