Want to know what it might be like to volunteer abroad?
Omprakash volunteers have been posting stories, photos and even videos from their time abroad since 2007. We now have an extensive collection of personal stories from volunteers who've worked with our partners abroad. You can browse through the most recent stories below or use the category selection tool to narrow your search. Alternatively click on the Stories tab for each organization we work with to see specific accounts from a particular organization. Be careful - you might lose a couple hours of your day in here! Happy reading.
So much change, so little time...print story
June 21, 2011
To put it mildly, 2011 has been a crazy year so far. In the span of a couple months, I got into Harvard Business School, moved out of my apartment, and quit my job. The last few weeks in particular have been a flurry of activity: obtaining my Chinese visa (which is only slightly easier than hitchhiking and swimming to China), researching credit card and checking accounts with favorable international terms (thank you, Capital One and Charles Schwab), planning my pre-volunteering trip (China's Silk Road), wrapping up pre-MBA requirements (forms, forms, forms, tutorials, housing, moving, immunizations, technology), and preparing for my volunteering assignment.
Starting July 11th, I’ll be volunteering for the Pentok Institute in Xining, China. Pentok is a grassroots initiative led by local women and committed to providing educational programs and services to Tibetan girls and women in low-income Tibetan nomadic areas of Qinghai province. I am extremely excited to be spending my first free summer since graduating from college serving in this meaningful capacity. After reading Nicholas Kristof’s book, Half the Sky, I was inspired to dedicate my first free summer in six years to empowering and educating women. Thanks to Mr. Kristof for his amazing work, and writing about Omprakash!
Unlike most of Omprakash’s wonderful volunteers, I have more than a couple years of for-profit professional experience under my belt. I’ll be leveraging these skills by leading computer and office skill workshops in Pentok’s Summer Women’s Leadership Program. I’ll also draw from my professional experience in consulting, credit risk, and loans to explore financing strategies to broaden Pentok's self-sustainability and alleviate its dependence on donations. After starting my MBA program, I plan to strongly advocate Omprakash and Pentok to my fellow classmates, relevant student associations, and the curriculum.