October 7 2011
SVYM Global Service Learning Program Officially Launches
After a successful summer pilot program, the ILR International Programs Office hosted an information session in collaboration with the Global Health Program for the 2012 ILR SVYM (Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement) Global Service Learning (GSL) Program. SVYM is a non-profit organization focused on community development in healthcare, education, and advocacy. SVYM is located in Mysore, Karnataka state in South India and supports tribal communities throughout Mysore, the organization was founded by Dr. Balu.
As the room quickly filled with students from ILR and the Global Health Minor program at Cornell, the students were clearly excited about the possible opportunity of participating in such a life-changing program. After a welcome from Donna Ramil from the International Programs Office and the ILR Global Affairs Club (IGAC) President, the meeting was kicked off with a video of student experiences from last summer. Students from last summer’s program spoke about their various service experiences and how the GSL program gave them international experience that has changed their lives. Students talked about living in various villages in the Mysore district, as well as their work, which ranged from teaching English to building HR programs, and doing accounting and finance for hospitals. Although the students had various experiences, the underlying theme from their stories is that words cannot explain how much of an impact the experience has made on their lives and their view on the world.
Arun Kapur who is a part of EDI from ILR, also shared his experience at SVYM. He spoke about how he got involved in SVYM after medical school in India. He spoke about his realization of the value and learning that can be gained from helping others. Although he grew up in India, only 200 miles away from the village where SVYM placed him, he also spoke about how transformative his experiences have been with SVYM.
In summary, the 2011 pilot for the Global Service Learning program with SVYM in India, launched by the International Program at ILR was a success. To learn more about the Global Service Learning program, click here for details, applications and next steps.