Adopting a Village in India: Ainhoa’s Perspective on Building a School and Better Collaboration

SMART is a proud sponsor of Free the Children’s Adopt a Village program in India. Our village is the community of Verdara is located in Rajsamand District, Rajasthan State in the northwest part of India. It is 30 minutes away from the main town of Kelwara and two hours away from Udaipur city. When we learned that Free The Children is working with the Verdara community to eliminate the barriers that prevent children from accessing education, we knew this was the right community for SMART to support.

SMART employees applied to become Ambassadors for SMART’s Adopt a Village program and will start building the school in India next week! We thought we’d share the journey with you through the eyes of our SMART Free the Children Ambassadors. Let’s start with Ainhoa Marcos, Advocate Marketing Manager and former educator based in Spain, who wanted to share why she’s so excited about her role as an Ambassador on this trip. Over to Ainhoa!

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As a teacher I always tried to make a difference in my students and help them to be better people. I always try to send the same message no matter if I’m talking to my kids, to students, to teachers or to policy makers — everything a person does with passion is a win-win. You can do whatever you want to do if you work hard to get it. And I believe SMART can make a big change with Free the Children. Having the opportunity to participate in a project like this I think is not only going to make a change in Verdara and within SMART. I think is going to change my life — this is a life-changing experience.

I’m really excited! I can’t wait to get there, get my hands dirty and start building the school. Beyond building a school, I have some plans to leverage the work we are going to do there. Why not try to connect SEEs students with India students in the future after I leave India?

Last year we created an amazing contest for our SMART Exemplary Educators asking them to submit proposals for how to remotely support the school SMART is building in India with Free the Children. One of the most interesting proposals came from a collaborative project between Chris Collins, SEE in Wisconsin, USA, and Maria Grazia, SEE in Italy. Both developed a global collaboration project in which their students will be involved in generating a collection of videos — mathematics is the collaborative, universal language of course! I’m excited to help extend that project with these two amazing educators.

My objective is making a difference as a teacher, as a mother, as a SMART employee — sharing my passion and empowering people to get what they want. This trip is going to really make a difference in my life. I can’t wait to share more when I get there! Stay tuned!

Thanks for sharing Ainhoa! And follow along on Twitter as Ambassadors share on the #SMARTFTC hashtag!

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