Global Partners Programme :
The Global Partners Programme
addresses the interest of Share and Care’s sponsors and potential
partners around the world. Originating from an informal conversation
between Share and Care’s director, Stephen, and a Swedish professor,
the programme enables interested people to come and visit the
programmes that Share and Care runs. In this way both partners’
concerns and villagers’ needs can be addressed.
The first Global Partners “camp” was held in 1987, when a group
of Swedish students and teachers came to visit Nainarkuppam,
a fishing village near Mamallapuram, where Share and Care has
an education programme. With the help of translators the sponsors
interacted with both the children and adults from the village,
learning about their daily lives, and becoming more emotionally
involved and invested. They grew to understand the people they
had already been assisting, leading to increased commitment.
This initial programme was so successful that it continues today.
Sponsors and partners from around the world are welcome to come
and live and work with the villagers to better understand how
they can be of help. Often these “camps” are planned out a year
or more ahead of time, so that all concerned can utilize the
time in Tamil Nadu to their best advantage. Translators are
provided by Share and Care, which makes conversations flow more
freely. Both sides benefit enormously. Partners return home
with a new awareness of the people, their needs, and how Share
and Care works. Their commitment skyrockets, and it is not unusual
for some to return to help for longer periods of time. Villagers
reap the benefits of having partners and sponsors who really
understand what their lives are like.
They are often the beneficiaries
of material goods like educational materials, school playground
equipment, wells, latrines, and the like. More importantly,
they have an opportunity to meet and interact with people from
different parts of the world, and learn that westerners care
and want to help in a genuine way. The Global Partners Programme
is funded by the international sponsors themselves, and occasionally
by an international development agency, such as Sida.