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Posts Tagged ‘Community based village Eco tourism.’

My name is Claire Ferguson, a Program Leader with Operation Groundswell, located in Toronto, Canada
Operation Groundswell is a Toronto based organization that organizes and facilitates 6-week educational and volunteer backpacking programs throughout the world for youth aged 18-30.

Welcome: We were warmly welcomed by the family. The guesthouse was very clean and we felt right at home! Even though it was late, they had dinner ready.
Homestay: The homestay was fantastic. Jeevan’s family is very kind and made us feel like part of the family. It was easy to spend hours lounging around the house.
Family and Food: Gunja cooks so much! I can’t believe how much food is prepared in such a small kitchen. Everything was delicious, and all our participants with allergies or particular food needs were accommodated. There was always LOTS of food, and although we aren’t used to eating so late at night, we were certainly always very hungry once dinner time came around.
Nature: The area is beautiful , although the thought of leopards made it scary to go to the bathroom at night.
Project: I think we were able to contribute what we could to the project, though we weren’t always sure we were being helpful. It wasn’t always clear who decided which member of the community would receive the toilet (whether the community at large decided, or whether the Verma family decided). It would have been nice to know more about the family that we were building the toilet for, to get to know them and their situation, or to learn more about the importance of a clean santitation system, as it is something we often take for granted at home.
Culture: Jeevan did a great job exposing is to Kamaon culture, bringing us to many temples in the area, and inviting us to part of a wedding ceremony. We weren’t really sure what the ceremony was for before we went, but we found out. More information about the marriage process would be interesting.
Community: I think we integrated really well into the Verma family, but didn’t engage much with the rest of the community. Everyone seemed very friendly and welcoming though.
Claire Ferguson
Claire@operationgroundswell.com
Toronto, Ontario
Canada
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Dear Universities,

Greetings.  I am writing to introduce you to a noble effort in village ecotourism in rural India. It is called the Rural Opportunity for Social Elevation (R.O.S.E.) and was founded in 1981 by local residents concerned about the plight of the poor in the Kanda area of Uttarakhand, India.  In 1988 it began accepting international volunteers, eco tourists and students.  Since then it has accepted over 300 people from all over the world to work and live immersed in village life and the local culture  for anywhere from 1 week to six months.  It is a unique approach to tourism that supports and uplifts the local community .R.O.S.E. is currently trying to reach out like-minded individuals and organizations in order to form a network to share information and bring awareness to its existence. To find out more about R.O.S.E., the work it does, and the opportunities it provides for tourists please visit http://www.rosekanda.info   http://bageshwar.nic.in/excursions.htm
Email-jlverma.rosekanda@gmail.com

This activites has had a number of students over the years who have used this experience to study for their dissertations and even for their masters degrees .I was wondering if you could take the time to read about this project and check our awards in the hope that you might promote this to your student unions and even specific faculties that may find this a beneficial opportunity for learning. We have made some major improvements to the lives of people in this community but we can go further with the help of young fresh minds with experience in engineering, computing, ecology, agriculture and more. There are endless opportunities for students to get back down to grassroots and experience life with basic materials and make a direct impact with their knowledge through education.

Most studies by students in the past have been in reference to organic faming methods and the problem with soil erosion as nearly all the surrounding landscape has been developed into farming land for raising crops. Some have educated the locals on the benefits of biogas systems so that methane can be harvested from common waste. This allows the locals to use methane as a source of fuel rather than contributing to soil erosion by cutting down trees.

In order for us to continue going forward it is important for us to attract the correct minds, particularly innovators! Engineers may be able to teach local builders how to improve in their practices and also may have better ideas on alternative energy. We suffer from power cuts regularly and internet is limited to dial up, which is a new thing here also. Any way that we can take advantage of our environment without causing harm to the environment and the local community is a definite direction to go in. Unfortunately with limited knowledge of new technologies and poor access to the proper reading materials we cannot achieve this on our own!

Thank you for your kind attention and I hope you take the time to check out our website.  Please write if you have any questions or if you have any suggestions on other ways we could promote this opportunity.

Yours Sincerely,
Jeevan Lal Verma

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Greetings.  I am writing to introduce you to a noble effort in Village Eco Tourism in rural India. It is called the Rural Organization for Social Elevation (R.O.S.E.) and was founded in 1981 by local residents concerned about the plight of the poor in the Kanda area of Uttarakhand, India.  In 1988 it began accepting international volunteers, eco tourists and students.  Since then it has accepted over 300 people from all over the world to work and live immersed in village life and the local culture  for anywhere from 1 week to six months.  It is a unique approach to tourism that supports and uplifts the local community .R.O.S.E. is currently trying to reach out like-minded individuals and organizations in order to form a network to share information and bring awareness to its existence. To find out more about R.O.S.E., the work it does, and the opportunities it provides for tourists please visit http://www.rosekanda.orghttp://www.bageshwar.nic.in/excursions.htm

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Dear Jeevan and all involved with Jeevan Paying Guest Unit’
Thank you for a wonderful stay I thoroughly enjoyed my self .The volunteering was flexible and well organised. I wish I could stay longer in Kanda and India , as this place is friendly and full of great volunteers. ROSE gave me the opportunity to meet many people and in very thankful. From construction with local community people and maths class in the School, the options available are fantastic. The local Indian food is pretty good too! I will check the web side regularly for developments.
All the best guys!
Matthew
Email- mattbreakell@hotmail.com
20 August 2011

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I had never volunteered abroad before and so I hadn’t known what
to expect when I got off the jeep after my 7 hour ride from Haldwani
to Jeeevan Paying Guest Unit (JPGU) Sunargaon, Kanda, Bageshwar.
Uttarakhand, India Now, however, I feel as if I want to stay forever.
The people here are incredibly nice and welcoming and you feel almost
like a permanent resident of Kanda. I personally feel like a part of
the Verma family now and I’m sure that many of the other volunteers
feel the same. The best part of this experience for me, though, was
helping in the village. There are so many opportunities to help others
that need it. One need only ask! If you really want to help people and
experience the culture of village India while being surrounded by
astounding scenery, I think that JPGU / ROSE is one of the best
opportunities available.
Arjun Bhuptani,
Indian (NRI)
Abu Dhabi, UAE.
22-08-2011

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