Children of India are looking for volunteers
Adriana P rez Pesce 4/26/11 In the Category Education and culture
Pedro Almeida was born 26 years ago in Porto, Portugal and has a degree in Television and Cinematographic Production from the Metropolitan University of London. In 2009, after several trips to India, he decided to do what he really felt and founded the NGO Children of India. The entity has the support of volunteers, all of them very young, who make a great effort to reconcile their working life with this great social and humanitarian task.
“Currently, we are looking for volunteers who want to start delegations of Children from India in other autonomous communities. We work from Barcelona and we believe that this will be a good option to make our projects known to more people and thus be able to support more children and young people in India, ”Almeida remarks.
Children of India is a non-profit NGO whose mission is to create initiatives that promote the personal growth, physical and emotional well-being of children and adolescents. To achieve their objectives, they work with local organizations that know the land, customs and needs of the beneficiaries and give the actions greater effectiveness.
The team of volunteers in Spain is made up of professionals who allocate all the financial contributions collected to the beneficiaries of the projects, among which are “Help them study!”, “Sponsoring children”, “Orphanage for marginalized girls ”And the“ Nutrition and schooling program for 100 children ”.
Thanks to the support of the partners and collaborators, the institution has been able to finance the university careers of 31 young people without resources and sponsor 5 children. The interview that Positive News held with Almeida is detailed below:
Positive News: How did the idea of creating Children of India?
Pedro Almeida: Born from the concern of four young people - a Portuguese, an Aragonese, an Andalusian and a Valencian - to contribute to a better world. The organization starts when after several trips to India, I decide to change jobs and follow my vocation. I started a postgraduate degree in International Cooperation and founded with Alejandro López Niños de la India, based in Barcelona. We both traveled to India at first to establish the projects and in the meantime start looking for other young people who shared the same desire to get involved in a solidarity project, related to helping to solve the serious problem of poverty that currently exists there. We met Maria José and Pablo online and together we launched the organization's projects. Currently, the four of us are dedicated to Children of India on a voluntary basis, which allows us to allocate all the funds raised to the projects, reconciling our daily work with the work in the NGO. Children of India are currently made up of 7 young volunteers.
N +: What projects do you carry out?
PA: The project 'Help them to study' which aims to finance university studies of young people without resources, allows a sponsor in Spain to financially support one or a young woman in India so they can study at the university. This is our first project and in the last 12 months, thanks to the support of our partners and sponsors, we have already been able to finance the university careers of 31 young people without resources.
This program allows a young person from a family without resources to access a better quality of life and break the cycle of poverty in which they are inserted. The young people we support come from families of farmers, weavers and day laborers with salaries below 400 euros a year. When these young people finish studying they can access jobs that allow them to earn a month the same as their parents earn in 6 months and in some cases a year. University education is a real privilege in India - only 13% of young people get access to university studies - and it has a transformative impact on their lives and the lives of their families.
N +: What are the most popular university careers among students?
PA: The Diploma in Commerce, which has a duration of 3 years and costs 300 euros, is one of the favorites of most students with few resources in India because of the professional opportunities it has. A young graduate in Commerce can access a wide range of employment options within areas such as economics, administration or business. Teaching is another very popular career due to its short duration (2 years) and the prestige that being a teacher in India entails, especially in rural areas.
N +: And what can you tell us about the sponsoring children program?
PA: The sponsorship program for children from disadvantaged families we started 2 months ago and it allows a family without financial resources to take care of their son or daughter and not be forced to leave. For a small amount each month a godfather or godmother in Spain can cover the cost of food, education and health of a child of a disadvantaged community in India. Sadly, the global economic crisis is having a devastating impact on emerging countries where the number of child abandonments in recent years has skyrocketed as families do not reach the end of the month. In countries like India where families are numerous - the average is 3 children per family - this situation is even more problematic.
N +: How is volunteer work organized?
PA We work in India in collaboration with local NGOs as we believe it is very important that the external assistance that arrives in the country is managed by a local team, especially for Indian organizations to become self-sufficient. Collaborating with a local counterpart not only broadens the impact of the aid but also benefits more people. Having a counterpart provides a greater knowledge of the beneficiary population because the members of that entity know the citizens and know what their needs are. In addition, they speak the language and know very well the customs of the population we support. Although the Spanish NGO contributes the capital to implement a program, the knowledge of the local partner is invaluable.
N +: Are there any anecdotes or memories that you would like to share with N + readers?
PA: My best memory of India is without a doubt the hospitality with which we receive the families of the students we support. They always offer us fresh buffalo milk and I must confess that not being accustomed is a bit intense, especially because it is very greasy. At the end of each day and after visiting several families we are forced to say no.
Children of India / Project Presentation: Financing of university studies of young people without resources from Children of India on Vimeo.