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VOLUNTEERING FOR SWATI - summer 2010
VOLUNTEERING FOR SWATI - summer 2010
Iva Walterova, Czech Republic
I volunteered for SWATI in the summer of 2010. Although I had only four weeks to spare for this experience, it has made a tremendous difference for me both personally and professionally.

Although the cultural shock was significant at first, I eventually came to enjoy my everyday life in India very much. After arriving in Ahmedabad I found myself among welcoming people who made a great effort to let me understand their culture, customs, their world. They made a significant effort to make me feel at home and understand me and my culture.

My time in India also allowed for significant professional growth. I was able to participate in interesting projects not only as a part of a team but also as a leader encouraged to make decisions. I was able to meet a number of interesting people, professionals in their field, with whom I was able to work, learn from them, who suggested new ways of thinking about issues novel to me. Overall I feel like this intense work experience opened new doors for me.

Despite having spent a rather short time living and working in India, at the end of my four weeks, I was so accustomed to my life there and enjoying it so much that I did not want to leave. I was leaving a place where I was let to feel at home, I was leaving newly-found but close friends, I was leaving work that I was happy to wake up to every day.

At first it might seem like a challenge to undertake such an experience, I cannot however do otherwise than highly and sincerely recommend it to anyone who is passionate about issues SWATI deals with. You would be enriched of an experience of your lifetime personally and professionally. I personally cannot wait until I find the time to go back!
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