In September, we received a French volunteer- Ferdinand Rochas, who will be with Sharana until March 2019.
When he approached our organisation,he stated that he has a particular interest in the link between sport and pedagogy. Therefore, it was only natural that he joined the Seeds of Change program and is helping the social workers Anbu and Bhavani to develop this project in schools, slums and villages in and around Puducherry. Ferdinand has completed his studies in Political Science and Business Administration before arriving to India.
After observing the project during the first weeks of his time at Sharana, Ferdinand then helped put together a 6 months report of the Seeds of Change program. This was a great occasion for him to understand the project at a deeper level, and the impact it has on our beneficiaries’ lives.
Ferdinand is now a real member of the team and participates in almost every daily sessions by helping to organize them and to manage the children during the activities. As he is on the field, he keeps a record of the activities.
After meeting the children several times at the sessions, Ferdinand has built a close relationship with them. Now, they feel more and more confident to approach Ferdinand and talk with him. When Ferdinand isn’t participating to a session, he works on articles for the Seeds of Change program, as well as the creation of new sport games for the children.
Additionally, Ferdinand has been a part of different projects alongside the social workers like the building of a new compost collector in the community center of Angalakuppam village or the “Swachhata Hi Seva” nation-wide cleaning operation in Solai Nagar slum.
The longevity of his stay in Sharana points to a key part of our volunteering ethos: long-term volunteering is always preferable, since it allows for volunteers to really get to know Sharana and our beneficiaries. Building relationships and an understanding of how an organisation works takes time. However, the positive affects of this are already being seen with Ferdinand’s work. We look forward to the rest of his stay with us!