My time volunteering

I was a volunteer with the Society to Uplift the Rural Economy (SURE). I was their organizational development adviser but I also mentored the staff, gave workshops on business skills upgrades, helped with fund raising and represented the organization to foreign visitors.  I also helped out on many of the various projects SURE was involved in.

One of the projects involved helping a small village outside of Barmer, Rajasthan. The semi-arid Thar Desert was having a drought and this had severe consequences for the villagers.

see our report  at

The impact of my placement

The drought relief project was directed under Chanchal Tailong and myself. Mrs. Tailong was a consultant for SURE and I represented the organization directly which allowed us to find funding to help the villagers.

My unforgettable moments

On another project funded by Sight Savers International, I went with SURE staff out to a small village in the desert. The man we went to see was a blind man that SURE had helped him set up a small shop (peti shop) in his village to give him a lively-hood.  Still, being a blind person reduced his stature in the village as a sick person.  When a white western person, ME, went to visit him, all the villagers gathered round to pay respects to this event. His stature was greatly improved.  I didn't have to say a word, all I had to do was to be a white foreigner. 

Very memorable.

The impact my placement has had on me

After my two years in India, I decided to volunteer with VSO in China, where I ended up staying almost 5 years wortking with an environmental NGO in Chengdu.

Barmer, Rajasthan, India

Post Box No. 29, Gurudwara Road
Barmer 344001

25.7531537, 71.4180622