We have set up a new ViKAS Centre in a village near Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh with new empowerment and environmental projects starting up with the local community.As part of our overall community building and the initial development of the Young Women's Association, the young women of the community women have initiated meetings and discussions with our volunteer-interns!
We have also planned an integrated approach for the projects on environment conservation, sanitation, healthcare and micro-finance.
Our volunteer-interns interact with and allow the local women a space to feel comfortable and share their local knowledge and customs with us, and over much laughter and cups of chai (tea) we all got to know each other better in a fun and informal setting.
As part of the process of building relationships, trust and respect between the volunteer-intern team and the community, we also organised a traditional dresses fashion show as we wanted them to engage and participate in something that gave them pride and a sense of identity.
However, in the end, somehow, the roles got reversed, and towards the end of the session many women were dressing the volunteer-interns up!