Why volunteering?

Wall painting. @pratishthaorg

It’s been a while since the last post, but it is for a very good reason! Today I complete 6 weeks in India and I couldn’t be happier for have taken the chance and boarded on that plane!

The past two weeks I have had such an exceptional experience. So let me tell you the story from the beginning… My intention in coming to India was to be exactly where I am now: In Rishikesh attending the first Vedanta camp, at Swami Dayananda Ashram. Although, the universe has a funny way of working its magic, a way that our human minds can’t understand (at least it’s what I have been studying so far). But one thing is certain, all happens for a reason. So, a long time ago a friend told me about a platform that we could exchange our skills for accommodation and meals. I thought it would work out perfectly during my free time, so I applied for a volunteer job at Pratishtha Foundation, in Dehradun, capital of the Indian state Uttarakhand and that’s what I have been doing these days off.

Pratishtha Foundation

Pratishtha Foundation “is a non- profit organisation that works towards the upliftment of the weaker sections of the society. Its main motive is to educate the Children of slums through Activities and Practical Learning. ”

And in those activities we, volunteers, come into the scene, plus the amazing staff and its creators! The children and the NGO has become my family and I think about them so dearly! For those who are interested in knowing a bit more I’ll leave here their website, they accept donations and on their Instagram, they’re always updating everything that’s going on! So here it goes: http://www.pratishthafoundation.org/

My experience in volunteering

This was my first volunteer job and I had no clue what to expect. What I can say is that from the very first moment, at dinner, I felt home! I have settled new friendships that I hope to last for a long time! I have met people so in tune with me that it was crazy, imagine yourself being able to exchange so much, with so many different cultures, but all working with the same mindset: being present and making our best for the children. It was simply amazing.

Soon we created a routine, I would give yoga classes to my friends and then at a school nearby. During the afternoon children would come to the house where Pratishtha is located and we spent a few hours with them. I must say that in the beginning, It was quite challenging since the kids speak very little or no English at all. But after a while, it didn’t matter anymore. I was their Didi (older sister) and so I was there to be there only for them, dedicating my attention and hopefully teaching something. I found myself amazed about how they take care of each other and today at a Vedanta class the teacher said “loving is caring”, at that moment Pratishtha children came into my mind. I have to say that I was also a student, I’ve learned so much about myself and the way I live my life, the whole experience brought a new vision of the world and I believe things will be different now on. For this matter, being a traveler, a volunteer, is self-knowledge. I came to India for this and yet, it came from where I less expected. I have a long path, karma yoga is every day, every moment, but still… I’m so thankful for all the lessons Pratishtha has taught me.

How to start volunteering?

Like I said in the begginig I used a platform called Worldpackers, but you have also the Workaway, which I came to know when I was in here already. Both of them work in a similar way, you look for the hosts and for the type of work you would like to do, then you just have to agree on dates and be accepted by the host and It’s done! It’s safe and extremely useful, you have to pay a tax for a year of service, but for the benefits it’s extremely worh it!

So if you ever felt like trying my tip is: go for it! It’s a transforming, loving and caring experience, which you’ll always remember.

Yoga partner session in school. @pratishthaorg

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