Claire came with Iko Poran to Jaipur, to work with a women empowerment project. She felt, she could offer something special for women who are illiterate and who have almost no opportunity to do something outside home. When Claire left the USA, she had something special in mind. She had already sent a few sewing machines to Jaipur, and would see, if the women would like to learn sewing. During the project, Claire showed them how to make sanitary pads. But there is so much more to such a project. When Claire realized, her host family treated here like their own daughter, she felt so happy. As she, says, they called her their “Queen”. Listen to Claire’s interview and get some inspiration for your own projects!
Claire, can you tell me, why did you come to India?
Claire: I came to India, because I thought it was a country that had the most of what I could offer. It was so much equity to India, I never traveled this far and I have never been to India before. But when I looked in to the program, and I read the description, and I was send the powerpoint, I got a full view of what I was seeing here. And I realized, this was exactly, what I wanted to do. If I had done an orphanate job, or something else, it would have been anywhere as meaningful.
What project did you choose, and what have you done during your project?
My project was the Women Empowerment project at the public school in Jaipur. That women empowerment project is designed to help women who have nothing, illiterate, and have no opportunity going outside of their home. So bring them here, teach them what it is, they want to learn. We started with just English, but as we got a couple of sewing machines here, that I had sent here, we changed our plan, and I was started, doing an hour of… or two hours of English each day, but we switched it to one hours of English and one hours of sewing. Once they learned sewing, they wanted to do sewing all the time. (laughs) But I still kept English for just a few of them, that really could use the English as well.
How has been your experience with them?
Boy, my experience with the group is probably beyond what I could have been expected. I think, it’s not just coming to the project every day to work, but staying with the host family was key for me. Uhm, I had the ability to stay with a host family tha basically adopted me, and made me a member of the family. The accommodated every request, they also said, I was the queen of the family.
My last question, Claire, please can you tell me three ways to describe, the India, that you’ve seeing here?
The India that is here, or…
…that you have seen…
That I have seen? Just chaos, is one. But I would say, quite beauty, another, that’s just two words, but that’s too bad. Because there is beauty in every heart and in every corner, but there is just só much to discover. I think, also, embracing the culture, and expected it to be chaotic, there is so much beauty around.
Go to our page with the full information about volunteering in Jaipur, and proceed with your application.
You might also like to read some more testimonials, of volunteers in India, who worked with women empowerment as well: