After breakfast, I leave the front gate, catch a bus, and head to a school. This is not that surprising, given that I’m contemplating a career in education and school reform. The unusual lies in the fact that I pay 20 cents each way, and that I often hop on and off the bus as it continues to move. When I arrive, I give instructions in a mixture of English, Hindi, and Maharati. With a high level of enthusiasm on both sides, we’re usually successful in completing the activities that I’ve planned.
I am a tare (Hindi for “star”), or participant in the Community Programme at Sangam World Centre, the WAGGGS World Center in India. Along with other women from around the world, I am living here in Pune for 3 months. In that time, I had a 2-week orientation, and have now finished my first full week of working. I am at a school for children operated at a leprosy rehabilitation center–other tare are in environmental organizations, working with children at construction sites, and working in health clinics.
Sangam is an exciting space to learn and share with women from around the world. The atmosphere of inclusion and commitment to community leadership and advocacy is awe-inspiring. I love having the experience in local culture and coming back and discussing how we can advocate for the UN Millennium Development Goals here and in our home countries, and how scouting succeeds and has room to grow in various areas.
If you have any questions about or interest in the Community Programme, feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.