Four Week TARE program at Sangam
– Miranda McGlaughlin (SA)
During February of 2014 I was part of the Community Partner Program at Sangam World Centre. I was placed at a site called the Doorstep School. This program is established on different construction sites around Pune and the purpose of the program is to provide education for the children of the construction workers. While the older children attend a formal school for half a day and then attend the Doorstep School for the other half of the day, the younger children spend the day at the Doorstep School. This program not only enables the children to receive an education, but because the younger children have care, the school aged children are able to attend school rather than stay at home and look after their siblings while their parents are working. I loved my four weeks working at the Doorstep School; I not only was able to form fantastic relationships with the children, but I became great friends with the teachers at the site. Although there was a language barrier at times, this didn’t stop me from developing my knowledge of India, the local community and the people I was working with; the teachers even started teaching me some Marathi (the local language) during our lunch breaks. Throughout my time at Sangam I really started to feel as though I was at home; I grew accustomed to catching rickshaws and I became confident and comfortable in the surrounding neighbourhood of Sangam.
I also had the opportunity to travel around India with some of the new friends I made while staying at Sangam. This was a great way to spend the weekends and I have some fantastic memories of exploring India with my new, lifelong friends.
India is a beautiful country, rich with a culture which differs so much to my own. Through my experience in India and Sangam, I believe I have developed as an individual and my passion for helping others has strengthened. I encourage anyone, of any age, to travel to Sangam and experience the life changing excitement found in India.