Moments from GX over the years:
Ten young bravehearts embarked upon a brand new expedition with Pravah earlier this month. They are volunteers in the Global Xchange programme, a Pravah- VSO initiative. They left for Manchester for the first lap of the programme on November 19, 2011 to live, work, and learn in a rural community there. They will return to India again some 3 months later to do the same in a rural setting here.
The evening before they left was dedicated to some fun and storytelling with those who have already been on this programme before, and others who have been involved with Pravah in various capacities. Morale was high that evening, and the sentiment was one of nostalgia, and yet of a celebration of endless opportunities. There was anticipation, imbued somewhat with a sense of anxiety of what was to come, but optimistic and bristling with energy.
Ayaz Thazhvara, a 22 year old commerce graduate shared that he came to this journey with the hope of experiencing something new, something different form the typical mundane stuff in store for a small town youngster. He was jubilant that he got this opportunity with Pravah, and looked forward to an eventful six months.
Padmaja, eighteen, had just finished school and was raring to take on the world! She shared with remarkable self belief and openness that she is keen to learn about the world around her.
Utthara saw GX as an opportunity to reflect, to explore herself, and hopefully figure some things out about herself from her experiences. She wanted GX to give her an opportunity to ask questions, to come back ‘confused’, to be less than smug about oneself and one’s world. The process, she felt, was more important for her than the destination.
The GX alumni, who were there to see off the new batch that evening, shared their moments of joy and their epiphanies … they relived those formative experiences that gave them direction. Energising games and activities ensued, and soon it was rather late in the night, time to get a few hours of much needed sleep before our volunteers left the country. Goodbyes and hugs were exchanged, and the evening ended here, but the voyage had only just begun.