Our women support program is aimed at empowering women in India, who due to the traditional patriarchal norms have always been given secondary status in the household and workplace, especially in small cities and rural India. A lot of work needs to be done at the grass root level to help the women tackle the issues they face in the daily lives, issues relating to poverty, female feticide, unequal rights, lack of education, child marriage, health, sexual harassment, dowry, domestic violent etc
Our volunteers work with local organizations, which are setup for women development. These organizations run centers which strive not only to provide women moral support but also help them learning vocational skills, which would help the women in income generation and be independent. Other areas where these organizations help are language skills, health education such as HIV/AIDS, child rearing, nutrition, and sanitation.
As a volunteer you would have a opportunity to help the women with social issues they face by giving them care and support and at the same the same help them achieve their aim to financial independence and social equality.
Patiala Women Support Project
Our Women Support Volunteer Program in Patiala is in the form of a Vocational training center for Girls at the Orphanage. We have opened a sewing center which is aimed to train the girls at the orphanage with skills in embroidery and stitching. The while idea of this project is to empower the girls with enough vocational skills so that they will be able to earn an income for themselves upon leaving the orphanage. This is a laid back place, with short hours and is usually combined with another volunteer practice. Volunteers generally work at the center for about 2-3 hours per day. It is quite casual, and will usually involve you sitting with group on the floor and speaking to them in English while they stitch clothes using hand-propelled sewing machines. Most of girls upon reaching the age of 18- 20 are married and are very dependent on their husbands. Volunteers help prepare the girls for the challenges of leaving the orphanage, making them understand the important of having vocational skills, importance of being finally independent and becoming independent.
Girls at the center will want to teach you how to use the machine and will give you fabric to practice on. It’s a great way to learn to sew. Many of our volunteers have stitched Indian suits for themselves. Many of them have very poor English skills, so the use of hand gestures and smiles are key. Sewing center is located in the heart of the city and the Main market. This project is a part time project as the Sewing center is operational for 3 hours a day. Volunteer combine it with our girls orphanage project
Leh Women Support Project (Nunnery); May – Sep
Our program in Ladakh is involved with the Nuns is based in Ladakh and involves working with monasteries and nunnery which are specially setup to impart the monastic as well modern secular education to child monks and nuns. Monastic way of life is an important and integral part of Buddhism, which has been preached for ages. But with the advent of the modern world the and new technologies many realized the importance of modern and secular education to help the nuns and monks enjoy equal status and respect in the society.
For long Nuns in Ladakh did not have the status nor the opportunity to study and practice the Buddha’s teachings in an organized way. There was no proper nunnery which could offer the much needed support. Most of the nuns were restricted to hold hold chores and treated mostly as maidservants.
Our project has setup nunnery and monastery for monks who would like to lead the Monastic but at the same time use modern education as a tool to equip them with the tools to develop and grow to their fullest potential and offer their services for the development of their fellow sisters/brother in the remote and neglected communities.
Our volunteers work with the local organization to offer much need support and help to the nuns living there. The monks and nuns receive an innovative and comprehensive training program. They study and practice the teachings of the Buddha as preserved in the Pali language, Tipitika. However, they also receive a complete, modern secular. Volunteers work hand-in-hand with the local staff to help with general management of the monastery/nunnery, English conversational skills, computers, games, painting, music etc. Female volunteers are especially encouraged to discuss with the nuns about personal hygiene, sanitation, importance of education etc. Volunteers work in the evening after school hours from 5 – 9 PM and stay at the project site with male volunteers staying at the monastery and the female at the Nunnery. Volunteers can combine this with working for 1- 2 hours in the morning, helping with administrative work in the office, setting up library, teaching at the school etc.
Its a very tough project both mentally and physically, because of remote location of Leh as well as the culture differences between Ladakh and the west. Volunteers are required to have an ability to work unguided at grass root level, be very proactive, open minded and sensitive towards eastern cultures, traditions and work ethics.
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