The Global Exchange Program hosted by the Deshpande Foundation in India is one of the many successfully implemented programs by the Foundation. The program offers internships, both long term and short term, to students and young professionals from all over the world. These internship programs enable the participants to share, collaborate and exchange ideas and practices with the aim of creating local grassroots level entrepreneurs.
Students can engage themselves in varied areas depending on their field of study and personal interest. The primary areas for interning at Deshpande Foundation, India are media, teaching, communications and event management. While media interns get to hone their skills in areas like photography, graphic design, data visualization, videography, and animation; communication interns participate in public relations, branding, and blogging.
Interns looking forward to take up teaching at the Foundation get opportunities for designing lectures and training students in English and vocational skills. Interns in the event department focus on finance, budgeting, program coordination, market outreach and speaker management. Students also get opportunities to participate in planning and executing one of the Foundation’s many events.
The Exchange Program at the Foundation has successfully imparted relevant training to several students over the past few years. Interns are offered exposure to fresh ideas and different viewpoints during the period of their internship. The participants get to learn and understand a distinctive lifestyle and richness of the culture as they get to meet a diverse range of people during the program. The Foundation offers free accommodation, an enriching learning experience, good stipend and a few other living expenses to the interns.
One of the past interns, Dara Hill from Canada, recounts her experience with the program, “During my short stint at Deshpande Foundation, I have learnt work and life in a context I never could have perceived at home, sitting in my bedroom, studying my textbooks back in Vancouver, Canada. It’s been the perfect complement to the formal or traditional side of my education.”
Dara spent 7 months at the Hubli Sandbox as a Communications intern and was also an English trainer.
The philosophy of the Deshpande Foundation is geared towards creating an environment that enables an exchange of ideas and promotes innovative solutions. Individuals are encouraged to come up with sustainable and scalable enterprises that have a social and economic impact on local communities. The Foundation addresses issues such as poverty, income inequality and lack of access to basic facilities. Young people from rural and semi-rural areas are imparted skill development training, mentorship, and hands-on experience so as to empower them to achieve sustainable livelihoods and to improve the quality of their lives.