Strength, Soul, Giving and Love - Colors of Social Work's values in India - CIF India
Exchange Program, November 2010
Just two months have passed since I completed participation in the fascinating, diversified, high professional CIF India Exchange Program. Here I have the opportunity to use the magazine to write a brief summary and to express my gratitude to CIF India members for the excellent work they have done.
I am still carrying the sights and the noises especially of the big cities, the faces, the smells of the streets, the food and the temples but mostly I’m longing to the people who were all around in my everyday life. I’m longing to the wonderful, supporting and warm host families and all the Indian staff who took charge over the program and cared for the whole group so that we will adjust to the country andthat our professional requests will be fulfilled.
I still have many question marks in order to understand this complicated country and society but I got also very important insights about social workers making changes and “how a little drop in the sea can be very meaningful to those who dropped it and those who drank it”.
The program was planned well, beginning with orientation at the warm hearted Tata institute in Mumbai, where we learned to know each other, learned new facts, getting curious about the tradition, families and the way they are coping with their problems. There I could recognize the distance of social issues between my country, Israel, and India.
For three weeks I lived with my colleague from Sweden with two host families in Nagpur - a classic Indian city - and I was thankful for the opportunity to learn about people, family-life and events, starting with the Yoga in the gardens very early in the morning, through professional visits, evening evens, the kitchens and the interesting conversations.
I would like to express my gratitude to the lovely families Mrs.Ashiwiwni Puranik and Mrs.
Aasawari Deshpande, who was also the program’s coordinator and planned our professional visits. We visited adoption agencies, child line care, social work academic schools, hospitals and health programs, family counseling agencies and hostels for women and children. The host families who took care opened their heart and I still smell their food and I feel their modesty.
The last week was the program high light staying for five days in a rural camp at the tribe area and we were exposed to the campus staff, farmers and youth hospitality. I had a chance to meet unique people, to learn about important community projects in a marvelous area.
One of the greatest impressions on me was Indian women who work towards building up social workers, manage NGOs and develop projects sometimes without resources but with a strong belief. These women show no tiredness but love and enthusiasm, empowering other women and are motivated by satisfaction they draw from their work.
Here I send my love and warm gratitude to all CIF India members, to all of those who taught me a lot about myself and about the mselves and taught me that I still need to learn. I know now that I will return.