17 Jun 2011 1 Comment
On June 2nd, 2011 James M. Hill High School in Miramichi N.B. received a visit from some very special guests. SOPAR and Bala Vikasa; two Non-Profit NGO that focus on development in rural India, came to visit the school and give a seminar/presentation. The group that came included: DODDA Latha, Women Development Program Officer, KANDUNURI Sukanya, Woman Program Coordinator, Angele Gingras, founder of SOPAR and Bala Vikasa and Mathieu Montmartin, Project Manager at SOPAR.
These four came and gave a presentation to over 50 students from our various high school volunteer groups: Interact Club, World Issues 120 Class and members from our very own WRED Club.
The presentation itself was captivating, intriguing and most of all; motivating. They began with introductions of each person and a brief history of each NGO, followed by information about each separate project that they are involved in. DODDA Latha spoke to us in Hindi (translated by Angele Gingras) about the difficulties, challenges and rewards of being directly involved in the program. She is the Program Officer for the Woman Program for a rural village in India, and this was her first time ever leaving India in her life.
Angeles Gingras then taught us about life in India both environmentally, economically, socially, and spiritually. She shared with us the many customs that are normal within Indian society, for example: in Canada, when someone comes to visit the person is welcomed into your home and then they visit. In India if someone comes to visit and the neighbors don’t come to welcome them as well it is seen as a sign of disrespect. Different cultures, different values!
After that KANDUNURI Sukanya explained her role in SOPAR and Bala Vikasa; which was the overseeing of multiple villages’ advisors such as DODDA Latha. She ensures that each Officer has all of the resources and training that they need to handle any situation.
Finally there is Mathieu Montmartin, who was the main speaker at the presentation. He is the Project Manager at SOPAR, stationed in Quebec and handles all office work for the NGO! He explained to us the ins and outs of working for an NGO and what SOPAR does on the broader aspect, as well as introducing us to several of their international courses at the university level.
Check out all of their information at www.SOPAR.ca and get involved! Who knows, they might visit you next!
~ Logan Pugh (Gr. 12 James M. Hill High School)