Welcome to my first attempt at a blog! I figured now is as good a time as any, having moved halfway around the world to Hubli. While I didn't know anyone on day one, I've since met many wonderful people, both those who have come from out of the country as I have as well as those who are native to India and have been teaching me a lot.
The plan is to update the blog somewhat regularly so that none of the posts get too lengthy (which is the case with the first several, as they were originally mass emails). We'll see how well I do at keeping up. Miss you guys!
Friday, April 17, 2009
By the Way…
I've got this other blog I contribute to, one with entries written by all the Sandbox Fellows and that specifies a topic per month.
I was in India on a fellowship with the Deshpande Foundation (DF) for one full year. The DF focuses on four areas in particular (agriculture, livelihood/microfinance, health and education), with the goal of "marshalling global perspectives to create local solutions."
The Deshpande Foundation has been growing in a major way during the past several years and can be divided into three main sections: grant-making, the Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship (DCSE) and Global Exchange. I was recruited through the latter as a Sandbox Fellow, a fellowship for people from outside India, "Sandbox" referring to a geographical region in India where our activity is concentrated.
In this inaugural year for the Sandbox Fellows (SBF), there were 12 fellows, with most of us out in the field working at some of NGOs that DF supports. I, however, worked directly for the DF, where I assist in the management of the Desphande Fellowship Program (DFP), a six-month residential fellowship program for Indian citizens, as the program director. For the DFP, I wrote curriculum on social entrepreneurship, strategized to restructure the program as we went, designed a reward system, organized major events, etc.
The Foundation's India office is located on the campus of BVB Engineering and Technical College in Hubli, so I was also actively involved with turning our office into the Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship (DCSE) where "aspiring entrepreneurs" and generally motivated and passionate students can come to get linked into service activities in the community or get support for starting their own social enterprise. Because I was there just as the DCSE was getting into gear (with DFP being the first successful program), I eventually became involved with more than just the DFP in the DCSE and began serving as the Assistant Director of the DCSE. In this role, I worked with LEAD (student volunteer program), SE Courses (a social entrepreneurship course training that will be offered to faculty members around Karnataka via higher ed institutions), Social Entrepreneurs in Residence (SEIR), among others.
The Deshpande Foundation Attn: Taryn Anderson Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship BVB College of Engineering and Technology Hubli, Karnataka 580 031