11 Ways YOU Can Help in India

The Bodhi Tree School in Bodhgaya, India is a unique, fascinating and rewarding project. This is volunteering at the deepest level and the welcome you will receive from this community will be completely inspiring. Just watch the project video and you will see why!
This is one of the poorest villages in the area and any little bit of help is truly received by these kind people. Here are 11 ways you can offer your own help, based on the experiences of previous volunteers. The volunteer experiences below are to be credited at the end of this post.

Share Your knowledge

“You will have lots of opportunities of sharing your Western knowledge with the local people. The Dept. of Womans Education, Magadh University of Bodhgaya invited the volunteers of the Bodhi Tree School to join them in the International Seminar on Women Studies: Issues and Challenges. Over there the volunteers explained to the audience the role of women in the Western culture – a role of almost absolute equality and opportunities – and the way Indian women need to improve their individual rights. The organizers of the event were grateful of the participation of the volunteers and of knowing the role of women and their rights in Western culture as this opens new fields of struggle.”

Expose the kids to new encounters

“The most heart filling moment happened when a child ate ice-cream for first time in his life. All of his school friends have tried it before and were cheering for him to try it. And while he had a complete skeptical look on his eyes, he tried the texture of the food with his little spoon without understanding it. With all the encouraging he decided to try it and while his mouth was still investigating this substance, his eyes were full of joy and delight.”

volunteer in Bodhgaya India

Help Set Up Sustainable Projects

“The volunteers of the Bodhi Tree School decided to set up the playschool and the library, so that they would be able to create a school environment that promotes creativity and dynamism in the children. The idea was so well received by the local community that they did not hesitate in offering their help for the development of this cultural improvement.”

See Your efforts rewarded

“In any kind of work there is always some planning involved and then comes the execution of the action. This can get a bit frustrating at certain point, you might not see the purpose of what you’re a doing; you might not see the empiric part of all your efforts. But, finally, and with patience, it comes the day that you lastly put yourself to work. And you see why so many hours where necessary. You get some comfort and relief in seeing things happening and knowing you are a big part of it. The feelings are completely rewarding. It is a great experience to be able to do something for the children of the school and seeing how they appreciate your work; watching their reactions. You are more capable of bringing happiness into a person than we usually believe we are.”

Inspire them

“They try to encourage the youths to go beyond oneself and finding the reasons within oneself to give into the others. There are many ways that the simplest of things you might do and teach might change the world to somebody else. Each person has a commitment and a place, and here you will be able to find it.”

Take part in valuable causes

“The people of India are fighting everyday more and more for their rights and their place in this society. One example of this is the day that a bicycle demonstration was organized from the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya until the Bodhi Tree School in Shripur in which the volunteers participated together with local youths. The main subject of the demonstration was to defend the rights of children, and specially focused against child labor. The purpose was to raise awareness among the local people and, more importantly, the youngster, because they are the future. It was a great success!”

volunteer in Bodhgaya India

Try Yoga with the children

“Yoga calms and concentrates the mind through the stimulation of blood circulation, while it relaxes the muscles and nerves. In the Bodhi Tree School, the volunteers are practicing on a daily basis under the tutoring of Yogi Vhirendra. They share the experience with the children of the school who are getting introduced into this good practice from small and enjoy it.”

Visit the children’s homes

“One of the greatest, most impressive and wonderful opportunities you will have is to experiment the real rural life in the Indian villages. You will be able to know in firsthand the way of living of the children of the Bodhi Tree School. You will see their houses, families, habits and customs. When you visit one of these villages is completely rewarding as you will presence the joy of the children by the unbelievable fact of you being there. They will show you their whole village, they will invite you to tea and food, they won’t want you to leave this place. The experience is unique and unrepeatable.”

Bodhi Tree School, India

Contribute your ideas

“The group of volunteers is an ever-changing group. The really good thing about being an everchanging group is that energies change, ideas come and go; it is constantly gaining new inspiration and strength; new knowledge arises from the different experiences lived by each person. This condition is a great contribution to the development of the project thanks to the constant flow of information. This new energies arriving brighten the path when it might have got twisted. New energies invade the spirit of the people who are working already there upon this arrival, passes onto them creating even greater productive energies”

Take part in special activities

“Everything that we contribute, as little as it might seem or you might think it is, will have a great repercussion on the future of the children of the school. A symbolic example of this learning is the act that had place in the Bodhi Tree School in which members of the staff, volunteers, teachers and students participated. The event consisted in planting each one of the participants a tree. It was a figurative act representing the seed of knowledge that we all seed and that with time flourishes with care and dedication.”

Bodhi Tree School, India

Join in sports games

“They always want to jump, run or play cricket. They are always asking for balls, rope or rackets. There is no thing that satisfies them more and cheers their day more. When they practice sport they forget the harsh times of their lives that, despite being children, they also have. Due to this, the volunteers of the Bodhi Tree School organize sports events, such as cricket games, badminton, or even mini-Olympics, in the Jennifer Campus for the students. This makes the children have a moment in which they only have to focus in having fun. This escape route gives strength to fight for everything they propose to themselves.”

Bodhi Tree School, India

 

Find out more about this rewarding project: Bodhgaya Volunteering

Credits for this post:
Copywriting by Pilar Diaz Clemente
Design & copywriting by Federico Stura
Thank you for these incredible words.

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