Bonjour & Merci!

The sojourn of 11 volunteers from France…

July was a month of cultural immersion for Bhumi when we had 11 youngsters from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse (INSA), France. As volunteers, they worked on improving the infrastructure at Olcott Memorial Higher Secondary School, one of our partner schools. They used Building as a Learning Aid (BaLA) to give six classrooms a facelift, making it more visually attractive for children.

Children made them feel welcomed and connected during their stay,  enriching their whole experience. When asked, one of them said: 

“Working in school was different for us. We thought the language would be a problem but it was not a barrier to connect with the children”

These volunteers made their best effort to ensure the classrooms were painted within the given time but in accordance with the needs of the children. An exemplary feat was accomplished, leaving the school management grateful, since the teachers now had access to more elements to keep their classes engaged.

This association was a beautiful learning curve for both the volunteers and Bhumi –  while they learned about our culture, practices, and lifestyle, we learned how to engage international volunteers. 

The Bhumi team had a blast hosting them in Chennai and we hope to engage more volunteers in the upcoming months. To encapsulate the whole experience in their own words : 

“This entire trip was an amazing learning experience for us and thanks to the Bhumi team for guiding us through it!”

And oh, while exchanging notes on volunteering and other things, there was a mingling of culture and language too! “Vanakkam” and “Nandri” were their favourite Tamil words to use and so we bid farewell to them with “Bonjour” and “Merci”!

Contributor: Ashmita Japsen, ChangeDriver

Bhumi is a leader in Volunteer Engagement consistently contributing 300,000+ hours of volunteering nationally for various sustainable development goals. In 2019 Bhumi has engaged more than 10,000 corporate volunteers to contribute towards a sustainable change.