Every afternoon in Amer, more than 300 students aged from 3 to 15 spend their time at the Tushita Foundation learning from our teachers and from volunteers who come from the best Universities around the world such as the Institute of Political Science in Paris, la Sorbonne, SOAS, King’s College London, Oxford University, University of Chicago, Harvard University, Milan Politecnico, and Princeton University.
As of lately, we have also benefitted from the support of Princeton in Asia who sends their highly motivated and dedicated fellows to volunteer with us.
The volunteers share their knowledge and passion with the children and the teachers working on projects like theatre, story telling, science, history, architecture, and more. Every subject is approached in an interdisciplinary manner and provides the support to learn English.
Thanks to our volunteers’ ideas and enthusiasm, our students have already organised two plays, “The Magic Peacock” and “A Day at the Tushita Foundation”, where they had an opportunity to act in front of their families and their classmates, every student was involved in the production. An on-going project is the Book of Me, though which the children develop self-awareness and creative skills, supported now by our collaboration with Outside the Lens, an organization devoted to literacy through photography. They have also learned the rudiments of rugby and have made objects out of discarded plastic bottles, learning as well how to recycle and make compost. They have read “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and have written their own book, “Creatures of The Tushita Foundation”. They have painted a mural on the walls of their playground and offered their families a photo exhibition portraying different aspects of life in Amer, the list is too long to be exhaustive here.
To learn more about the life of a volunteer at the Tushita Foundation, read the journals of those who have already worked with us.
Rowan St. Clair was an art student from Hunter College.
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 >
Alex 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.
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 >
Kate 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 >
Julia Galbenu stayed on until March, bringing ecological awareness to the Tushita Foundation… Watch the Video >
Perry 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 >
Ana Paula Berlin has come to the Tushita Foundation from Mexico, via the Institute of Political Science in Paris. She has brought her passion for art and creativity to our children and the teachers with stunning results.
When I first arrived at the Tushita Foundation I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. As we turned off the main road I knew we were close, and naturally I noticed my heart rate slightly start to increase. I was nervous. I was excited. I was ready for this new chapter of my life to begin Read More>
Oliver Northover Smith, an undergraduate from Oxford University where he has studied Politics, Philosopy and Economics, has volunteered at the Tushita Foundation for two months in our Summer Program 2018.
His ambitious project was very successful with our students who were able to reflect about the functioning of economic realities through role playing exercises. In his class, we saw budding bankers, shopkeepers, industrialists, journalists and much more interacting with each other. Read More>
Victoria Lord, is a Princeton in Asia fellow from Chicago who studied Psychology, Religion and Pre-Medical courses at Emory University. At Tushita for the entire academic year 2018-2019, she has taught our children about nutrition and health. She has enlarged the scope of her work with us introducing the subject to our students’ mothers as well.
Highly appreciated and useful, the women’s menstrual health workshops that she has helped organize. Focused on finding sustainable and hygienic solutions for the management of the menstrual periods, this workshop has helped empower the women of Amer giving them a safe space to discuss matters concerning their bodies. Read More>
CJ Bellucci is a Princeton in Asia fellow that has come to us from Massachussetts in the United States, where she studied architecture and Italian at Mount Holyoke. She has worked for the entire academic year on a project called “Houses and homes around the world”. This wonderful multidiscliplinary project has not only awaken our students’ interest in the study of space, building materials, climatic conditions, but has made them reflect on the meaning of home and the emotions attached to it as well.
Sandra Berlin Olivarreta, a pedagogue from Mexico City, joined the Tushita Foundation for ten months to promote wellbeing in children through socio-emotional education. Her main goal was to give them tools to become stronger and resilient, building their self-esteem. She taught even our youngest pupils of four and five to identify emotions, draw them and manage them sharing their feelings with others. Read More>
Chantal Mustoe and Jake Lever, PhDs in chemistry and bioinformatics respectively, have moved from Canada to join the Tushita Foundation for three months. They have helped our children explore their creativity and taught them problem solving and critical thinking skills through hands-on science projects. Having shown our students how to make a self propelling paper rocket , they will be forever remembered as “the rocket scientists”. Read More>
Soomal Singh, a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Delhi University, joined the Tushita Foundation as a volunteer for the entire academic year 2018-2019 to teach our newly admitted children of the Marigold class. She has taught them English through creative exercises and she has led classes for the women of Amer who wished to continue studying. She has focused on building self-esteem and self-appreciation through psychological exercises and has helped spread awareness about the importance of mental and physical well-being. Read More>