Every afternoon in Amer, more than 150 children aged from 3 to 15 spend their time at the Tushita Foundation learning from our teachers and from volunteers who come from top Universities around the world like the Institute of Political Science in Paris, la Sorbonne, SOAS, King’s College, University of Chicago, Harvard University, Milan Politecnico and more.

 

Each volunteer shares her/his knowledge and passion with the children and the teachers working on English grammar, theatre, geography, literature, history, architecture…

 

Thanks to their support and enthusiasm, we have so far organized two plays, The Magic Peacock (2012) and A Day at the Tushita Foundation (2014), thus giving the children an opportunity to act in front of their families and their classmates. They have started and keep on working on the Book of Me; they have learned the rudiments of rugby and have made objects out of discarded plastic bottles. They have read “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupery and have written their own book, “Creatures of The Tushita Foundation. They have painted a mural on the walls of their play-ground.

 

To know in detail about the life of a volunteer at the Tushita Foundation, read the journals of those who already worked with us.

 

 

Giunia Petrillo was an undergraduate from La Sorbonne and Paris Law School when she volunteered at the Tushita Foundation.

 

My first day, July 17th. It has been a very long trip, I had to take three flights: Paris-Bahrain, Bahrain-Delhi and finally, Delhi-Jaipur. Subesha, who works at Tushita Travels, came to pick me up at Delhi airport. He took me to a hotel where I managed to rest before his colleague Mohit brought me back to the domestic flights airport where I boarded to Jaipur. Once landed, Veenaji and Gajjubana, the representatives of the Tushita Foundation welcomed me. They came along with Sara, another Volunteer like me who had also just got there. We went altogether to the Tushita House, a very welcoming home with a lot of light coming through and especially a lot of smiles… Read More >

 


 

Anthony Emorine, Phelbé Pace and Cléo Fatourechi were, at the time of volunteering, undergraduates from the Paris Institute of Political Sciences.

 

Today was very interesting, as usual. After a morning spent mostly in reading, we went to the Foundation after a very good Indian meal. There, we were able to finalise our projects: children were already arranged as one class from 2 to 4pm, so we could observe the groups we will have, and even participate a bit. With the youngest children for example, I told them a story that Veena translated for me, and we both insisted on some key words that the kids remembered very well. Then Phelbé came in and participated in the activities. As for Anthony, he did his first class of geography to the middle-age children, which went on very well: all the children were very enthusiastic and implied in the lesson… Read More >

 


 

Aurélien Bellucci was an undergraduate from the Paris Institute of Political Science and la Sorbonne, Jessica Ro was an andergraduate from Chicago University and Melanie Lyn was an undergraduate from Kings College London.

 

This morning I woke up quite abruptly while we started our first yoga session with the vigorous Manisha. Jessica and Mellie are apparently a lot more flexible than I am but the daily training should enable me to catch up! We devoured a fruity breakfast and got in the car that would drive us to Amber along with Veenaji, Puru and Gajubana. I remember now – enjoying a while of farniente on the terrace – that we were a lot more talkative on the way to the Tushita Foundation than on the way back, not less enthusiastic of course; but our first day of volunteering has been exhausting: the children are full of energy… Read More >

 


 

Federico Di Puma was a graduate from SOAS London, Ivana Mouawad was an undergraduate from the Paris Institute of Political Science and Silvia Caser Spolaor was an architect studying at the Politecnico in Milan.

 

I finally had time to watch the short movie about the Yuwa Supergoats, the all-girls football team from Jharkhand which overcoming lots of troubles managed to go to Spain and reach the third place in an important tournament. I found it amazing and watching it I started thinking about what football (and sport in general) can teach us. So I’ll probably try to teach the kids some history of football using examples of underdog people or teams. Some examples would probably be: Yuwa Supergoats, Senegal team at world cup 2002 beating France, Lionel Messi who managed to become the best player in the world overcoming the problems given by his very small body, Paolo Rossi against Brazil in 1982… Read More >

 

Amy Scoville-Weaver was an undergraduate from Sarah Lawrence and Oxford University and Geetika Mehra was an undergraduate from Harvard University.

 

Finally, we arrived at the Foundation. The building is how I imagined it, with a small sign declaring “Tushita” over the door and a chalkboard with an inspiring quote greeting the visitor. The lower level features a small office, with drawings and photographs of the children and past volunteers. Across from the office is a small classroom, where the little ones learn. I was unable to spend much time with them on my first visit, and look forward to getting to know them better on Monday. The older classes learn upstairs in three different classes, separated by age and English-speaking abilities. As Veenaji had to tend to other visitors, after introducing me to the teachers and students, I was left alone to observe and interact. I did not want to interrupt the lessons, but the children were so excited to have me there, I fear that happened anyway… Read More >

Rowan St. Clair was an art student from Hunter College.

Following yoga we worked on our rainbow and the colors again. I spoke for a few minutes about the sky, the sun, and asked if any of them had ever seen a rainbow. Few students had, but the ones who did were excited to share. I drew a picture of a rainbow on the board and labeled each band with the colors name. I then had the children draw and write what I had in their notebooks. Once they had finished this I had them come up one by one and read each color and then take the correct color from the box. This was an exercise in patience, and combined what we had been working on the previous days. Another lovely day with the little children. During the teacher session we read from the newspaper… Read More >

 


Sharyn Pridham is from Canada and used to practice law.

It seems the Harry Potter series is known here as well and my thoughts were this would be a good movie to start with – both because it is so popular and because I brought the full set of Harry Potter books with me, so that any student who wished to know more of the story, could read the book. At the first session, we reviewed “15 highly successful people who failed first”.  I read first, followed by each teacher reading and then discussion of any unknown words. It was a wide range of people, some unknown, so there was plenty of interest. We next set up presentation topics and dates, and Ruksar presented on Wednesday with the topic “Bollywood”. The ensuing discussion was very interesting as we touched on the topic of suitability in films of bad language, violence and sex… Read more >

 


DSC09403Alex Murray was an undergraduate from Chicago University.

Rowan and I took the bus and arrived promptly around half past noon. The teachers were assembled and, that day it was Priyanka’s turn to share about Andrew Jackson. It was fantastic to see the surprised faces as Rowan and I scolded an American president for his actions against Native Americans. As I had anticipated, the session did include some positive points regarding our seventh leader reiterating my point that all people possess and act on both positive and negative qualities… Read more >

 


Francesca Violich volunteered with us during Summer break from Harvard University.

Of the younger children, Nena is my baby, with her dark hair and nose-crinkling grin. She loves to play hand games with me, and we count to one hundred together as we play, and she loves it when I get down on all fours and chase her around the classroom, pretending to be a tiger and growling. I know I’m not supposed to be picking favorites, but I am also especially drawn to Aisha, a girl in Payal’s class, and Nurain, one of her good friends. I think Aisha is just gorgeous, with wide eyes, a full mouth, and a sassy temper. Nurain has a beautiful smile and very sharp eyebrows, and teases me relentlessly concerning my poor badminton skills. The girls imitate my flailings and laugh at me, and I laugh with them. Read more >


William Etheridge was a French horn player from the Royal Academy of Music and held a certificate from TEFL, Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

 

I feel in general, the teaching method employed by the teachers still focuses much to much on reading and writing exercises. I have heard snatches of conversations in English coming from Ruksar’s class, however the other teachers seem to be still bound to reading and writing. They can’t be blamed for this as I assume this is the way they were taught English at school, so they continue in this fashion… Read more >



Anna Anrdiychuk
was born in Ukraine and went to the USA at the age of five. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she has taught English to children in a small rural town in Japan, before coming to the Tushita Foundation where she has spent eight months. Here is her letter to future volunteers and her answers to our questionnaire.

 

I volunteered at the Foundation from September 2015 to April 2016 and I’m writing this in the hope that it will be of some use to you during your time here. There now exists an exhaustive handbook (compiled by my colleague Caroline) which will help you navigate Jaipur, the Foundation, and India in general. I hope my letter and the various recollections of former volunteers on this page provide some useful information… Read More >

 


 Ferruccio Eva, a musician from Milan has spent six months with us and has gifted us the Tushita Foundation song.

 

I feel great and grateful. It’s been a very good chance to work with people of a different culture, a different world. If you can do this with children is even better, it becomes a useful mutual teaching. The Tushita Foundation gives you a “third eye”, making you look deeply in India’s environment. Then the plans and the purposes behind the institution are one of a kind… Read More >

 


 Caroline Carr came to us from Berkeley California with the objective of teaching Art History to our children. She has dedicated 8 months of her life to our youngest children to whom she has taught English and much more using the Montessori methodology. She will be remembered as the teacher who did yoga in a sari.

 

I arrived at the Tushita Foundation in September of 2015. I was nervous about the 8 months ahead and my ability to make a meaningful impact on the students and the foundation. However, after having spent 8 months with the children and teachers of the Tushita Foundation, I can safely say that not only did I feel I made an impact on them, but that they made a huge impact on me. The Tushita Foundation has changed me and has helped me find a path in life. It was both rewarding and challenging in ways that I could never have imagined… Read More >

 

Markus Kate zaynab

Markus Specht from Germany who studies political Science and International Relations at Science Po and Freie Universität Berlin, Zaynab Zaman from Princeton University in the USA and  Kate Hodkinson from Oxford University.
This spirited trio has volunteered at the Tushita Foundation during the Summer Program 2016.

After a lovely week settling into Jaipur, it was finally time to start teaching. We had a very packed week beforehand, visiting all of the sights Jaipur has to offer, including the Jah Mahal, the City Palace, and Amer Fort. It was great to get to know the other volunteers. We were all looking forward to teaching, although slightly apprehensive about getting started.

We started with the teacher sessions, where all the volunteers introduced ourselves and our families… Read More >

 


 

SarisKate Hodkinson stayed on until December and was accompanied by Hannah Ronald from Cambridge University and Julia Galbenu.

 

 

Today was my first day of teaching and I taught Shaloo’s Class, also known as the middle class which are new to the foundation and their level of English quite low.

I taught both the first and second batch, then watched and helped Shaloo teach the same lesson to the third batch.

I taught the class very simple, one syllable comparatives – where the rule is ‘add ‘er’ to the end of the adjective. I began the class by getting the students to name all the animals they knew… Read More >

 


 

JuliaJulia Galbenu stayed on until March, bringing ecological awareness to the Tushita Foundation… Watch the Video >

 

 

 

 

 

 


Perry and TristanPerry Anderson and Tristan Gavin were two professional teachers, champions of phonetics who taught our children the syllabic method of reading. They were also responsible for introducing a system of assessment they designed specifically for the Tushita Foundation’s needs…Read More >