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A volunteer-run non-profit, Positively Transforming World aims to improve health and education globally
Selflessly devoting your skills and time to serve the less fortunate is truly a great deed. Encouraging others to do the same throughout the world is nothing less than remarkable. Run only by volunteers, Positively Transforming World (PTW) are to be commended for their altruistic endeavours.
PTW aims to improve levels of health and education globally. The organisation places a strong emphasis on volunteering over donating and only uses local volunteers for all projects. Volunteers join the organisation from all over the world, all with different backgrounds and skills, to contribute toward the common goal of creating a better world from within their own community.
In one of its projects in India called “The Magic Room”, full-time regular and consistent teachers volunteer to further the education of girls in an urban slum area on school subjects and topics outside the Indian curriculum such as hygiene, community development and health. Another volunteer group works to improve the girls’ reading and literacy.
“The India project is now two years old,” Chirag Lodhia, founder and director at PTW, told Indian Link. “I’ve worked with the teachers and the girls to understand their needs and develop ideas to implement better solutions. The girls are all at very different academic levels, but they all exude confidence and positivity. Their willingness to learn and succeed is shown on paper with improving academic results. The feedback we receive from the locals is that they appreciate our services and enjoy attending the programs.” Besides India, PTW currently has large operations in Australia, Brazil and Kenya, and they plan to expand into other regions.
“Initially, I had no intention to start an organisation because there were already so many out there,” Chirag revealed. “But, over the past two decades, there have been serious questions on effective charity, bias in international aid, responsible volunteering and philanthropy becoming business and politics. I wanted to design something that addressed these points in a way no one else has considered. I intended to promote charity in its purest form – in a way that is open and inclusive for everyone.”
Many people with different skills came forward to assist in the creation, development and maintenance of PTW.
“Family and friends were good at supporting the idea and helping me trial what PTW is today, along with professionals and people with experience in global development,” Chirag said. “At every stage of PTW’s growth, people have come on board as volunteers and everyone has helped make a positive difference.”
Chirag started this project during his second year of university in 2011.
“There were multiple sources of inspiration growing up,” he reminisced. “Pursuing a degree in Pharmacy at La Trobe University was intriguing and the transition from school to work allowed me to undertake more self-directed actions. After leaving Camberwell Grammar School, I still wanted to help improve people’s health and education, which I was willing to do voluntarily, and my desire strengthened with a deeper and more dynamic understanding through university.”
Of course, there are difficulties on the ground that the volunteers have to contend with.
“In India for example, there are cultural and historic hurdles around educating girls in India. We also face logistical issues such as trying to expand the local volunteer group and implement new resources. We only engage locals to volunteer, allowing for understanding, and a consistent and effective learning environment; instead of volunteer-tourism. Adapting to their own environment is something that our local volunteers do best.”
Chirag is grateful for the efforts of his team of volunteers. “We have volunteers who commit consistently regardless of whether they have young children, are studying for exams or are working full-time,” he said with pride, adding, “Increasing our volunteer numbers around the world is our plan for this year.”
They are currently working on their visibility in the global community and targeting communities around the world in need of positive development.
Positively Transforming World is driven to help improve communities from the grassroots level. The courageousness of its volunteers to execute projects in unfamiliar, and sometimes unsafe, environments deserves recognition and praise.
Visit ptworld.org if you want to get involved and volunteer