I applied to the Summer in South Asia Fellowship because I wanted to get experience working with a non-profit without being in a program setting where everything is controlled and set up for you. This fellowship allows for a genuine, non-westernized, authentic experience working in the non-profit world in a developing country. I also wanted to participate in the fellowship because I have a passion for research. Not only can I research whatever I would like, but I will also be able to contribute and hopefully have a lasting impact on the non-profit I will be working for through my research.
Setco Foundation is a non-profit located in Kalol, India. The non profit has taken over local anganwadis where they provide childcare, workshops, health and nutrition classes. I am going to focus my research on figuring out how they can improve their women’s empowerment programs.
I will be staying in their guest house in along with three other Indian interns and for the first two weeks of my stay, the women members of Blue Lab from the University of Michigan.
I am very excited to be leaving on Wednesday but I am also very nervous. Not so much because it will be a different environment, but more so because I feel like there is a lot of pressure on me to have the knowledge and expertise about how to improve their programs that I feel like I do not have. I have been doing literature reviews but I feel like I still don’t have enough experience to be able to give expert advise. I hope that with my lit review and my research while there, I will be able to gather enough information to be able to give back to Setco in a positive and meaningful way.
I fly into Mumbai on May 15th and on the 16th I will take a train with another intern to the city we will be living it. I am really excited to have other women with me that speaks English and will be able to teach me about the culture, and her experience working in the field.
I am so excited to have this opportunity, and I will forever be grateful.