Social Initiative
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International interns at the Department of Social Initiatives

We had four international interns helping us at the Department of Social Initiatives for few months. After orienting to some of the do''s and don''ts, the ladies set out to explore India from a new perspective. The interns had volunteered for some of our outreach projects like teaching students at the Forbes Marshall Aksnksha centres, undertaking study on self-help group women, teaching skills to women for income generation, at the same time participating in the organizations events and celebrations. Their thoughts on the internships speak of their experience with Forbes Marshall.

Leonessa: An undergraduate student studying at Berlin expresses
The internship in the CSR Department at Forbes Marshall in Pune was an eye-opener in many ways. I was warmly welcomed in the big ‘Forbes Marshall Extended Family’, as every co-worker is part of the highly integrated community. In this welcoming environment, I had the opportunity to have a better insight of the department and got to know various projects under the supervision of very caring heads of department. I chose women empowerment as my main focus and thereafter, I participated to several trainings. I was actively involved by interviewing women for my study. It was an incredible experience that enhanced my knowledge on society in India, improved my communication and interpersonal skills and finally reinforced my belief of the necessity of a sustainable development.

Forbes Marshall’s philosophy to give back to the community as much as possible can be witnessed daily and is one of the reason why I would highly recommend to anyone to experience the working environment at Forbes Marshall.
Alicia: An undergraduate student from Belgium  
Spending time with the girls of Akanksha was a wonderful experience. I tried to teach them some general facts of my country Belgium, some music, and some ballet dance. I helped them reading some stories. But to be honest, I think I learned more from them. Their happiness, respect , eagerness to learn, is the key that will open every door. I will never forget their daily smiles. With all my heart I hope they will have the opportunities to make their dreams come true and to become happy young ladies.

It is amazing to see the heights what Ms. Bina and her team has achieved for Forbes Marshall.


Daisy: A Theatre Manager with the Shakespeare Company, United Kingdom
I''m really grateful to Forbes Marshall and the Social Initiatives Department in particular for enabling me to undertake a short internship with them in Pune. People often describe their first visit to India as ''overwhelming'', but I relished the opportunity to get involved with the company and their community, even with simple things like eating in the staff canteen and taking part in the Dandia. Teaching a couple of the local women to knit was a great experience, as it was lovely to feel I was able to share a skill which they would use and teach to others, something which I feel underpins a lot of work which the team in the Social Initiatives Department do. I also delivered a couple of lectures on Shakespeare to local schools which was a great experience and I was surprised myself with how enjoyable I found it.

For me, the most telling thing is that on my way to Pune from Mumbai airport for the first time, the driver stopped at a service station, and I was too apprehensive to get out, anxious that I would do or say something wrong. But on the way back to the Mumbai airport, three weeks later I got out, bought breakfast, had a wander around and also spoke to few people. I felt like I had been in India forever, and I can''t wait to come back!

Catherine: A high school graduate from US
The time in India has been an incredible experience. The days go by so quickly, but I feel I have been here a lifetime. I feel so lucky to have been given an opportunity to see this country from a different perspective, not one full of "disadvantaged children" and "crippling poverty", but full of intelligent, outspoken young men and women who just need a little help to overcome the challenges that life has brought them. I just hope that I can leave here having taught them as much as they have taught me. Teaching has been a challenge, but I have learned so much about my own ideas and thought processes when I get to compare them to others''. I have really been learning new ways to think about and describe all the concepts I took granted till now.

I am immensely grateful to Forbes Marshall and the Social Initiatives department for all the help and support they have given me.