VolunteersThe Mission Centres in the Darjeeling Region have played host to countless volunteers. Past pupils of Loreto Schools and professionals from various walks of life have visited the Mission Centres. They have given generously of their skills and time. Many of them have organised fundraising events as well. Broadly, the range of volunteering period has varied from a week to a year. 

DMWSC has been working on enhancing processes related to volunteers. It has initiated a system wherein relevant information is shared and volunteers are encouraged to develop a schedule/work plan before they arrive. They are given an orientation about the Region and DMWSC's activities. Lodging, communication and other facilities/services are arranged. DMWSC also helps them in arranging tours in and around Darjeeling. 

During 2006-2010, DMWSC assisted 72 volunteers. The volunteers undertook home visits and did other necessary tasks that equipped them in doing their work. They have helped in various ways - teaching subjects such as English, Art and Craft in schools and organising sports activities and community events. Some of them have been involved in designing promotional materials and in documentation and research. In fact, all the volunteers have made a significant contribution in their own unique way.


Volunteers2Sharing the Joy of Reading

Lee Fitzgerald, a past pupil of Loreto Kirribilli, Australia, visited Darjeeling in 2007. Lee, who works as a librarian in Loreto Kirribilli itself, was accompanied by two of her friends Barbara and Eve. The group spent time in Panighatta and Dharan. Lee was determined to start a library at the Loreto School in Panighatta. 

On her return, she organised a fundraising programme called Darjeeling Dreaming where Sr. Sabrina was also present. With the funds collected from the programme, Lee visited Panighatta in April and December 2009 with two different groups. The school allotted the best room for the library. Bright posters with various messages were stuck on the walls. Cupboards filled with books where placed. Lee had bought these books in Australia and India. 

Volunteers3She and her friends taught some of the teachers of the school how to catalogue the books and maintain basic systems. In fact, Lee learnt the manual system so that she could help the teachers! Students from Classes IV- IX use the library which has an impressive list of 1557 books. 

It has certainly been a memorable journey for Lee. She remembers reading out a story to the youngest batch of students at the school. These children wanted to touch the book and the story telling puppets that she had brought. The children also went on a treasure hunt around the library . Their sense of joy and enthusiasm was infectious.


It has been heartening to note that some volunteers have chosen to make repeat visits. The visits have helped establish formal relationships as well. For instance, a team of teachers and students from Loreto Marryatville (Australia) had come to the Region in 2007. The school authorities subsequently decided to formalise an exposure programme for their students to the Region. They will now undertake such trips once in every two years.


Volunteering info