Over Winter Quarter, I had the opportunity to partake in a three-week humanitarian trip to Nagercoil, India and Bhaktapur, Nepal with the Invictus Initiative. The Invictus Initiative is a non-profit organization that seeks to build lasting relationships with impoverished communities in order to develop sustainable solutions to improve the quality of life of individuals in these communities. Through listening to the stories that people had to tell us and understanding the complexities of their various situations, we were able to work together as a team with these communities to initiate different projects. The intention is that we help people to find solutions, but then enable them to continue with these solutions on their own.
This was the first time that the Invictus Initiative had sent a team to India, so much of our time there involved establishing relationships and identifying community needs. We worked with some incredible people at a boy’s orphanage in a local slum community and ultimately determined that a lack of English proficiency for their students was a major concern. We will be sending a team of English teachers to work with these students on an annual basis. We also met with a woman who founded an elderly home and the home’s residents. Through several interactions with this facility, we found that they were over-crowded and under-funded. We worked with them to establish several new business initiatives that will hopefully generate more income to enable them to expand into a larger facility. Overall, the relationships that we were able to form in India will allow us to continue to improve the community in a sustainable way.
There were many other incredible experiences: from playing with children in another community orphanage to teaching science experiments in an under-developed school, there were many ways in which our team was able to connect with and help people. One of the most exciting projects that I was able to work on in Nepal was the Bhaktapur Women’s Group, a knitting business cooperation comprised of over twenty women from different villages in Bhaktapur. In the span of one year, these women were able to develop a business plan, open a company bank account, develop responsibilities and regulations amongst themselves, and ultimately knit over 100 products. The Invictus Initiative is now selling their products on college campuses with 100% of the profits going back to these women. It was an incredible experience to work with these women, see their business grow, and watch as their daughters became more involved in the business as well.
This incredible trip and the help that our team was able to offer to these people and their communities would not have been possible without the PLP Passport Fund. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!
Post written by: Lexxi Reddington
This project was made possible through the awarding of a Passport Grant made possible by the generous contributions of PLP Alumni and Friends. Thank you to all who empower PLPers to do amazing things!