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Summer Serve 2008

During six intense weeks of the summer of 2008, a group of enthusiastic volunteers were divided into four groups to work on the following projects :

1. HIV/AIDS - Changing Attitudes of Young Indians
The VOLindia Naz Foundation project is doing baseline research on current attitudes of young people in Delhi to the issue of HIV/AIDS and sexuality. The project was a combination of research and field work to promote awareness of the issue using creative methods developed my the VOLindia team.

Social Impact of the Project: The project helped youth between the ages of 14-25, (the demographic that is most at risk for HIV/AIDS), learn to address controversial yet important issues around HIV/AIDS. Apart from assessing current awareness levels of young people in Delhi, the research assisted in removing misconceptions and myths of the young interviewees, the volunteers, and their peer group and family.

2. Environment: Green the Gap
The VOLindia Swechha project is promoting awareness about choices around environment friendly and fair-trade products. The primary goal of the project was the development of a social enterprise called Green the Gap by doing field research on environmental awareness, and product promotions in and around Delhi.

Social Impact of the Project: Promotion of Green the Gap products made the volunteers, the customers, and the public significantly more aware of the impact their consumption has on the environment. The success of Green the Gap products will encourage other companies to offer eco and environmentally friendly products. More "green" products on the market in combination with comparable demand would drive down prices for such products making them more accessible to the larger public.

3. Child Abuse Awareness: Informing the Uninformed
The VOLindia Prayas project raised awareness about the problem of child abuse in Delhi by creating a Tool-Kit for public distribution. Furthermore, the VOLindia team developed various product (T-shirts, mugs, pens, key-chains, etc.) based designs, and organised events to disseminate key information to the public on child abuse and how to combat it.

Social Impact of the Project: According to a report published by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2007, there exists a significant issue of child abuse in India. The VOLindia team provided the public tangible tools with which to deal with child sexual, physical, and verbal abuse. Along with raising awareness, the information distributed encouraged adults and young people to be more proactive in recognizing and preventing child abuse.

4. Health Care Advocacy: Using Right To Information Act
The VOLindia Parivartan project involves applying the RTI Act to advocate for better service and health care in public hospitals. This was be a combination of field work in a public hospital, documentation of service to patients, and action based research on how best to use RTI.

Social Impact of the Project: This project educated and energized citizens to develop the confidence to fight corruption and create greater accountability within public institutions. Although, India is growing economically, the quality of healthcare is very poor and is a growing issue. The success of this project would allow for similar programs to be undertaken at other public hospitals to increase the quality of healthcare to the general public.
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