Johnson Konnah Kortue - Internship placement at CTRD

Hi to you friends,

Kindly call me Johnson Konnah Kortue. I am from Liberia, in West Africa. I am disabled (blind).

Presently, I am undergoing 11 months of studies in Kerala, India. The Institute at which I study is called International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs (IISE). The program started in January 2009 and will end in December the same year. This institute brings blind and partially sighted visionaries from all around the world to enable them to become social entrepreneurs. This program will make these ambitious young and talented people qualified and capable to set up and manage their own projects, in their own countries. After the studies, each person will have skills in project proposal writing; preparation and presentation of speeches; management; business practices; operation of recording studios; use of computers and in conducting successful fundraising campaigns.

In August 2009, I started my two month internship at the Centre for Tribals and Rural Development Trust (CTRD). This choice was the best one I ever made in life. Being that I am disabled, and a foreigner, I never thought that I would be accepted by the administration, but to my surprise, I was accepted unconditionally. From the time I entered such an amazing organization, things have been going well with me. To tell you the truth, the entire working staff of CTRD are humble and open to all people. When working at CTRD if there is anything you dont know or that you need, then contact any of the workers, they are open and will handle and solve your problems.

Mr. Ranganathen himself is a very good role model for everyone. This man is always busy making sure that the right thing is done and that workers are on job. Mr. Ranganathen is indeed a hero in serving people. To the family of CTRD is not by mistake that you have such a leader to guide you - put your arms around him and dont let him go.

For the past 20 years CTRD has been working in improving the livelihoods of the tribal people. This organization has transformed the deplorable conditions of the tribal people into better conditions. Through their tireless efforts, the children of these people now attend schools and families are sleeping in safe and comfortable houses. God bless CTRD and long live Mr. Ranganathen.

Even with all these existing achievements, Mr. Ranganathen said he is still not satisfied if people with disabilities are not on board. He tasked Jessi and I to join him to help and improve the lives of disabled people in the local community. It is indeed true that the conditions of disabled people in these local communities are, at present, terrible. So my peer and I wasted no time in starting with a needs study. During our needs study, we came across a large number of disabled people in the area. Indeed, their concerns and problems were discovered by us. Based on the results and facts we developed a project proposal, which will be sent to donors in support of this project. I can inform you, there are instances at present where people with disabilities are sitting behind closed doors, doing nothing the entire day, with no-one paying any attention to them. Through a network of self-help groups, CTRD will help build the confidence of people with disabilities and provide training for them, before their unfulfilled futures perish.

To you my dear readers, my internship period in CTRD has now come to the end. I am very sad and sorry that it is time to leave, however I must. Before my departure, I want to kindly invite you to join the CTRD family. The staff here are working continuously to help disadvantaged people in the local community, and especially people with disabilities. My humble request to you is to please offer your time and resources to this beloved organization. Anything that you think you can contribute will be much valued. Listen friends, whenever you are in good position to help others, do not tell that person to come back tomorrow, when you know you can do it today. Note thousands of disabled people deserve a better future. If you are thinking about your accommodation dont worry, CTRD has a very big compound withs facilities to house volunteers. This place is surrounded by hills, forests and tea plantations, and is a beautiful and very colourful home in which to stay. There is electricity and water supplies. Dont mention about food - through the kind gestures of Mr. Ranganathen, his wife and the CTRD cook, you will enjoy nice meals that you will never forget about. Everyone eagerly waits to receive you, but the only thing I have to tell you is to fasten your belts, because Mr. Ranganathen never allows one minute to pass without doing something. Every minute is very important in this amazing organization.

Thanks for your time and I wish you good luck.