As the program manager of Volunteering Journeys Kerala I still remember my first days. Volunteering Journeys was previously known as Rainbow Voluntours and my time has been nothing but fun and a great journey of self discovery and learning. My work experience here is entirely different from other places where I worked earlier. I get a chance to do some service here, which have not happened anywhere before. I consider it bliss. Its worth when we spend our time with local communities who need help. Also most of my days are spent among the children . I really enjoy it. When you mingle with children you just forget all your own troubles too!

My experience with the volunteers is just terrific. We get new volunteers every Saturday. I must say all of you – our volunteers are amazing in different ways! As a volunteer, you get a chance to mix with people who are different from you.  Everyone is here to serve and although our volunteers are from all over the world, they have a common cause of love and care for improving the world they live in. When I joined in 2015 November, there was a group of some very good volunteers from different places. Stacey from Canada and Neil from UK, are to name among the few.  Stacey created her own platform in the project of Women Empowerment. She is a person of individuality. Neil was with our Construction Project and not only the walls and furniture he made colorful but also the minds of the people around him. Marta from Switzerland was an intelligent and beautiful lady who has got her own vision in everything she does. She is the power behind our Women`s Empowerment Project. Harminder from Canada was another great volunteer who had done so much for the kids in all our projects.  The kind and generous man really made an impact in my life. The gorgeous Paula, from UK is like a little doll even at her 50’s. She has done a lot for our children and made us proud to have her around. She chose to celebrate her 50th birthday with us on 7th December and I am proud to say that we made it a memorable event.   It is an endless list to describe!

Moreover I have my wonderful colleague Midhu, who extends her help in whatever I do. I really feel that I am not doing my job, I am just living the way I wanted and I am being paid for that !

We have four major projects now. One is at Amaravetty School, Fort Kochi It is a small school with few facilities and we run our teaching and construction projects here. We help the children by making our volunteers take classes for them individually as well as in groups. With the construction projects our volunteers are painting the walls of the class rooms and the common area which had been very dirty earlier. The magnificent colors have given their benches and desks a new look and the children love their classrooms better. Now we plan to do a fund raising program so that we could do the real changes in the atmosphere. The other school we go to is GHS LPS, Mattanchery. The children face the same difficulties here also. We run an after school club for children here where we teach them English and various activities.

We also goto a lovely little girls Orphanage. Here the lovely girls are in the age group of 5 to 14 years and there are around 60 girls here. We take our volunteers to them and they get a chance to mingle with them and many activities are done so that they gain a new dimension in their life something which have been denied earlier by the fate. Our volunteers help them with their school lessons also. They also entertain them by celebrating their birthdays with the children and give them presents and by this way they know that someone cares for them. Our other project is Snehabhavan, Boys Orphange at Palluruthy.  There are around 60 boys here in the age group of 5 to 15 years.  Of course the boys love the fun. Our volunteers play with them foot ball and cricket and they take the little boys through some activities, drawing, painting and games etc. They try to involve the children into the more colorful part of the life and try to make out the best within them.

Our projects are ever evolving and I look forward to meeting you very soon when you volunteer in Kerala.

-Geetha Raj