What will you be doing in Sainji?

Volunteers in Sainji sitting next to the river

We are looking for students, staff and alumni who can help with our four umbrella themes. 

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 supporting the teachers so that the students will continue to benefit from our experience and knowledge when we have returned home. There are two main ways we can help: 1) with subject knowledge, English grammar, science, maths, history, geography etc, and 2) developing teaching skills, especially lesson planning and lesson interaction.

Volunteer teachers in Sainji playing with children from the village

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.

Feeding animals in Sainji

Projects areas include: 

  1. First Aid - providing first aid advice on burns, bleeding, snake bites, seizures etc
  2. Washing hands – understand the basics of hygiene and nutrition in maintaining good health. 
  3. Learning the basics; the importance of washing hands after going to the toilet or cleaning out a cow shed will play an important role in reducing the prevalence of common complaints ensure they are properly treated.
  4. Puberty – providing advice to males and females aged 9-14. Through Kunwar and Lori we will have access to and the trust of villagers and enthusiastic support from the students. 
  5. Animal welfare – goats, cattle and buffalo are kept in the villlagers, improving the health and wellbeing of these animals will directly impact the health and wellbeing of their owners
  6. Weed control – Parthenium hysterophorus is an invasive weed which causes skin lesions and breathing difficulties. It is an increasing problem in the fields around Sainji
Young people in the fields surrounding Sainji

These projects are a great opportunity for students from our Biology department and/or Health Faculties, 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.

A woman in Sainji collecting water

This project would be ideal for scientists and engineers wanting to investigate and address Sainji’s water problems.

Village and school maintenance.

In July 2017 GEMS school were forced to leave their school building and are currently housed in a new temporary building nearby. They are numerous ways in which this structure can be improved. For example, the 2017 Sainji team were involved in providing a concrete floor, and building some steps to the building. 

Anyone with basic DIY, practical and painting skills could get involved in this project.