Coming to India and finding TribesforGood
When I turned 16 years old, I became determined to reconnect with my estranged Indian roots, and thus, decided I wanted to explore the Indian Social space in a sustainable and impactful way. And with 18 I was lucky enough to be granted the opportunity to begin to do so.
And soon, there I was, alone in the huge, chaotic, metropolitan, social impact hub that is Bombay, India. Taking a gap year after completing the IB Diploma Programme last year in Berlin, was undeniably the first big, and by far the best, decision I ever made independently. I didn’t have concrete expectations of how my time in India would be but I had multiple people warn me with enough horror stories to put me on edge. Many of my european friends in Berlin discouraged my decision to go to India, claiming it was unsafe for a young girl and that it was almost inevitable that something bad would happen to me; that the diseases and the mentality and treatment of women there were sure to get the best of me.
In hindsight, I understand why one would worry, seeing how the city that never sleeps is forever moving, developing and not easily overseen; particularly by a foreigner. But it is this restlessness and the 603 km² that allows for a beautiful combination and fascinating blend of culture, customs, and lifestyles. It is these things I’ve learnt, that make Mumbai such desirable fascinating space particularly for entrepreneurs in the social sector and thus, make it apart of the driving force of much of India’s economic development, growth and development.
Nevertheless, upon my arrival in Mumbai’s airport ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport’ I was incredible excited to embark on what would become a beautiful journey of self discovery and learning. I knew I wanted to participate in unique experiences in which I could learn not only about the social space but also about whether the changes we, as aspiring Changemakers, strive for in the social sector are truly occurring. I was also intrigued about how NGOs strive to make these changes and if I, as a young recently-graduated volunteers, really had any valuable skills that could contribute to creating sustainable change.
It was those questions that led me to TribesforGood. It was those questions that allowed me to embark on their amazing Social Impact journey where I, not only experienced unique personal growth and was able to interact with various different NGOs, communities, and beneficiaries but where I also got to learn more about positive social change and how to be apart of it and a driving force for it, the Development Goals and the various intricacies of the complex, yet fascinating Indian social space.
Volunteering for TribesforGood during my time in India enabled me an insight to the Indian Social Sector I, otherwise, would not have been able to receive. The organization quickly incorporated me into their team and, despite my young age, allowed me to feel like a valuable asset and granted me access to their broad network of contrasting and impressive individuals, changemakers and entrepreneurs.
My experience in India was one in which I was allowed to flourish, experiment with my interests and get to know myself better. I got to expand my skill set in various different categories, which will be useful not only for my university applications, but also later in my career, whilst constantly rising up to new challenges in the chaotic, yet fascinating and beautiful city that is Mumbai, India.