Spring Break: Volunteer Abroad or Stay Home?
For many students, spring break usually means vacation on the beach, a road trip across the country, or simply rest and relaxation at home. However a group of local high school students spent spring break doing hands-on service learning projects that are making a real difference to dozens of children and adults in India.
Students from FBISD’s Global Studies Academy and International Business & Marketing Academy participated in the Rekha & Sudhir Puranik Foundation’s Impact India program.
“Impact India is designed to teach students about India’s rich history and culture and give them insight into how different cultures address social and political challenges.”, said Revati Puranik, Rekha & Sudhir Puranik Foundation Executive Director.
The program is based at the Puranik Foundation’s Vision International Learning Center, a rural English Medium school that serves over 80 impoverished primary and secondary students from villages around Pune, India.
“The school and the Foundation are fully sustainable without electricity and running water, an ideal environment for students to participate in service learning activities focused on alternative energy, agriculture and education.” said Mrs. Puranik.
Students also got an opportunity to explore issues related to development, the environment, poverty, and social inequity from a unique vantage point and return home with a more nuanced understanding of the world.
The students taught English to their Indian counterparts and performed agricultural tasks alongside villagers. They also learned and celebrated several festivals highlighting India’s culture and traditions, and developed an artistic showcase with the Indian students that featured both American and Indian culture.
About the Rekha & Sudhir Puranik Foundation
The Rekha & Sudhir Puranik Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Worldwide Oilfield Machine, a designer and manufacturer of flow control equipment for the oil and gas industry based in Houston, Texas with a manufacturing hub in Pune. The Foundation has three main pillars that encompass its objective to help individuals achieve a successful and effective life; education, environmental awareness, and job training.
Vision International is dedicated to providing students with a quality education and an opportunity to break the cycle of illiteracy and poverty. The Impact India Program provides American students the opportunity to engage in hands-on service learning projects that make a real difference in one of India’s most poverty-stricken communities. The Na’ī Śuru’āta Adult Education and Job Training Program provides basic education and vocational training for illiterate adults with limited skills and access to better paying jobs.
The Puranik Foundation is enriching livelihoods…literacy…lives.