This week I will be ending my volunteer placement with Shaishav, a child rights organisation working in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. I have been working with Shaishav since May 2011, originally coming for a 6-month placement through 2Way Development. Once this original period had ended I extended my stay for another 6 months, and then another 6 months after that. Since July I have been combining this volunteer work with my part-time work for 2Way Development, resulting in a fascinating combination of roles. I am now finally reaching the end of my time with Shaishav and in Bhavnagar, and couldn’t have asked for a better, more useful and more rewarding experience.
My time with Shaishav has been spent working on a wide variety of different communications, documentation and fundraising projects. This has included regular and ongoing small tasks along with major one-off projects. One of my biggest projects has been the co-writing of a major report documenting the processes and history of Balsena, Shaishav’s children’s collective, since it’s inauguration in 2003. Another has been the analysis and write-up of a baseline survey covering almost 20,000 children in Bhavnagar. This involved cleaning up the data, organising it into tables, analysing the results and writing up the findings.
When I originally came to Shaishav I was just out of university with very little practical overseas experience. My time with Shaishav has given me a strong grounding in many of the roles and responsibilities of development work, and has definitely been a life-altering experience. I am sure that the skills that I have developed through Shaishav will be an excellent grounding for my future employment, and I have developed a great love for India and it’s people. Though I am leaving Shaishav, I wont be going far. I will be starting a part-time volunteer placement with Seva Mandir in Udaipur, less than 500km away. I hope I will have plenty of opportunities to come back to Shaishav and Bhavnagar.
Sounds like a fantastic experience!
Check out 2Way Development: South Asia !