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ARIEL 'S STORY

Volunteer

Ariel

Issue(s)

Economic Security, Violence Against Women

Location

Jodhper, India

Organization(s)

Sambhali Trust, Foundation for Sustainable Development

Other organization(s) not affiliated with STF

UPGRADE program at Emory University

Funding

By Emory University Ethics Center through the UPGRADE program

Primary Duties / Accomplishments

I assisted classroom and sewing center instruction. I also researched and prepared report on microcredit programming.

Most Rewarding Aspect of Experience

Learning the nuances of micro financing and my own skills and weaknesses in grassroots nonprofit work.

Other Information about Experience

When my days at Sambhali were winding down it felt like time to recollect all I’ve gained and contributed during my two months here. There have been many challenging and heartbreaking moments, and I will never forget these lessons. The harsher memories are softened by neighboring images of determination, of sacrifice, of respect, and of love from the strong community of Sambhali Trust.

Once immersed in the swift flow of the NGO, I marveled at the smoothness and speed in which things were accomplished. Walls and completely new rooms were built in mere days at the office; the Sambhali store was opened with only a few delays (shocking for Jodhpur); meetings were conducted bimonthly without fail, successfully bring the entire team together to share our work and thoughts. I learned a lot about what a successful NGO looks like, and the work that it entails. Helping in the classrooms showed me the commitment with which women and girls pursue their goals. I’ve also become very familiar with the microfinance in India, and the nature of Sambhali’s classrooms and training. I am very grateful to bring this knowledge away with me. I’m also satisfied with leaving behind my finished my project, the Sambhali Sheerni Microfinance 6 Month Report.

I am sorry to be leaving this powerful group of women and supporters. At my last meeting, I gave bracelets to all of the staff as friendship gifts. On behalf of Sambhali Trust, Govind gave me a cloth elephant sewed by the women, with Ganesh’s blessing of luck for my future. Saying goodbye to familiar faces, I knew that the close friendships I’ve built will surely last long past my return home. I am so glad I came, for there is so much I will miss.

You can also read about Ariel's experience on the Foundation for Sustainable Development's site.