Volunteering is the noble expression of self-giving. We share our time and talents to let others know that they are loved. In the past years many generous persons volunteered in our centres to let the young we serve know that they are loved. It is in giving that you receive. You are welcome to be a volunteer with us. Some of the volunteers who join us are from abroad. Others are from India.
We consider your stay with us as a sign of your appreciation for the service that we are rendering for the children and even more, a sign of your concern for them and commitment to their cause. We would like to tell you that we deeply value your desire to participate in our project.
As a person who may be new to India and to our project, I am sure you will appreciate a few practical tips that we would like to put before you. Following these would help you to make your stay here a pleasant one.
- On your arrival at Don Bosco Sneha Bhavan, you will be introduced to the different programs of the project and will be assigned a specific task within 3 days by the Executive Director.
- While we take into consideration the personal interests of each volunteer as we assign the tasks, the needs of the children under our care will primarily determine the finalization of the tasks to be undertaken.
- When you reach the project, you are advised to fill up the ‘Declaration Form’ to be dispatched to the Government of India and to the city police department. This is mandatory and required of all foreign nationals arriving in the country.
- The living rooms are furnished in a simple style. We hope you find it comfortable enough. Should there be anything wanting, kindly inform the administrator or the Director. We would appreciate your cooperation in keeping the room clean and tidy. This is the responsibility of each one as there is no one assigned to do such chores.
- Food is available from the common kitchen at the Don Bosco for all the residents and will be served in the dining room at Don Bosco. Should you need any special food, you are welcome to prepare it yourself in the kitchen at Don Bosco with the permission of Administrator or Director.
- Food will be available in the dining room during the hours mentioned: Break-fast (7.45 – 8.30am), Lunch (12.45-1.15pm) and Dinner (8.00 – 8.30pm).
- As a volunteer, you are part of a team of educators and hence it is important to maintain decorum in your behaviour, dress etc. Both children and adolescents look upto all of us as role models. With regard to your dress, we suggest that the ‘salwar/churidar sets’ are the best for the ladies. They fit in with the local dress habits and can be worn anywhere in India.
- You are here on a definite mission. Your contribution to the development of deprived children through your presence and the activities you organize are also very precious. Hence this focus needs to be maintained.
- We would like you to empathize with the child, not to ‘sympathize’ and get ‘emotionally’ involved with a child or a team member. Please remember that the customs and cultural expressions here may not be the same as yours, so too the understanding levels of the children.
- On no count are children to be entertained in your living rooms. It is always better to meet and interact with them in their halls or outside.
- The project strictly forbids any money transactions with either staff or children within the organization. It is against the rules of the organization that you make presents or contributions personally to a staff or child. The project is for the children. Hence we appreciate that you make your contribution to the project directly.
- We suggest that at the very start of your placement here you acquaint yourself with the local customs and traditions, with the situations of marginalized children and youth, and also with our pedagogical approaches to the young.
- Accessing the Internet and making of STD/ISD calls are to be done from facilities outside. We are unable to provide these facilities in our centres.
- English being the common language for communication, it would be appropriate to speak in English when together. Since persons from different nationalities come here, it is a matter of harmony to use a common language.
- Please remember that we work six days a week and the same will be applied while drawing up the schedule for you.
- We welcome you to help in taking lessons for the children during the appointed time and also in taking care of their health and hygiene. You may, in consultation with the Directors of various centres, conduct singing, drawing or craft classes. You may also help the team in accompanying the children for outings and camps.
- Your help may be requested by the administration in the collection and analysis of data. You may at such times approach the Executive Director or other Directors for the necessary information and documents in this regard.
- It is advised that you submit periodically a brief report of your work to the Executive Director and work out changes in the schedules that may be deemed necessary.
- We suggest that you be regular to the tasks taken up by you, so that what is planned with you could be executed according to schedule. This will also help the children to get the most of your valuable support.
- Smoking and consumption of alcohol are not permitted in our premises.
- We strongly suggest that you take up your travel and tour programs either before or after the assignment in the project. Here again our personal suggestion-from experience-is that such programmes are best taken up at the end rather than in the beginning. The rationale being that you are acclimatized a lot by such time and more familiarized with the situations here.
- When dealing with the children it is good to keep in mind the following : -
The children here have been through various experiences in their life. Hence their chronological age cannot be the gauging factor for determining their maturity or predicting their behaviour. While every sincere effort should be made to be as friendly as possible with them, caution should also be exercised. This does not in any way mean that all children are up to some mischief all the time !
- At the end of your stay we would appreciate if you could give us an evaluation report of your own performance in the specially assigned role in the project and also your own suggestions about the project in general.