There are two components to the Indian field experience, an academic component and an experiential learning component which occurs mostly with our partner organizations. We bridge these two components with reflection, writing, and praxis.
The academic component covers two themes: One is focused on social entrepreneurship, the other is the Indian context – an exposure to key thinkers and change processes in India that we hope the students will continue to explore and examine critically on their return to Wooster.
Last Thursday we had one of the first few sessions on Social Entrepreneruship. One of our early partners in Bengaluru, Center for Social Initiatives and Management (CSIM), were gracious enough to invite two social enterprises to speak to our students and our Bengaluru Alumni involved in start-ups of thier own. Here is a brief synopis introducing the social enterprises. Both leverage the power of volunteers in their business model.
Durgesh from SayTrees spoke about the importance of regreeening Bangalore and rural Karnataka. He shared how @saytrees_ind is focussed on leveraging volunteers to plant trees. Tree planting addresses the link between climate change, water shortages, and livlihoods.
Venkat from eVidyaloka spoke about using volunteers to address the teacher shortage problem in rural India. eVidyaloka involves local communities to own digital classrooms, and inspire diaspora and local native speakers to volunteer to educate rural Indian children.