Jenaya Smith is from United Kingdom and volunteered with Volunteering Solutions in the Women Empowerment Program in Delhi, India in Summer 2012 along with her friend. She is looking forward to do another volunteer program with Volunteering Solutions soon.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Volunteering Solutions Program in India?
I decided to volunteer using Volunteering Solutions as it seemed like a well-established, well-structured and ethically aware organization. The high level of support for volunteers particularly appealed to me as deciding to embark on such an adventure was a very big decision. India was a country that I had longed to visit and I felt that I could make a positive impact to women through the volunteering process. Volunteering solutions exceeded my expectations and were a fantastic organization to use.
Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.
My daily activities at the program included: teaching English classes, teaching computer skills to the women, engaging with the women during beauty culture sessions and the embroidery workshops. I found that there was always a lot to do and that it was a very stimulating environment to be in.
During the weekends I made use of my free time and explored the sights of Delhi, visited the Taj Mahal and had the opportunity to travel to Jaipur. There was a good balance between volunteering and time that was free to explore India.
What made this volunteer abroad experience unique and special?
The people that I encountered on my travels made my experience in India incredibly special. The staff at Volunteering Solutions were all extremely friendly, were always willing to help and actively went out of their way to make my trip an experience of a lifetime. The women that I met at my placement were truly inspiring and gave me memories that I will never forget. I felt so welcome and accepted at the center and will remember the great friends that I made for many years to come.
What advice do you have for future volunteers?
Firstly, COME TO INDIA! It is an amazing place which offers great opportunities. Secondly, involve yourselves in the culture as much as you can. There is so much that can be learnt in India as it is a country that offers so much.
How has this experience impacted your future?
My volunteering experience has impacted my future greatly by widening my perspectives on life and has changed the way I view the world around me. I felt so passionate about my experience wor?king with disadvantaged women that I have decided to embark on research within this field at a postgraduate level in the hope of promoting women’s rights. The experience that I had in India was such a positive one that I plan to incorporate volunteering into my life while actively promoting it to others.