My name is Andrea and I am incredibly excited to be going to India for my co-op placement! I will be going to a rural city called Korba in Chhattisgarh India where I will be working with the Social Revival Group of Urban Rural and Tribal (SROUT) in their livelihood and watershed programs. This organization is partners with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a North American faith-based NGO, and am very excited! Since accepting my admission to UTSC I have been anticipating this co-op year and I cannot believe it will be starting so soon. Although I have really only lived in Ontario, I have always been so fascinated by the bigger picture as I try to comprehend how this world can have such a richness in culture and beauty while simultaneously experiencing incredible inequality and injustice. Through my studies at UTSC I have been exposed to the many challenges and complex relations that make development what it is today, and so as I jump into this next year I am both excited and humbled to be able to participate in the work of MCC.
Not only will I be working in Korba, I will also be living with an Indian host family, learning Hindi (or at least doing my best!), doing research, and taking in all of the Indian culture and food I can! India is such a beautiful country and I am so looking forward to this amazing adventure that lies ahead. I am so grateful to the IDS co-op program, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship program, MCC and everyone who has gotten me this far –I wouldn’t be embarking on this without my incredible support system!
If you would like to be updated on my time in India you can connect with me over facebook or Instagram (andrea.sherk). Thanks for reading and I will see you all in a year!