I am Márcia Nogueira, 31 years old, from Azores and I am an International DI from DRH Norway. I decided to join this program while working with one Solidarity Institution back in my country, I felt the need to do more in the social work field and as a volunteer. I wanted to learn more about development work, see and experience by myself another reality in a developing country. India was my choice; I guess the needs of this country as well as its culture was something that I related more with comparing with other developing countries.
My project was with NHQ (National Head Quarter) office in Delhi, I was part of a 5 members team responsible for monitoring all the HPP projects in India.
During the six months I was more involved with the Education sector, directly working with the AWCs (Academy for Working Children) projects. My work was divided in several steps: Visiting the Projects; Reporting; Taking the Action and Conclude the Impact of my action.
During the visiting time I had the opportunity to interact with the children; even if I didn’t speak one word in Hindi, we managed to communicate and in some academies I even played some games and did some activities with them. I could also see and interact with the communities, going to the slums and be received by the families that have the children in school.
I prepared a Workshop on Teaching Methods and recreational activities. We had several open discussions during the workshop to make sure the participants were understanding and to get their opinion on the subject. The practical part was the high light of the workshop, the teachers were very receptive and amused during the exercises and activities.
I had to visit HOPE Project in Delhi, The Homeless Centre in Delhi and 3 CDP’s (Community Development Project) in 2 different states in order to supervise their work;
In this visits I had the opportunity to:
- Participate in the night round they do in the Homeless Centre Project. The main idea is to check the shelters by night, distribute blankets or even take the homeless out from the street to our shelters. It was a huge opportunity for me to see so close this reality in Delhi, how the project is running the shelters by night and how the homeless react to our intervention.
- Meet with SHG’s (Self Help Groups) of women; I could interact with them, see their work, how they are managing the groups, they explained to me about their common goals, what the main idea of a SHG is and I could see the results and the impact of the groups in each village.
- Meet with Farmers’ Club; they showed me how they organize the meetings, what they discuss and their work in the field. I also had the opportunity to go in the fields and see the practical work they are doing.
- Meet with Youth groups, especially the girls group in the villages; they were very receptive to my presence and I was very welcomed. Even though the majority do not speak English we always managed to communicate and to understand one other.
- I participated as well as organizing the visit of the Portuguese Ambassador to our office and one of our projects, “Homeless Centre” in Gazihabad, Delhi.
I was involved in the big task of making the half year report books. I was working in collaboration with the partnership office where we had to correct all the reports from all the projects in HPPI. It was a very intense period with a lot of work in a very short time, though we manage to finish on time. It was for me a great opportunity to collaborate with different departments of Humana People to People India.
I can say that the six month project period was a great experience for me. I had the opportunity to be part of a great team in NHQ; for that I thank all the members who were always there when I needed them. It was very interesting and my work has given me so many opportunities to see and explore different projects. See and experience different realities in India that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to explore.
It is difficult to make a conclusion for the whole period, but if I had to say it in 1-2 sentences I would say: “India was an experience of a lifetime. I will never forget it and I will miss it, that’s for sure.”