First ImpressionsBlogger : Neelofer Shaikh | Time : 2012-06-30 18:47:24
Something I hadn’t fully realized before I came to Kodaghalli was that Ubuntu doesn’t simply begin and end at the workspace. The staff and interns are here not only to help the women manage the production of green products safely and efficiently, but also to help improve their communities as a whole. For example, we—the interns—hold nightly English and computer classes for local college students, children and the women of the village. The advantages are obvious—not only do we expand the skills of the women (and expand the capabilities of the workspaces as a whole), but we also help the village’s young people gain a foothold into more competitive jobs. Sarah, an intern last year, also taught the children different games and dances. In this case, there is no “measurable” advantage, but these kinds of programs allow the children a creative outlet and expose them to a different culture that they might not have otherwise encountered.
But it doesn’t end there. Ubuntu is trying to introduce organic farming in the villages and to teach the women about proper nutrition and hygiene. All of the interns also have independent projects—each with a different focus—to improve the livelihoods of these communities. While there are many NGOs that focus on teaching English or health, I feel that Ubuntu is perhaps unique in that it tries to improve so many different aspects of life simultaneously for the men and women of these communities. It’s not just about production or English or farming so much as it is about ensuring that these communities know that there is someone out there who is invested in helping them so that they can also become invested in helping themselves.
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