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Organization Review

Overall Experience: 
For my first visit to India, finding an NGO project with a charitable purpose was hitting the jackpot of happiness! This meant entering the environment as a local rather than a traveller which was not only a privilege but a indescribable experience. Arriving into Udpaipur airport I was met by Samvit the founder of DAAN and I was keen to get started and meet the children at the youth centre and unpack at Chandra Niwas, my new home! DAAN (Development Action Awareness Nationwide) is a initiative working at the grassroots of educating rural youth around Udaipur city. Both two centres are fantastic and the children are a pleasure to work alongside Where do I start? My first trip to India and what a Trip it was! Working with DAAN meant I was able to dive deep into the culture and become an honorary local in Udaipur. Living at the Chandra Niwas with Samvit and his truly hospitable family was truly magical. Having your own space in one of the fantasy en suite rooms gave my experience a deeper connection to the home stay with inter cation with the family, homemade meals and acceptance from the families pet Donna meant I felt like I was part of a new community! Volunteering with DAAN at the youth centres was of such great reward. If you want to really settle into a place and become familiar with the kids this is a fantastic opportunity, the kids are intelligent, playful and fearless, which makes classes really fun! Building up a relationship at the Badagaon Centre was fantastic, and riding there on a bike most days being stared at by the locals at first in awe of a ginger girl on a bike, then i became a recognisable moving landmark i feel! I became a pro at uno and hangman by the end of it. Teaching can be daunting prospect and i went in quite blind to it. But i recommend using all your talents and creativity to inspire the kids as a dancer i taught them musical statues, such a success, oh and duck duck goose , adapted to dog dog GOAT! They respond very well especially to thinking your a tree they can climb all over and Jaideep(the teacher) at badagon is a hit with the kids. Sam and family are on hand to help you settle into the new culture of the city and I felt very well informed and introduced throughout my stay alongside having my own freedom when i felt comfortable travelling alone. I remember just going for trips and exploring alone or with the other volunteers and friends I made at the centre, its crazy how quickly you adapt to this life and I began thinking that i could easily stay and work with the kids and stay there working on social change for a long while. I highly recommend staying at the Chandra Niwas, the experience speaks for itself, its had a lasting imprint on my and i feel as if I've left a part of me in India all thanks to the indescribable time I had spent there. I will be going back for sure. It's all about putting your all into learning about and exploring the beauty of Udaipur and creating new experiences and you can travel on the weekends too, when your not at the youth centre, see the sights, theres some great places for weekends away to stay like Pearl palace in Jaipur. Peace to all and I may see you guys out here at the mesmerising Chandra Niwas!I couldn't recommend it enough, jUST GO! See for yourself, embrace it and enjoy it!!!