Namaskāra! Join Cornell students from the ILR School and the Global Health Program taking part in a global service learning (GSL) program at the NGO Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) in Mysore, Karnataka State, India. The students take courses in culture, labor, gender and public health and also engage in service projects related to their studies. This opportunity is managed by International Programs in the ILR School.
For past years, see archives.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Welcome to the 2014 ILR GSL India Blog!
By Amanda H.
The ILR SVYM Global Service Learning Program is officially underway. Once
everyone arrived in Mysore on Friday, May 30, 2014 it was clear that our exhaustion from
traveling would be difficult to shake.But by Saturday everyone was rested and excited for our orientation at
SVYM.We arrived at the institute at
around 10am and it was already sweltering outside.Luckily we were distracted from the heat when
the SVYM team came out to greet us and welcomed the group with beautiful
jasmine flower necklaces (they smell heavenly) and a special prayer.The staff was so friendly and excited to see
us.It was very apparent that Cornell
University and the ILR School hold a special place at SVYM.
We received a tour of SVYM including the Vivekananda
Institute of Indian Studies as well as the Vivekananda Institute for Leadership
Development.I think we were all in awe
by the inspirational quotes that decorate every wall of the building.It became clear that SVYM is a place for
higher learning as well as personal growth.We were then invited to watch a documentary about SVYM that highlighted
its accomplishments over the last 25 years as well as current projects that the
organization is working on.Madam Sindhu
Suresh presented to the group following the documentary.Her message was clear: our work with SVYM
would not be without its challenges but there would be always be support from
her team to make this experience as meaningful as possible.
The ILR Team
GSL Team Jess and Britt
The Global Health Team
culminate our orientation, we had a candle lighting ceremony that honored Swami
Vivekananda’s values as portrayed through SVYM.The candles represented the knowledge that we would gain throughout our
time in India.This small ceremony was a
great way to wrap up the afternoon.