Service Learning & Leadership India 2014

During the second week of July I will be venturing off to India with seven other students, the Dean, and two student coordinators representing Rutgers University-Newark for the International Service Learning and Leadership Exchange (ISLLE). Anyone could vouch that traveling to India has always been one of my lifelong dreams, and because of my accomplishments both scholarly and socially I was chosen out of many applicants to be only 1 of 8 students traveling abroad. During our ten day journey, we all will be earning three credits where we have events planned in the capital Delhi, Jaipur, and Dausa. Though I cannot explain every event in the detail necessary, I will touch on a few that are vital. In Jaipur we will work with Sankalp India Foundation at a local orphanage center advocating a hygiene program. In Dausa, we will visit a local village installing a water and filtration system in a school. Our main goal is to work together to create social, political, and economical change in the challenging environments of India.
       Please help me in supporting my dream, please help me in raising BOTH money and awareness for the children and less fortunate in India. There is a stigma of avoiding all of the tragic issues in India (RAPE, Violence against Women, LGBT rights, Gender Rights, Lack of Clean, Safe, and Affordable water, etc) and this is the opportunity to eradicate the problem.
       Remember EVERY PENNY counts and thank you all! ☺

Also, attached is my Statement of Interest, which I worked extremely hard putting together when applying for the program.

******If you are Guyanese or DPO, please take a read it is definitely worth it!*******

       Having grown up in Jersey City, New Jersey my entire life, I have been surrounded by an urban melting pot of ethnicities and religions. In addition, I am currently attending Rutgers University Newark campus, deemed as the most diverse campus in the United States. That being said, I have always been inspired to meet new people and exchange values, ideas, and opinions. The exposure that I encounter on a daily basis is what motivates me to take the risk and venture into the unfamiliar country of India. India is a diverse, growing nation that continues to develop in both the political and financial arenas. Being that I am double majoring in Accounting and Finance, and India is a key nation that affects the growing economy, I know what a great learning opportunity it could be to witness how the country operates. India has so much to offer culturally including festivals, foods, and traditions, in result I feel that the experiences I would have there would help me grow and develop both culturally and intellectually. No experience will be able to compare to the academic experience of living as a native in a new country and being surrounded by people communicating in a language other than English. Studying amongst this rich culture and history that helped shaped our civilization is not something that a book or documentary can provide. The opportunity to travel abroad and explore has always been a dream of mine that I have never had the opportunity to take.
       Being of Guyanese decent, my ancestors were slaves who were taken from India under the British rule. Through this journey, my ancestors were forced to learn the English language and abandon their Hindu culture and religion. Unfortunately, many Guyanese people in general, including my family, have no real connection to our roots. However, we still attempt to follow the same customs, such as singing Indian songs or watching Indian films, yet it is hard to understand without the aid of subtitles. Being a part of the Delta Phi Omega Sorority, where our philanthropy is dedicated to Children’s Literacy and Education in India (Asha and Pratham), this experience is one in which I can continue to advocate the mission of our cause. I have a passion for volunteering my time and effort, so while in India I would like to visit the less fortunate and give back to the people of India.
       The opportunity to travel to India means more to me than three credits to fill a General Education Elective Requirement; it’s the privilege to fill in the blanks of who I am and where I come from. It’s the chance for me to finally abandon the reliance on subtitles when watching a film or singing a song. This experience will serve as a new way to spend my summer, rather than working or simply looking for something to do around the house. My goal in life is to be a well rounded person, and traveling to India is just one step of many where I can utilize my cultural relativism and grasp a whole new aspect of life. As Mahatma Gandhi once stated, “Be the change that you want to see in the world”, and this is my chance.
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Organizer

Allysha Dabydeen 
Organizer
Jersey City, NJ
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