Concluding the J term at Sadhana forest

All in all, a lot has been achieved by the 11 Living Routes students during their time at Sadhana Forest. Their work will keep bearing fruit for a long time to come.

Concluding the J term at Sadhana forest

India Pondicherry, India  |  Jan 18, 2011
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 The 2011 Winter J term program at Sadhana Forest has come to an end. I feel privileged that I got to know all the students that took part with vigour and brought their unique perspectives to the projects and the class discussions. The students managed to achieve significant milestones in their projects while working in the forest in the mornings, participating in class discussions, blogging and writing their papers.

They were asked to help with four specific projects that needed doing and required concerted focussed effort. Here is the short summary of the projects and the final outcome.

The Children’s Land Performance Stage: Sadhana believes in the ‘Un-schooling’ method of education which promotes ‘allowing children to learn through their natural life experiences, rather than through a more traditional school curriculum’ (Wikipedia). With this ethos, Sadhana forest has created place called The Children’s land where children from villages around Sadhana could and experience learning in a natural way. Ariana, Ericka and Justin took on the task of creating a performance stage for the children on The Children’s land. The team delivered despite all the difficulties of working in India and delays in meeting with the children to decide the location and layout of the stage. They used plastic bottles and Styrofoam along with clay as raw material. Once the base is dried, Justin, who is staying behind, intends to put the final coat of saw-dust and clay.  The stage should be ready for a performance in a few days. Fund raising: Sadhana subscribes to no-business philosophy which means they do not charge for their work and in-turn depend on donations to carry out the activities of forestation and awareness programs. They also do not have the resources to apply for large grants from donors that require structured applications and monitoring. With nimble organization and low cost techniques every dollar goes a long way here. Keeping this in mind, Kelly, Courtney and Betty set out to create a tool kit for fundraising (they call it gift-raising) small amounts of money from well-wishers and personal networks. The tool-kit included Facebook, Twitter, fundraising letter template, fundraising guide for well-wishers etc. The extraordinary achievement is that they managed to raise several hundred dollars through their network during their time herePamphlet and booklet: Sadhana forest like many other similar projects is good at doing things but needed help in sharing information about their work with others. Mailin and Felicia designed the content, layout and graphics for the pamphlet and the booklet from scratch. The final product was just extraordinary and the Sadhana team felt very satisfied with it. The medicinal garden: Tropical ailments and stomach related problems are things a volunteer cannot escape from while volunteering at Sadhana. At Sadhana forest, most volunteers prefer natural treatment to deal with their minor health issues. Kara, Abbi and Becky managed to create a medicinal garden in the shape of the Budhha during their time here. They also identified long term volunteers who would continue to look after the garden after they left Sadhana forest.

All in all, a lot has been achieved by the 11 Living Routes students during their time at Sadhana Forest. Their work will keep bearing fruit for a long time to come.

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  • Concluding the J term at Sadhana forest

    January 18, 2011
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