All my bags are packed. I am ready to go. Well, almost…. I still have 24 hours.

Despite my strong fear that my chronic over packing will result in huge charges for going over the baggage weight limit of United Airlines, I am filled will excitement about the new adventure that awaits me through the Clinton Fellowship. I am returning to India after over two years away. During this South Asia hiatus, I have graduated from college, completed a thesis on Bangladeshi NGOs and worked for over a year in social services in the United States. Needless to say, I come at this stay in India from a more experienced and hopefully more educated place.

During my last two trips in India I indulged in all the fantastic joys that India can offer. I traveled everywhere, ate my weight in kebabs and got to mingle with Bollywood stars (mingle might be a strong work choice). While I enjoyed these experiences greatly, I have quite different expectations for this next year in India.

During this trip I hope to actually contribute to the individuals and the organization that I will work with. Over the last few years, I believe that I have obtained some skills and knowledge that can allow me contributes in a meaningful way to my host organization. I want to exercise my recently acquired skills to the max and challenge myself professionally and intellectually in new and interesting ways. Unlike my South Asian trips in the past, I really would like this to be one of service instead of self-indulgence.

The benefit I will receive from this fellowship will surely out way the benefit I can bring to Anudip, Through exposure trips and fieldwork with Anudip, I hope to meet people and see parts of India that are offer the tourist beaten path and will offer me a greater understanding of a diverse number of Indian communities. I am also going to learn how to navigate the Indian workplace and living on my own in an Indian city. I am sure that innumerable challenges lie ahead of me, but with each struggle is an invaluable learning experience.

At some point (possibly begrudgingly) I will return to the United States. Whether my future includes further work with the Indian subcontinent, work in social services domestically or one of the thousands of other possible paths my professional life may take, my expectation is that the innovative ideas of my host organization and the other organizations I am privy of through my fellow peers will positively inform my future endeavors.

I also expect to eat a lot of kebabs (but that is just a given).

Hallie first traveled to South Asia in college with the Brown University in India program, where she enrolled directly at Lady Shri Ram College, the women's college associated with the University of Delhi. The following summer, she received a grant to travel to Dhaka, Bangladesh where she worked with the organization BRAC on their Safe Migration Project. The project strives to educate the community of Bangladeshi workers traveling to the Middle East for work in appropriate procedures of migration in an effort to avoid labor trafficking and other human rights violations during their migration. Also while in Bangladesh, Hallie did independent research on the country's NGO sector. She wrote her undergraduate dissertation based on her research in Bangladesh discussing the impact of Bangladesh's "mega-NGOs" on the governance system within the country. Since graduating from college, Hallie has worked in her hometown of Cleveland, OH as an employment specialist for a family homeless shelter and job readiness program. During her tenure with the program she has assisted many homeless individuals in obtaining permanent employment and trained many more in the soft skill to job search independently. Hallie is passionate about alternative livelihood creation for individuals throughout the world though workforce training programs and social enterprises.

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Us

Stay up to date on the latest news and help spread the word.

AMERICAN INDIA FOUNDATION IS A REGISTERED 501 (C)(3) Charity. © 2020
NEW YORK | CALIFORNIA | NEW DELHI

Privacy Policy

Get Involved

Our regional chapters let you bring the AIF community offline. Meet up and be a part of a chapter near you.

Join a Chapter