I volunteered at the central offices of TWA in Dharamsala from August until December 2011. I had finished my university studies in 2009 and since taken up employment in online marketing, but was keen to travel and gain some experience with an NGO. The intern manager Dhardon Sharling did an excellent job of matching my jobs to my existing skills, meaning that I could immediately get to work and feel part of the team.
My main tasks were to redesign the website and to research and write a report on Tibetan nomads for launch at UN conference COP17 last November. I also got TWA’s social media up and running (check out the links to Facebook, Twitter etc on the right-hand side!), helped out with press releases, Dolma magazine and other reports, and took part in events such as film screenings and candlelight vigils in support of many Tibetan martyrs who self-immolated. Whilst challenging and busy, these projects allowed me to really feel I was making a difference whilst teaching me immeasurable amounts about Tibet, Tibetan culture, inspirational Tibetan women and the runnings of a dedicated NGO. I hope to go back in the future and would earnestly recommend work with TWA to anyone able to give some of their time.
Here are some ideas of what you could do: help TWA identify grants opportunities and write proposals, run campaigns for Tibet’s environment, support online marketing and website updates, undertake research, give English lessons to students at Stitches of Tibet… There are many opportunities for anyone who has skills matching TWA’s needs and who’s proactive and dedicated to TWA’s goals – just get in touch!