REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:
"Madurai is a wonderful city. When
I arrived, I immediately noticed all the colors present everywhere. Very different
from Montreal where it is mostly grey. In Madurai, I fell like there is life everywhere.
About the placement, everyone we meet is extremely nice and welcoming. A truly great
I am becoming more capable to handle and teach relatively large groups of children.
I felt more organised in the sense that I know more what I have to do and when I
have to do it.
Everything has been great, but I really enjoy the fact that we are free to do what
we want in our free time. If we are tired, we can rest and if we are feeling adventurous,
we can go explore the city out of the tourist areas.
I would recommend this placement. This was an amazing experience for me and I would
definitively, recommend this placement to anyone who wants to do a similar project.
The type of person this placement would suit is someone who is open to new experiences
and who is active and energetic. Since everyone is so accommodating, this placement
can suit anyone as long as they enjoy sports or fitness activities ... The host
family is welcoming and understanding. When you start knowing them better, the trip
becomes much more fun since they recommended more things and activities to do. It
essentially become living with friends."
"For one month, I taught conversational English at an underprivileged primary school
every morning; and worked at an
Orphanage every afternoon. At the school I taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th standards
everyday. Each lesson was approximately 40 minutes and through a variety of topics,
the children would practise saying different things. I used
to buy materials from the stationer in our road and the supermarket close by. I
especially enjoyed topics that allowed me to introduce different cultures, such
as the lessons on manners and customs; and lifestyles, with 4th and 5th standards;
and those that allowed me to refer to India, such as when using famous Indian people
to talk about different professions.
My placement at the Orphanage was an eye-opener into the different standards of
medical care in the East. As a psychology
graduate and psychotherapist it was very interesting for me to observe the children's
relational and attachment patterns, form of play, and milestones reached. There
were other volunteers at the orphanage, and their company and their teaching me
how to change 'napkins', bottle feed and burp the babies, made all the difference!
It may seem like a cliché, but in India, I forgot myself – my problems and the life
I no longer recognised back home – and found myself. Meaning that I embraced a new
way of being and a new purpose to my life. For me there is nothing more rewarding
than teaching children who are genuinely hungry to learn.
My Indian students’ politeness, respect and eagerness touched my heart everyday.
The orphans taught me how one can have
nothing and be happy, because indeed we don’t actually need anything to be happy.
Happiness is after all, an internal state of being. Furthermore, having the opportunity
to travel both throughout my placement (with my kid sisters, the other three volunteers
who lived with me :), and for two weeks after, on my own, enabled me to truly experience
the awe-inspiring diversity and contrasts India is so known for.
Feeling joyful and peaceful inside, everyday; and being honestly happy with all
that I am and have, was one of my main
personal experiences in India. Returning to Malta was extremely hard for me and
I believe part of me is still there, in South Street, Singarayar Colony - greeting
the barefooted-children, admiring the colourful saris and absorbing every aspect
of fascinating India.
I will never forget my warm host mother and the wonderful volunteers, who became
my new family; the welcoming, friendly
school principal and teachers; all the amazing students and resilient orphans; and
the very helpful [Adventure Volunteering] staff. It's these people who made my time in Madurai
so very special."
VOLUNTEERING WITH CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
As well as protecting all our volunteers, Budget Volunteering is committed to all our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults from harm.
Many of our projects are based in the bustling city of Madurai in the southern state
of Tamil Nadu. Madurai is known by many names; ‘Jasmine city’ for the famous jasmine
flowers that are cultivated here, ‘the city of Nectar’, Legend tells of a river
of nectar that flowed after blessing from Lord Shiva, and the ‘Temple City’.
Madurai really does have a temple or shrine on practically every street but it is
most famed for the Sri Meenakshi Sundeswarar Temple. Pilgrims and tourists alike
flock to visit the temple and approximately 10,000 visit every day! The temple is
named after goddess Meenakshi. It was built in the 17th century and is an enormous
structure with 5 outer towers crammed full of idols and animals. The inner courtyard
contains another 7 towers, again all highly adorned. It will take your breath away.
Madurai is located on Vaigai River and was the capital of Pandyan rulers till the
14th century. It is full of cultural diversity and life revolves around the awe
inspiring Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, awash with pilgrims, market stalls
and tourist shops.
Children will stop you on the streets to chat to you and shake your hand and even
ask for your autograph! You will be in demand everywhere you go and you’ll feel
like a celebrity, such is the warmth of the Indian people. If you’re after an overwhelming
experience, then Madurai is a certainty for this!
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