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Volunteering in India: Letter from an artist

A letter to the Melton Foundation community from May Garces, Melton Fellow (UFRO, Chile) on her return from India in August 2013.
August 26, 2013

Dear MF family,

First of all I want to thank every one who worked on the GCC (Global Citizenship Conference) this year. The fellows, the staff, the presenters, the participants: it was wonderful to see you again and meet you. This year, I specially loved to see and hear so many great ideas being born! I really hope we can create a fertile environment for them to grow!

So, I am back Temuco (Chile) now, almost recovered from the jetlag and deeply grateful for this entire experience which began with a volunteer experience at a New Delhi based organization called Salaam Baalak Trust. 

I taught some workshops on artistic activities to children in one of the shelters in New Delhi as part of the non-formal education classes. These children had been “rescued” from the streets not more than five months ago.

These shelters provide the children security, a sense of home, and they aim at restoring the childhood in children. Besides, they instill in them the values of independence and decision-making, education, social values and financial self-dependence to become mature and responsible citizens of the country and caring and responsive members of the society.

As you can see, these objectives can be easily linked with our notions of globalcitizenship so I introduced the concept to the teachers and students by an exchange experience with Chile in which I shared drawings and paintings of the children from the Mañiuco school in Galvarino, Chile.

If you are interested in helping this great organization, I invite you to donate on their page, www.salaambaalak.com, and to consider collaborating with this organization in future projects.

On my end, I will have a meeting next week with organizations I work with here in Temuco, http://royalfamilykids.org/,  http://www.familiareal.cl/  to talk about this experience and share best practices with them.

Much love and strength from the south of the world.