Before jumping into the project, I had an Orientation session with the Host organization, IDEX (standing for Indian Development EXchange). Their office was 400 meters away from where my host family was living which was very handy. On that day I had:
– a Hindi class with my coordinator Kehari: he taught me the basics, what I could be using with the children giving the classes in the slums…(the Imperative mode was very useful but the vocabulary I had already thanks to my classes): “bolo” (say), “beto” (sit down), “chalo” (go)…
– a presentation on the Day Care Centres (“Anganwadi”, in Hindi) with Subhadra: what is the purpose, how do they work, who own them, who are the employees…
I was informed that many families send their children in the morning only because the Government provide the present children with the food at lunch time, but then they go home in the afternoon. One of IDEX’s objectives was to have the children stay in the afternoon for more activities.
– a presentation on Women’s conditions in India: Education & literacy, how they are perceived in the family, what is their “role” within the family… – I think it makes sense a Woman gives that presentation.
Therefore I was asked to give more attention to the girls at the Day Care Centre, so they can have the attention they were not getting at home. That would give them self confidence.
– a presentation on Indian Culture: Basically, Subhadra explained the things that a Western person could do and make people uncomfortable in our new community in India, in order that the Volunteer can go ahead smoothly with his/her experience. Everything she told me, I knew or was just common sense for me, really.