Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My work at SAMA - Sharmila Pushpakanthan

Hello my Name is Sharmila Pushpakanthan and I’m from Germany. I’ve started my work as a volunteer at the SAMA foundation three month ago. Besides me there is two other german volunteers
working at SAMA (Lea and Bettine). I stay together with Lea in a Guesthouse in Mahalaxmi Layout. We share one room with 2 separate beds and one common cupboard. This is quiet comfortable. Some volunteers even have no bed or cupboard at all. Our place is 15 min away from the SAMA Foundation office by b
us and almost 1 hour away from the Day Care Centre in Hegganahali, the place where I actually work. My regular week starts on Monday with an ‘office day’. The rest of the week I’m in the day care centre where I

work with disabled children. There are seven children between 8 and
18 years who have different disabilities. Some children are physically some mentally disabled. The day care centre consists of one small room in a public school complex.School days begin with relaxing exercises
(like yoga) for the children. After that they get simple exercises according to their skills. Then it goes on with puzzling. This is ideally suited for the children because here they learn to understand which kind of component belongs to which part of the puzzle. Also drawing is another lesson. Here the teacher and me draw outlines of flowers or trees on a piece of paper so the children can fill it
out with color. This is not easy to do because most children don’t have the balance in their fingers to achieve that alone.
We have to lead them. If there is some time left at the end of the day we try to do
some simple maths like counting till 10 in English and Kannada. At 12.30 pm children get food at school. Sometimes children take a rest after lunch or we are playing games outside.At t

he office where I go once a week I write blog or other reports. It is nice to have one office day because here you get the chance meeting the staff members of SAMA. I enjoy tal
the workshops are quiet good. The Workshops usually require more than 3 days of time. Within those days you’re not only able to come to know the staff members better but also get the chance to meet people from different organisations. The staff members of SAMA are really nice and friendly and treat you as a full value member of the organisation. You easily get in touch with them not least because they are really interested in you and ma
ke sure that you feel good. Especially in the beginning is it hard to get along in India. You don’t speak the local language and the country with its people show different behaviours which you’re not used to. Though, at SAMA you know you are not alone.Every new day in India is inteking to them and get to know them better. This is not the only field of work at SAMA. You also get the chance to participate in very interesting workshops like psycho social care, life skill educatio
n, training on teacher, student and family enrichment which is really great. Not all workshops are in Bangalore. Some of them are in other states like the one I atte
nded in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu). A very nice place. Also

Vistar outside from Bangalo

re is a beautiful place. Not only the places have been interesting itself also the contents of
resting and holds new experiences. The traffic in Bangalore and the pollution are probably two of the most notable things you will recognize when you’re new in town. Despite that I like the area in Bangalore where I live, Mahalaxmi Layout. It’s all go! In the beginning I couldn’t fin
d any good words for the city of Bangalore. But now my mind is changi

ng. You cannot describe Bangalore in one sentence it is too multifaceted. Here are so many different places which makes it impossible to say Bangalore is just like this or like that. To understand what I mean you have to come here and experience this place on your own


Monday, October 17, 2011

New german volunteer

Hello everyone, my name is Lea and I am a volunteer at SAMA Foundation. I am – again – from Germany and I will stay here for one year. My exchange organisation is the ICDE (International Cultural Dialogue and Exchange), which is the indian branch of the international organisation ICYE (International Cultural Youth Exchange).
I came to India two months ago and I already feel like a member of the SAMA family. So far my work mainly consists of working in the Daycare Centre in Yelahanka and in the New Office at Bashyam Circle. But my work is far more than that.
In these two months I experienced a lot with SAMA Foundation. I had the opportunity to attend a meeting about Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) and I participated in a training for psychosocial Care and Lifeskills Education. Also there was a programme introduced, named STeP, which provides courses in computer skills and English conversation. Four weeks ago I assisted six days at a training for teachers on new CBR (Community Based Rehabilitation) Guidelines at a place outside Bangaluru. At each event I got to know so many nice people and I already have invitations for the rest of the year :)
But the most time I am spending at the Day Care Centre. There I work with around 10 children, which are 3 to 18 years old. I play with them, teach them English or help to do physiotherapy exercises. The work with the children is really enjoyable and everyday holds another experience.
I like that my work is so varied and I am curious about the next ten months.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2010/2011 Sama Volunteer

My name is Aline, I’m 19 years old, I come from Germany and I am a Sama-volunteer for nearly eight months now. As I’m here for quite a long time now it thought it might be a good idea to write something about me, what I’m doing and Sama Foundation.

I came to India through the German organization icja. Icja is cooperating with ICDE-India; ICDE-India is the organization that is taking care of me here in India.

Why did I want to go to India?

When I was about to finish school I had a pretty important decision to make: what should I do after my graduation? I had absolutely no idea. Somewhere I had in my mind to go abroad but I didn’t know which country or even how.

In the end it all went on quite fast, I got to know about the “weltwaerts”-programme of the German government, I found the organization icja and a few months later I was in India.

But why did I choose India?

Actually, the only criteria for me was that the country is English-speaking, so I decided between several African countries and India. As for me India was far more interesting I decided for India. You’d think it must have been a hard decision to choose the country, but somehow for me it wasn’t that difficult. And I’m happy with my decision. Even though I had some hard times (and a quite difficult start) I just like this country with its amazing landscapes, the culture, that couldn’t be more different from what I know, and its people.

Sama Foundation is an NGO (non-governmental organization) that is working for persons with disabilities and disability-right. The special focus lies on children and education.

The first months I assisted the teachers in the Day Care Centres and the Child Activity Centres, there I played with the children and taught them things like little chants, dances, drawing and sometimes a little bit of English.

Although I was a little bit scared of working with disabled children, because I never did it before, I’m really glad I got the chance to do it. It is wonderful when they get used to you and want to play with you. Seeing their happy faces can enlighten your day.

Now Sama Foundation is concentrating a little bit more on fund-raising. This always will be a major activity for an NGO. Therefore, I also got other tasks. I spent for example a lot of time in working on the five year report of Sama Foundation or I do smaller office activities.

I am living in a Hostel near the office (10 minutes by walk), and I really like living there. Because I’m quite independent there, apart from the curfew but that’s only a minor problem to me. I have a lot of privacy and I live there with a lot of nice Indian girls/women that are about my age.

Besides working I also spend a lot of time with travelling through India. So far I’ve seen a lot of places of South India and parts of North India.

The landscapes are always really impressing but sometimes travelling can be really exhausting.

However, I enjoy my time here in India with the “Sama-Family” and I will always remember this year.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fare Well to Nadia, SAMA Volunteer

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Nadia, the volunteer from United Kingdom rendered the timely help to SAMA Foundation and KARO (Disability Network)in assisting to develop the shadow report to UN briefing the ground realities on the status of persons with disabilities pertaining to education, health, employment, protection etc...

Our Heartfelt thanks and best wishes for her future endeavorer


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