It was very interesting to get an impression of the structure of an NGO. Fundraising, communication, etc. - everything must be organized very well in order to help as many people as possible. And Udayan Care is well organized and Udayan Care helps many people. It is an inspiring working environment if you keep that in mind. Besides, everybody in the office is very helpful, warm and kind. You feel welcome all the time and whenever you have a problem - on a professional or personal level - you find immediately somebody who will help you with joy.
The work with the children could sometimes be frustrating due to the lack of visible improvement regarding the performance at school or the behaviour in general, but of course most of the time the work with the children was very moving, fulfilling and a lot of fun!! I spent wonderful moments with the children: either something "ordinary" like playing cards, going to the park, singing and dancing together or something special like playing soccer in the rain, organizing a fashion show and celebrating birthdays... at the beginning, it was not easy to build a deeper connection towards the children because it was the period of the exams, everybody was busy and there were a lot of other volunteers/tutors in the home but with a little bit of time and patience I maintained a really good and intense relationship with all the girls in the end which is also made possible by the small amount of girls who live in a home (in my case only 10!) - you really get to know everybody very well.
At the office, I had several assignments: in the first month I helped the communication team with various things such as writing short reports for the facebook site, checking the NGO's representation on other websites and sending a lot of mails. In the second month I started with my "own" project called "international volunteer program as a chance of cultural exchange" which included some sort of essay, two surveys and their examination. I worked independently and could follow my own way. It was very interesting as it represented my interests and as it was complementary to my strengths.
On a personal level, I sometimes wondered whether my help was needed elsewhere more and whether I was really useful at Udayan Care because it is so well organized and because there are so many volunteers (which is actually a really really good thing!!). That occupied me a lot and even if I could for example see the impact I made on the children, still the question stayed in my mind.
BUT (or apart of that) Udayan Care is the perfect NGO to make first experiences with a big variety of things (there are so many programs Udayan Care has and you can work on, you can work in the office and interact with the children...) and to get the best impressions of NGO work.
I think nobody would regret to choose Udayan Care.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
improve the communication in the sense that international volunteers are not always informed (or only few days/one day in advance) about upcoming events. Personally, I could not attend one (of course also because of my time managment/illness/trips etc), but several times due to late Information or due to no Information which was sad because some of the events I missed at the beginning were with the children and could have helped me to build up a deeper connection right away.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
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