"I would say that Aid India is the best thing that has happened to me. After becoming a volunteer of Aid India, I realized the true meaning of my life and it has changed life for me in many ways. I would not be who I am today if I had not happened to volunteer with Aid India. I owe a lot to Aid India and its lovely people. You all make me the person I am and you all drive me to be a better person every other day. Glad to be a part of Aid Indias journey so far and happy to continue to be a part of the journey."
"I joined Aid India as a volunteer in early 2013. When I was learned about the organization and education quality problem, I could not believe that there exists such a problem in basic learning outcomes. A few months later, I visited an after -school centre in Kalikanaiyackenpalayam village in Thondamuthur block. I was really shocked and taken aback when I saw that a 7th grade kid was not able to solve a simple 2 digit subtraction problem. That particular village visit made me realize to put the cause above self which has led me to forge a very strong emotional bond with Aid India since then. I got more involved in field visits, outreach and fund raising, and began gradually contributing more to the organization. Starting as volunteer/participant in Eureka Run 2013, I became a core team member for Eureka Run 2014 and finally lead the Eureka Run 2015. I was also fortunate to coordinate volunteers in Aid India s flood relief activities during Chennai floods in Dec 2015. Aid India gave me the freedom to experiment things and I initiated solar electrification of 2 villages in Tiruttani. I have learnt a lot of leadership skills from Aid India such as delegation, handling situations diplomatically, making people buy-in to your vision etc. Aid India is very close to my heart and Im so glad to have a big extended family!"
"Volunteering for Aid India has been the most enriching experience ever. These words are not mere lip service but straight from the heart. No organization gives the liberty to spearhead projects to volunteers the way Aid India does and it is for this reason that I have always felt that am very much a part of Aid India in every sense and not merely a volunteer. Genuine intentions in the field of rural education backed by passionate individuals who run the programs define Aid India . Happy to have played my small bit in the enormous work Aid India does."
"I started by taking classes in spoken english in the Eureka school at Walodai. It was a little challenging since I did not know Tamil. I also took part in similar courses at the Kotturpuram centre, and some teacher training activities at the Royapettah centre. Finally, I found out that I feel most comfortable developing content. I have helped in content development in English, math and science. The organization is very well founded and I am very happy volunteering with Aid India. I specially enjoy coming across unexpected glimpses of brilliance amongst the Eureka students. It is very heartening."
"The long days in Coimbatore and Krishnagiri, with the visit to schools and the after-school centers starting at 7 am and going on till 9.30 pm - coming back to Coimbatore city and catching a ten pm show at KG theatre with Anand, Malayandisamy and Venkatesh, the Coimbatore Project Managers - the great food at Tirupati mess - the Metric melas and math declarations conducted in the villages on Sundays - the training sessions in Krishnagiri and Yelagiri - visiting the centers in Kalikkanayakkanpalayam where the math skill levels of children were always super high - watching Madhumitha, the class 4 girl in Krishnagiri teaching children from higher classes multiplication and division - the late night Eureka run planning sessions- the marathon strategy discussions with the project directors. Too many interesting and fun memories in the past few years as Aid India volunteer to fit into 140 characters. Maybe a book someday! Had the time of my life though."
"Dec 2004, When Chennai, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam were hit by Tsunami, it was Aid India that gave me an opportunity to help the affected. Through Chandra, I also got a chance to help people with spoken English over the phone. Again in Dec 2015, when Chennai was inundated with flood, I was able to work with them to provide relief to the people affected. It was so wonderful to see people coming forward to help one another. It was such a humbling experience to see young kids and senior citizens all pitching in to help. It has been a pleasure and honor to be associated with people like Balaji, Chandra, Thothadri, Selva, Ravi, Thara, Parvathy and so many others who do so much for the society and Ramamurthy mama is such a big inspiration. There is so much more to be done and I wish I get an opportunity soon to join hands with you all and give back in whatever way I can."
"I had just come back to Bangalaore from Chennai when the heavy rains struck in Dec 2015. So, I knew I had to go back when I got to know that Aid India was into relief work. 4 weeks there was unique going to the field to distribute relief materials and then handle stocks of material that came in to be distributed. Thankful to Aid India for having given me such a humbling experience."
"It has been a very enriching experience volunteering with Eureka projects in Aid India. The way the kids at Triplicane readied a street play in just 3 days for the first parents meet was amazing. Their zest to learn was just adorable. The time I used to go teach nursery rhymes at the Kotturpuram centre was very fulfilling to see the kids blossom from shy tearful creatures to confident butterflies."
"I got associated with Aid India in the year 2011 through a volunteer opportunity. I was inspired by the work that the team has been doing in education and wanted to continue my volunteering with them. I have been to few centres in and around Chennai, mentoring kids for that chapter in Math and English. The syllabus and materials prepared and used by the team is not one day effort. The team has put in a lot of effort and the resulting materials are very creative and knowledgeable. I am sometimes awe-struck when I meet some coordinators who are working full time here. The effect of the materials on the students are also tremendous. The way they assess the students is also unique and motivating"
"Volunteering with Aid India has been a great experience where I have got to interact with many different types of people from different walks of life. Especially people like Selva, Radha, Ravishankar and all others who are a great inspiration to me. I wish to give more time and do as much as possible for kids."
In the words of the TFI team headed by NishaSubramaniam, Senior Program Manager at Teach For India, Chennai. "The Eureka School visit has pushed my thinking in terms of what is possible. The mindsets of the teachers who have over 10 years of experience, yet wanting to learn from us, was inspiring. I will consciously work towards building this mindset in my fellows. What clearly stood out to me was the clear purpose the teachers seemed to work with. Each one of them brings in so much of passion and commitment to the work they do. One thing I thought other schools could learn from was the usage of contextual and extensive resources aligned with the curriculum. The break-down of each lesson/objective into skills and sub-skills is clearly empowering teachers. I see the core model of Eureka school as - Set outcome goals for teachers and give them freedom to explore and constantly improve their HOW. I was wondering how much of explicit, targeted experiences were being created for students to increase their own self-awareness around their values, strengths, weaknesses and passion. I was thinking of ways to improve structures to facilitate students to teach skills and sub-skills to each other (pairs and small groups), increase rigor in group work to allow students to push each others thinking, co-create resources, projects aligned to the objectives. I was also wondering how we could provide teachers better exposure to learning opportunities through internet, cross-observation in schools, hard-copy of research articles and best practices. To me Eureka and every individual associated with it represents passion, joy and commitment. Thank you so much for allowing us get inspired, learn from and share our perspectives and suggestions. Good luck to the wonderful Eureka School teachers :)"
"My name is Snehaa Senthamilselvan and I am a 14 year old girl from Hong Kong. This summer I interned with Aid India for 2 weeks in July. This internship was truly an incredible experience. I interned to teach English for a group of students ranged from 3rd to 5th Standard and I learnt so much from this experience. It is a great organization in which I highly recommend for interns. Eureka projects enable and provide an opportunity for children to be educated. Education is a big gift in ones life and can change the sphere of their life. Eureka gives an equal opportunity to every child to get educated which is a gift itself. By interning with Eureka I got the opportunity to connect, relate and share different experiences with a range of people. These children taught me how hard life can be and and I really endured it in those two weeks. Overall my two weeks at Eureka was truly enjoyable and I hope to return back and experience more of it and make an impact in the lives of others!"
"First of all, I would like to sincerely thank you for giving me an opportunity to teach and learn with the Eureka program. This will be a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I would like to provide you with a summary of my experience. Over the summer, I went to India from the U.S. to visit my grandparents. I wanted to utilize my time wisely while I was there. One of my main interests is teaching children and I heard about an opportunity to teach them from AID Ohio. When we contacted the Aid India office in Chennai, Mr. Thothadri helped to set up a way for me to teach children. Thats how I got to meet the kids at the Kotturpuram Eureka center. I taught children from the ages of 6-11. I taught them English, animals, fruits, and math. One of the main focal points was teaching them how to use tablets . At first, I started teaching them simple words in English, phonics, and spelling, because my main focus was English communication. I taught them math also. We learned numbers, addition, and multiplication. After that, I returned to my main focus of English, but this time, I started teaching them more complex words and sentences.I was totally astonished by the interest and the dedication that the students had towards learning. By the end of the one month, the kids were able to communicate nicely in English. To measure our progress, I completed a pre-and-post assessment evaluation of the kids skills. Towards the end of my one month, the kids were able to understand and communicate simple day-to-day English sentences. I had such an amazing time teaching the kids. Ive made so many memories working with the children. One of my favorite memories was teaching them how to high-five. They were so excited about it. Then, we would end every class by giving high-fives. The whole experience was so different for me because I was not used to such environments. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the kids. One of the things I have clearly witnessed is the need of our support and encouragement for these kids. I am sure that there are a lot more kids in a lot more places, who would definitely benefit from this kind of basic and easy support. It will have a huge impact on these kids. I hope that you will help out with Eureka also. "
Experience by our intern Subramanian who realised the importance of the privilege of education, and how easily we take it for granted.In his own words "We city dwellers hardly realize how fortunate we are to be enjoying what has been bestowed upon us, to me the past one month has been one of many such revelations. I started interning with Aid India on February 01, with not much idea about the scenario of rural education in my state. During the internship, we had to travel to a lot of villages in Tamil Nadu, these visits showed me the harsh realities of the status of education in such villages. Great kudos to Aid India and their Eureka program for taking education to the children in these remote villages. The experiences with the people and the kids in these remote places and their struggle to get something as basic as quality education has taught me the value of the privileges bestowed upon us and has served to remind me how blessed we are. To simply put it, the journeys were tiring, but the learning is immense and the experiences enriching for which I have to express my gratitude to Aid India. At the end of this short association I take with me memories which I will cherish for years to come and I am sure these experiences will shape my future in a meaningful way." Experience this and a host of other unimaginable experiences. Volunteer with Aid India
Here is what Sathya Narayanan Sridhar has to say about his internship with Aid India for the past 1 month. We are happy that this internship made him more socially aware & responsible. In his own words!! "Interning with #Aid India has been an wonderful experience. When i joined here, i had no idea whats the condition of education sector in rural TamilNadu (or) India for that matter. This experience with #Aid India has been an eye opener! The rural visits to the untraveled rural parts of Tamil Nadu showed me the true colors and made me realize how sophisticated life most of us are living in the urban cities and made me realize how everyone needs to give back something to our society! The respect for teachers and elders given by the children in Eureka school, the sense of pride and accomplishment in their faces on winning a chess game or solving a jigsaw puzzle will be there in my memories forever:) I thank Aid India for giving me this great opportunity and hopefully i will contribute to the society even more from now on as a responsible citizen ! "
Charlotte an intern With Aid India shares her experience of the Eureka Skill Declaration Event. In her own words “The declaration event offered an often-rare opportunity to celebrate the academic achievement of young students. We often consider the ‘bigger’ milestones of education – primarily public examinations – to be the focus of celebration, but such an event showed the value in documenting and validating progress from a young age. Celebrating progress in after-school classes, the evening was also powerful in bringing together the community outside of formalized schooling. For the celebratory evening, the students wore their best dress and played games altogether – truly a collective, community-based event for and by the students. It was heart-warming to see the pride in the students as they received their declaration certificates, keen to show friends, family and strangers their achievement! Some brave students also showcased their skills in front of the crowd, showing important skills in personal confidence that progress in academia can bring. Progressing in school is often difficult and there are many barriers the children have to face to achieve this. Coming together as a community, however, they showed how valued their education is and the time and effort they are willing to put in to secure progress. In the journey towards educational justice, each milestone is worth commemorating in such a way, validating hard work and valuing the students’ self of self-worth. Their achievement became the community’s achievement, so crucial in personal and social development."
William Richard from Oxford University has been conducting regular Spoken English classes at Eureka School Vembakkam. He is also helping with content preparation and testing to build childrens comprehension in English.