Orientation Overview: Fellows acclimate to the Indicorps family
With a staff team of eight, plus numerous alumni and friends of the Indicorps family, we conducted an intense, jam-packed, and multifaceted orientation. The three week journey exposed Fellows to the Indicorps philosophy and what lies ahead for a year of service through simple living, a search for deeper meaning, and a prod to continually challenge oneself. Among many topics, big-picture questions like ‘What is development?’ and ‘How will I re-define my priorities this year?’ were touched upon in addition to the realization that this year will be a time for person transformation.
Our orientation schedule included many speakers, team games, a week-long village stay in Rajasthan, an NGO weekend and key informational presentations about service and India. Fellows enjoyed the chance to interact with a wide swath of distinguished speakers. Among them, Bimal Patel challenged fellows to define their priorities and think about their reasons for doing service in India, a country many love but probably would not live in after this year. Similarly, Sam Pitroda, the father of the Indian telecom revolution, encouraged the group to be relentless in the pursuit of vision and not take “no” for an answer.
The Fellows similarly participated in a number of experiential sessions. Livelihoods Day was an extremely powerful activity during orientation. Each fellow and many new staff members had the chance to shadow someone from Ahmedabad’s informal sector. The informal sector comprises 93% of India’s economy; we believe it is important to have an understanding of what these workers do to earn a living.
Our challenge now is to keep the momentum and raise the bar higher towards our collective goal of “being the change.” We are grateful for the support and creative input of alumni mentors and dozens of other Indicorps friends and family.
– Terry Levine, Indicorps Staff, Fellowship Support