What will you be doing in Sainji?
Working with Kunwar and Lori we have identified four main themes for student projects which are both practical and important.
- Teaching the teachers
Most volunteers who come to the village spend the majority of their time teaching in the school. They bring new ideas and ways of teaching based on their own experiences. Whilst this greatly benefits the students whose classes they take we aim to focus on training the teachers, so that the students will continue to benefit from our experience and knowledge when we have returned home.
This project is a great opportunity for education students or anyone with experience of teaching (especially teaching teachers)
- Health and Nutrition
Chronic poor health is the root cause of many of the difficulties that people face in their day to day lives and often creates a vicious circle of poverty. The poor typically are undernourished, live in unhygienic conditions and have little access to health care (the costs are prohibitive even if it is available). In children for example, diarrhoea, worm infestations, skin infections and fevers are common and it reduces their capacity to learn, attend school, develop properly and later to gain employment. In the area you will be staying few parents or children understand the basics of hygiene and nutrition in maintaining good health. Learning the basics; the importance of washing hands after going to the toilet or cleaning out cow shed will play an important role in reducing the prevalence of common complaints ensure they are properly treated. Many mothers have very little knowledge about how to properly feed their children and although there is usually enough food in the village many children are undernourished. Basic nutritional advice (they grow the key ingredients) could have a major impact on the health and development of their children. Through Kunwar and Lori we will have access to and the trust of villagers and enthusiastic support from the students.
This project is a great opportunity for students from our Health Faculties (Public Heath, Nursing, midwifery etc) or anyone with experience of this type of work.
- Safe water supply
The pipeline that delivers spring water to the village is old, rusty and leaking. Whilst the source is probably unpolluted, by the time it is used by villagers it is contaminated with bacteria and possibly parasites. A new water supply infrastructure is needed but this is unlikely to happen anytime soon. By understanding more about the sources and types of contamination it should be possible to help the villagers avoid some of the health implications of having to reply on this water. We would like to be able to identify and measure the sites and sorts of contamination in order to help villagers understand what is happening and how to avoid it.
This project would be ideal for scientists and engineers wanting to investigate and address Sainji’s water problems.
- Village and school maintenance.
Torrential monsoon rains, termites, poor quality building materials and poor quality construction mean that maintaining homes and school buildings is a constant project. The charity Engineers Without Borders is also (slowly) installing a sewage system in the village. There will always be walls to paint and repair, and as the sewage project moves forward, building and installing toilets in individual homes will become a priority.
Anyone with basic DIY, practical and painting skills could get involved in this project.
Who will be going?
We are looking for a mixed team of around 8 students to accompany two members of staff. We are particularly interested in students who feel they have skills appropriate to the projects we have listed above and are therefore particularly interested in hearing from education students or anyone with experience of teaching (especially teaching teachers)