Lending a Helping Hand Abroad

A Contributor’s Experience

By Roshni Kapur

Volunteering abroad can be a life changing experience not only for the volunteer but even for the individuals he interacts and communicates with. There are a growing number of young people especially students who are turning towards overseas expedition projects to serve the local community. People who volunteer overseas on a regular basis are known popularly as seasoned volunteers. Volunteering abroad can be a great opportunity to experience a whole new different culture in a brand-new environment. Not only does the volunteer gets to meet like-minded people who are also keen in traveling, they will get the opportunity to help the less privileged communities and get the chance to sightsee some uniquely cultured places. University undergraduate Roshni Kapur took the initiative on her own to volunteer in a local non-governmental organisation that works towards women empowerment in a semi-rural area in North-West Delhi, India. Here is her fullfilling experience:

My journey to Navjyoti India Foundation had its fair share of ups and downs. Having lived a cushioned Singaporean lifestyle for all my life, my one-month journey at Navjyoti taught me plenty. Firstly, I had a multitude of projects to work on during my four-week internship stint at Navjyoti.The first project I was working on involved life skills and health. Navjyoti conducts a health camp every two months. From the findings of the health camp, more than 70% of the female students are anemic, some of which are severely anemic. Thus I singlehandedly organized and executed a five-part session on healthy eating and an overview of anemia to educate these girls on the dangers and risks of being anemic.

The second project was a counseling and survey session with a cohort of female students. There is a subculture existing within the Karala community and it involves eve teasing. To understand this issue better, I designed an online survey and counseled my students to find out the problems they had to deal with on a daily basis. To my amazement, I found out that some of these girls have been so distraught by the teasing that they choose not to leave their homes or travel alone. The results from the survey/counseling session have showed how much gender imbalance exists in these small rural communities, which are absolutely unhealthy for any society. The last project involved educating these girls in the English Language department.

My journey has been tough, especially adjusting to unfamiliar environment and a culture, which is entirely different from what I am accustomed to. However, with self-determination, will power and a vision to make a sustainable change, not only have I managed to survive but even thrive during this invaluable journey. My journey may have ended here but the memories and experience I have gained will last a lifetime.