Volunteer Testimony

Robin, project coordinator in Tamil Nadu from November 2019 to September 2020

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“I spent 2 years with OFI. The first year, I was working closely with Gramium, a NGO in Tamil Nadu; monitoring projects during the day and teaching English in the evening. The second year, I worked remotely from France dealing with project proposals and fund collection.

I have learnt a lot, there is no doubt about it.

 

In India, I met amazing people I will never forget. They welcomed me as a member of their village, their family. I could directly witness the evolution of the different ongoing projects such as tank rehabilitation or SHG training. I am proud to have participated in improving the English level of the children of Kanakkapillaiyur village.

 

In France, I have definitely improved my global comprehension of fund collection system through the redaction of solid project proposals and donor prospection. I managed to raise several tens of thousands of euros that I am sure will be used wisely, improving the living conditions of Indian rural inhabitants, including the one who welcomed me with open arms.

 

Thank you OFI, thank you Gramium and thank you people from Kanakkapillaiyur for these 2 amazing years”.

Corlie, English teacher for Shanti School from December 2019 to March 2020

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“These last two months with SEVAI have been filled with excitement and sharing!

 

I'll start my testimony with this little anecdote when I was preparing a dance with my 2nd Standard children:

 

At the beginning, it was a laughing fit to make them understand what I wanted them to do! But we worked hard for a SOUPER result. We paid tribute to farmers by staging the famous song "the Farmer in the Field". It was the only show in English, I was very proud of my SOUPER troupe. I had tears in my eyes (from laughing) as I watched them (shyly) bursting out on stage. At the last second, they turned to me (while I was at the back of the stage) and asked me if it was over... Instead of waving to the 1500 parents who were watching them... [small smile] They were so beautiful.

 

That's when I realised that my mission went far beyond just 'teaching English'. It's a whole campus that we have to internationalise and boost by considering interculturality. To make them dream bigger, towards a future that is closer, more inclusive, more ambitious, which they will be able to envisage thanks to the acquisition of English.”

Emile, professeur d'anglais en service civique

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My name is Emile, I went on civic service as an English teacher at SEVAI Shanti School. I arrived in September 2017, having recently obtained an English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) teacher training, I was looking for a work experience in the teaching and the mission offered by Objectif France-Inde (OFI). seemed perfect to me. I also really wanted to discover India, which I knew to be a fascinating country. The school is in a very remote and very rural location in Tamil Nadu, a hot and dry state in southern India. But that didn't scare me… anyway, that's what I said in the interview, of course.

The truth is that spending a year completely immersed in a foreign culture is a bit scary, especially in this case where the immersion is total.