Lucy Pinches - Volunteer placement at CTRD

Having previously spent four months working with a development NGO in Nepal, I joined the CTRD team in September 2009, for a two-month placement.

Due to my prior employment experience and area of expertise, my efforts were focused primarily in assisting CTRD with their administration, including help redesigning and rewriting their website, proof reading and preparing documentation and drafting needs studies and fund raising proposals.

Through comprehensively researching CTRD's projects in order to write about them for the website and proposals, and through joining CTRD staff members on sight visits, I was afforded an in-depth insight into the breadth and scope of CTRD's work and impact.

I have found CTRD to be a very professional and extremely worthwhile organisation, which is making a tangible improvement in the quality of life of beneficiaries in the local disadvantaged communities.

Mr. Ranganathen, the Executive Director of CTRD, established the trust in 1988, and has dedicated his working life since this point to improving the lives of marginalized tribal and rural people in the region. His dedication to this cause is extremely worthy and inspirational, and under his guidance CTRD has expanded greatly and continues to advance. The entire CTRD team are fully committed to realising CTRDs vision and are steadily making continued, sustainable progress in achieving this.

The approach that CTRD adopts in all their programmes is focused and participatory in its intervention, empowering local disadvantaged communities to help escape the crippling cycle of poverty.

The CTRD campus in Eallamanna is surrounded by beautiful hills, tea plantations and forests, and is a wonderfully tranquil and refreshing place to live and work. All the CTRD staff are extremely friendly and helpful, and as a volunteer here I was readily accepted and warmly welcomed to the team.

Anyone who is interested in development work and the alleviation of poverty, and who is confident in written English, will be able to provide valuable assistance to the CTRD administration team and can help this worthwhile organisation achieve their goals.

There is also a lot of potential for those with medical qualifications to assist in the many health initiatives conducted by CTRD, including the opportunity to work in the CTRD Community Based Hospital.

In addition the scope for those with an interest in tribal communities is great too, as through their work over the last two decades and more, CTRD has earned the access, trust and respect of the tribal people in this region.