Marieke ter Veld

23 October 2017 to 27 December 2017

My name is Marieke ter Veld and I volunteered at Umang from October to December 2017. I am a special educator and the girls of room Ginny 1 were my focus. I enjoyed having a structured routine and knew what I had to do on a daily basis.
In the beginning it was hard to communicate. I was not really comfortable with the English language, but everyone wanted to help if you had a question. To help the caretakers I organized 3 workshops:
1: My Observations
2: The importance of talking and physical contact
3: Sensory overload

After the workshops I saw a difference among the caretakers. They were more comfortable to speak and share their experiences. The caretakers were more happy in their work and with each other. Gouri, the social worker did the translation of the workshops and after the workshop, the caretakers were more in contact with me, they talked to me, and asked for help in their work.

I love the residents! They were so welcoming and friendly. Most of the residents are speaking English, this make it more easy to communicate. The residents like the most to make fun and jokes with me. We laughed a lot. They like the physical contact of a hug, hand on the shoulder or a high-five. They want your attention, and it’s nice to work with them on basis of my work experience in the Netherlands.

I had a great time at Umang. I meet great people from the Netherlands and from India. I had a great time in the volunteers house where I felt safe with everyone and I had a great time in India overall. I want to thank Sulu and the other staff members and volunteers for this great experience. I think they learned from me and I from them and that I feel Umang was my home for these two months.

I would definitely recommend Umang WWTI to anyone else.