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Students from Virgnia Tech and University of Wisconsin in Odisha to empower local youth and promote Student Social Responsibility(SSR)


Bhubaneswar,04.07.2016 (By Mano Mani Singh)-Student exchange programmes may still be at its infancy in Universities in Odisha, but the wind of student social responsibility is fast gaining grounds. For the fourth consecutive year, international students from the Virgnia Tech and University of Wisconsin came down to  Odisha and involved with students of the Ganjam district and together carried  out several developmental projects in the area.The seven students who reached Odisha and worked here for over 40 days involved with the local students to implement projects on sanitation, personal hygiene, youth empowerment and signature campaigns. For six weeks, they conducted spoken English classes, computer literacy classes, exposure to higher education through institution visits, and micro-projects- all of which were led and implemented by the local students. “ We began with English classes and computer literacy classes, and shifted gradually into a focus on micro-projects. We separated the students into a junior and senior class, practicing basic vocabulary and grammar with the juniors and practicing more advanced conversational English with the seniors. In the computer classes we began with typing skills and progressed through Microsoft word, PowerPoint, and excel. Once the micro-project planning became more concrete, the students used the Microsoft applications to further develop their ideas. It was a great exercise for both project development and computer literacy “said Elizabeth Bahret  a student of Psychology and Sociology at Virginia Tech.More than 60  students from different schools and colleges of Gopalpur were   made to assess the needs in their communities, chose a focus and develop an action plan for each village. They were then guided on how to carry out the micro projects such as sanitation in Venkatraipur and Deegipur villages, Personal Hygiene in New Baxipali, and the Signature Campaign in Gopalpur.“After introducing the goals and expectations of the micro-projects, we divided the students based on village, assigned one or two Nourish interns to each group, and got to work. We  hope that the project has  inspired the  students to continue enacting positive change throughout their lives,” said Elizabeth Dennis and Samanta Marie from University of Wisconsin.The other students in the project included Caed Cunningham,  Jacqueline Spigai Samuel Gittelman,  Elizabeth Dennis and Samanta Marie. The students were members of Nourish International – a student body that  engages with  students for community empowerment. This rural youth empowerment project was organised by the Voluntary Integration for Education & Welfare of Society (VIEWS) at Gopalpur on-sea S B Rao  from VIEWS said, “Every youth must contribute for their own community. The whole idea of this students engagement is to promote Students Social Responsibility (SSR)  for community empowerment.Susant – a student from Deegipur village said “ It was a great opportunity for us to interact international students and learn more about communication skills and  computer skills for our future development”

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