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I expect the overview of the TG program to ring bells with the majority of former TG volunteers although I doubt people would be in total agreement. There are certainly people like the following who state perfect satisfaction with the preparation period.
I am a former volunteer with IICD-MA. I had a solid preparation period and an eye-opening experience abroad- not about TVID, but about the nation that I was working in, the people that I was working for, and global development issues- just what I wanted to learn about.
What is unclear is how representative the opinion above is and how many people in the program drop the program during this period. I think it is reasonable to estimate that between 20 percent to 25 percent of all participants do not complete the preparation period and that another 10 to 15 percent do not finish the international period with the groups but this is a rough estimate. I'd like to provide better figures but there is no data or records available on this (See FAQ). Still this means that for every person that quits a program there is another who remains with it.
Although everyone’s experience and motivations are different I want to emphasize that,…
…Stopping your involvement with a TG program is not a personal failing.
Too often one hears the following type of attitude from people who continue with the program or who are part of the TG:
Im very saddened to read that some people feel they had a bad experience at these schools or projects, but it makes me wonder is this just your way of not feeling as though you have just given up ,to write these awful stories ,is it a way to make yourself feel better about quitting something that you found too hard, it is so easy to blame someone else.
This is not for everyone, you have to be able to organise your own time, work hard, & generally make it a productive & good time for yourself, no one will baby you here, for the simple reason when you get to africa, you are not going to be a student you are going to be a developement instructor…I feel the people who write to tvind alert, have had a bad experience because they havnt done the above mentioned things & have felt unproductive & frustrated as of course you would…Its like when you have a job & you are very bad at it or a bit lazy & you know you are going to be fired, so you quit before they can fire you (no one is kicked out of a program)…Its not yourself that you blame is it, no! you go around all your friends & family saying how bad your boss was & what a crap job it was etc. Its human nature to want to point the fingure at anyone but yourself.
It’s a common reaction of many people (myself included) to fall into the trap of rationalizing away systemic problems within these schools as the personal failings of individuals including themselves. As a former IICD-MI volunteer notes:
And to be completely honest I had decided that this organization was NOT for everyone.. and the only reason these girls had left was because this organization was NOT for them, and perhaps volunteering wasn't for them at all. I had rationalized it to the point that these girls were weak volunteers and that they weren't here to volunteer at all or that they didn't want it enough. As it turns out I was wrong and that they were just more intelligent and had stronger morals and ethics then I did.
Remember, your preparation period depends on a number of things including the experience and abilities of the TG person heading the school, the ability of Humana to ensure that you will have a project to work on, the makeup and personalities of your group, larger issues within the TG and of course your own abilities and attitude. Let's be clear.
It is NOT just dependent on you!
Yes individual attitudes are important but there is SO much going on with the TG school that is completely beyond your control.
In conclusion, I think the most troubling thing about the TG schools is the waste of such good intentions and energy. Idealistic volunteers come to programs eager to help, make friends, and see the world. It seems unconscionable that so many of these people experience needless frustrations, pain and disillusionment. As former volunteers note:
I would love it if this organization would change and reach the full potential I think this organization has to do good in this world.
I was shocked, outraged, and cried every night once the true nature of Humana came to light for me…But its been a year and a half now and I have allowed the anger to slip into something more positive for myself. It is not healthy for me to stay angry at Humana. We are all on this planet and in this together.
To be perfectly honest I do not really expect these schools to change. However, I hold out the hope that this website can spare some people needless frustration and who knows, maybe if it starts to effect the bottom line of these schools they will actually meet their potential. I’m not holding my breath but you gotta have hope. In the meantime believe in yourself and your ability to do this on your own (or with friends) and save yourself the hassle and pain of dealing with the Teachers Group.
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