Monday, October 12, 2015

First steps into the real world

Coming from a country and a profession allowing me to live a decent life with no limitations, I've been carrying around the feeling of having to step into the world characterized by real problems for many years now. Maitri made this possible.
For two weeks now, I've been working voluntarily in Delhi and from the beginning I knew that this was the right step to take.

It is great to see and to work with people being dedicated to a good cause (or many of them). Beside the office-based work which currently focuses on developing consistent approaches to setting up programs and projects and to measure their success, I was already able to visit two of the current projects.
First, I co-interviewed two of the girls being benefitiaries of the Maitrigram programme dedicated to female teenagers and young women who have finished the basic education but still struggling to find a decent job. It was great to see which great success stories can be created "only" by learning English more properly.
Second, the last week finished with a visit of both sites where the Jeevan project is being executed. Two self-built houses where abandoned, destitute and elderly widows find shelter and everything else they need for the everyday life set the frame for tremendously improving the lives of in total around 100 women who would have no other place to go otherwise.

When I told people back in Germany, especially colleagues or other people I've been working with, what I'm about to do, I got a clear proof of what I supposed: "Wow, that is really impressive! While working for this bank (or any other profit-oriented organisation) is quite satisfying, it doesn't fulfill me entirely since there is a huge lack of meaning in it. But it is so hard to really step out of it for a while and work for a good cause. You just get too stuck and don't dare to break out of your comfort zone and daily routine..." was probably the response I've heard the most. However, many employers actually offer the possibility to take some time off in order to spend it for different causes. I therefore propose that each one of us should start and continue encouraging people around us to think about what the real problems are and that slightly delayed flights, a scratch on the expensive car or a missed deal at the favourite store are things people living in the slums would be happy to consider their issues...
Kenneth Alexander Grodotzki, 28
Self-employed / Freelancer from Germany

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