What are the main benefits for me for engaging in this activity?
There are many benefits for participating in this initiative. You get an opportunity to use your skills to give back to society, especially to the country of your roots. This can instill a sense of pride and develop a strong bond with your counterparts in India. Schools and colleges look favorably upon students who take the time serve the community so this can put you in a competitive advantage over others who may have focused on their own academic excellence only.
You get to practice and improve your mother tongue for a real world practical application. Language is one of the primary link to one's own culture and roots so developing fluency in your mother tongue goes a long way in keeping that connection strong and alive.
How much Tamil do I need to know?
We require basic skills in reading and writing in Tamil. If you are a student who grew up outside India but have graduated from Tamil schools such as International Tamil Academy or in the final few years of such Tamil school, you should be able to comfortably tackle the translations. Our translations sessions are composed of really small groups of students (maximum 5 students in a group), paired with one or two adult volunteers, so you get plenty of hands-on help from them during these online sessions.
I am already very busy, how much time commitment does this need?
We only ask for one hour time commitment per week and since our translation sessions are all held online via video meetings, there are no commute required, saving time for both you and your parents. If you are interested in spending more time on this, there may be opportunities available to volunteer more hours.
The terms follow a quarter system (fall, winter, spring and summer) with each term spanning roughly 3 months. The students can sign up for any term based on their availability.
Is there homework or grading involved with the sessions? Is this a competition?
No. This is designed as a learning AND volunteering opportunity for students. The students are not compared to each other in any way or subject to any academic or peer pressure. The objective is to provide a fun-filled and stress free environment where each can use one 's own strengths to help each other and learn from others while providing a valuable community service.
Will I get an official proof of time spent on this activity?
Yes. Each minute of volunteering is tracked in our database for each student and participation certificates are sent annually. These official documents can be provided to Schools/Colleges/Employers as proof of volunteering. Vetrivel Foundation is a tax exempt, 501 (C) 3 public charity corporation. Our tax ID is 27-1675017.
Are there other benefits to joining this program?
Vetrivel Foundation is certified to distribute Presidential Service Awards for eligible students who have accumulated enough volunteer hours over a year. If you volunteer regularly over the year, you will receive a presidential medal and an official letter from the President recognizing your efforts.
Also, by joining this program, you get an opportunity to join a group of like minded individuals with whom you may develop friendships and get to engage in local social activities. We also invite speakers from various parts of the world and have them share their thoughts with the group which can be a source of inspiration and learning. Experienced students are also encouraged to take leadership roles within their teams to help new incoming students to learn the basics.