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Role of Volunteers

Saarthak facilitates initiatives in three areas: Education, Child Care and Women Empowerment.
    1. Education:
      • Volunteers offer much needed support to local teachers. Class sizes in India can be extremely large and under staffed. Volunteers add to the children's' educational experience by instructing classes while helping to develop students’ positive attitudes about personal hygiene and school attendance.

      • Working in local schools gives volunteers a chance to meet regularly with local children and their families.

      • When schools are not in session, volunteers utilize resources provided by Idex and the community to run independent classes in English and Math.

      • For those volunteers with a professional interest in education, teaching gives them a chance to hone their skills in a very different environment.

    2. Child Care:
      • Volunteers assist in local pre-school child-care centers, known as "Anganwadi". The concept of "preschool" child care is new for India, where the joint family system has long provided ample child care providers.

      • Unlike Western countries, where child-care facilities exist primarily to free women to work, the Anganwadi’s main purpose is to serve pregnant women and provide a safe, healthy, and hygienic space for young children who would not be able to receive proper care at home.

      • Unfortunately, Anganwadis suffer from under funding and mismanagement. Volunteers share the work load with regular staff and help bring a level of professionalism, dedication and the community’s attention to these important institutions.

    3. Empowerment:
      • As in many countries around the world, Indian women often suffer from disproportionate educational and employment opportunities. In order to help redress this gender gap, volunteers instruct conversational English, computer, and vocational classes for local adolescent girls and grown up women.
      • Volunteers’ presence alone helps motivate women and young girls. Teaching and mentoring efforts help improve their confidence and self-esteem, increasing their sense of independence and personal fulfillment, while improving their educational and employment opportunities.

Volunteer requirements
  • Everyone no matter which age or from which background can volunteer; there is only one requirement: flexibility!

  • Working in Indian communities requires a lot of flexibility, for example, though we strive to place volunteers in a single work setting for the complete duration, work roles may switch, either because of community needs or because a change of scene is necessary.

  • Special skills: Some of our volunteers have experience in specialized aspects of child care, teaching, health care, or other related fields. While we try at every opportunity to make use of these skills, our projects are not geared towards placing volunteers with specific skills, our main placement areas are designed for a general population, requiring no special skills other than reasonable spoken English, enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn.

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