Over the past couple of weeks, I have spent a lot of time visiting NGOs working in Udaipur. Due to rural Udaipur district’s high levels of poverty (and perhaps at least partly due to the fact that Udaipur city is such a beautiful place to live), there is a surprisingly large number of NGOs for such a small city.
It’s been fantastic to be able to meet with so many of these organisations and discuss how 2Way Development can support their work. I’ve been visiting NGOs working in a wide variety of different sectors. This has included two organisations working in education and child rights, and one working with gender-based violence. I’ve visited an organisation that empowers women through providing skills training and livelihoods in fashion production, and another that implements forest producer collectives that enable rural people to sell minor forest produce such as honey and vinegar. I’ve also visited an organisation that focuses on ecological security and restoration of common lands, along with another that works to organise mass-membership organisations to build capacity and leadership in areas such as women’s empowerment, livelihoods, education, local self governance and tribal rights.
Some of these NGOs are large, national organisations with local offices in Udaipur, while others are medium-sized organisations headquartered in the city and some are small operations of 10-15 incredibly passionate individuals looking to make a real difference in the area. These organisations are looking for volunteers with a wide variety of different interests and skills. Roles include business development, research and documentation, project management and communications. They are looking both for volunteers with long-term experience and those who are just starting in the development sector, and have various roles that would suit both volunteers looking to do shorter three-month placements and those able to give a year or more.
Udaipur is a fantastic location for volunteers, beautiful, accessible and with enough tourists to provide decent infrastructure but not so many that it no longer feels like ‘real’ India. Having so many partners in a single city will generate the opportunity to build a real community of 2Way Development volunteers, both to provide support and to create a strong social circle. I hope that the next few months will see Udaipur become one of 2Way Development’s most popular volunteer destinations and the source of many fantastic volunteer placements.