My time volunteering
I was in New Delhi from March 2009-Feb 2012 working for the National Trust, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. http://www.thenationaltrust.gov.in/content/ One of my goals was to travel the entire Country which I was able to do through my assignment which was delivering capacity building workshops. We worked with 900 NGOs throughout the Country.
The impact of my placement
Because I was accepted by the staff and especially the CEO and Head Civil Society person I was put in charge of a disability awareness raising campaign called Badhte Kadam or stepping forward. (This Campaign continues today). This started out as a somewhat small campaign and eventually was conducted throughout all of India. A great song was written and performed and NGOs throughout the Country were involved. It was really an amazing experience! http://www.thenationaltrust.gov.in/content/scheme/badhte-kadam.php
My unforgettable moments
I lived with a joint family which was really special. There were a number of children and I had the opportunity to watch them grow up. I had a huge flat on the third floor enough to have a small basketball hoop. All of the children would come up on a regular basis and ask me for food which their family didn't serve. I remember giving a box of juice to one of the children for her birthday. She apparently drank the entire thing at one time and I was told she peed all over her bed.
I was accepted by this family as one of theirs and they took care of me even when I got sick. I felt so at home with them.
The impact my placement has had on me
While volunteering with the National Trust I also coached able bodied basketball at the New Delhi YMCA. However in November 2011 collaborating with the NGO Wheelchair Athletes Worldwide I coordinated a wheelchair basketball project. Sports wheelchairs were brought to India by my friends from WAW and we conducted a clinic at Amar Jyoti http://www.amarjyotirehab.org/. The incredible thing was that Aamir Khan was also there filming a TV Show http://www.tellychakkar.com/tv/tv-news/aamir-khan-deals-the-challenges-faced-disabled-people-country. This started me on the road to coaching wheelchair basketball. I then went on to Nepal and coached the Army Wheelchair Basketball Team.
My current job is at Bridge II Sports working with persons with disability around sports. I'm coaching a youth wheelchair basketball team and am in charge of a school program, EveryBODYPlaysNC. Our goal is to bring adapted sports to every County in North Carolina. We will be the first State in the US to do this