A busy summer

We welcome all of our supporters to visit our projects in Ahmednagar to see for themselves how our projects directly support our 400,000+ beneficiaries and it’s been a busy summer with lots of visitors and supporters from across the world taking us up on the offer.

Our first team of 2016 student volunteers came from Leeds RAG at the University of Leeds, UK and visited in two groups from March to April. Our second group of education volunteers, a team of nine from Leeds Beckett University also in the UK, visited in August. Both groups enjoyed time with the children at our Rehab Center, taught at our English medium and slum schools, and accompanied field workers across many of our projects as well as undertaking their own individual project work. Thanks to both teams for your valued fundraising to support our projects prior to your trip.

At the end of April Belle of US-based NGO, Green Tara, visited to teach our Rehab Center girls self-defence while also building their confidence and awareness of how to protect themselves in vulnerable situations.

She was closely followed by a team from our Snehalaya UK office, accompanied by mental health activist Jonny Benjamin, masters student Viktorija, conducting research for her dissertation on domestic violence in India, and return volunteer from The Netherlands, Hanne. Their visits threw up some interesting issues and challenges and we are currently working on improving services to our beneficiaries as a result, watch this space...

At the same time, Ying and Paula from Dutch organisation, Nicotopia also visited to kick start the construction stage of a prototype interactive playground to help youngsters learn English based at our Rehab Center. All being well this will be completed in January 2017 after which the design and concept will be rolled out to other Indian NGOs.

Chair of our Snehalaya UK charity, Phil spent four days with us in July meeting key staff and stakeholders to discuss how our UK partner can better support the work here in India. German social work student, Judith arrived while he was here and spent a month working with our younger children and beneficiaries at our Himmatgram. Finally, ‘Dr’ Naa, a final year medical student from the UK spent time with the medical staff in our sexual health clinics as part of an assessed module for her studies.

You can read more about the volunteer experience at Snehalaya on our volunteer blog.