Some of you will know Diane Emerson from her previous post here on VolunteeringInfo, which is a part of a series depicting her volunteering adventures. She is currently volunteering with Hope Disability Centre in the turbulent Kashmir region, and recently sent us a quick update on the current situation:
I am happy to report that I have good Internet access at the moment, though with the current and severe unrest here in Kashmir, it may be taken away at any moment. People here have had enough of waiting for the government to do something about the "Kashmir Issue". They no longer listen to the religious or separatist leaders calls to stop the strikes. They want action. Over 40 people have been killed since mid June, and hundreds injured. The Hope Centre is closed down, Handicap International people have fled to Delhi, and Sami Wani, the manager is using the Hope Centre ambulance to bring injured Kashmiris to a hospital in Srinagar this week. Me, the security guard (armed with a flashlight), and an occupational therapist from India remain at Hope Centre. It would be more dangerous for me to leave than to stay, at this point. So I work from my room with the curtains closed, read, meditate, work on writing the Hope Centres operations manual, and wait.
You can read more about the current situation in Kashmir here:
Mark Wiens is an experienced world traveller, spicy food connoisseur and volunteer. In respect of the latter, he has agreed to answer a few questions for us and share some of his wisdom. Should this whet your appetite, you can read more about his adventures on his blog, migrationology, and there are a couple of links further down which will take you straight to some of his most volunteer-relevant posts. Now, on to the interview!
What country did you choose, and why?
I didn't really choose a specific country to volunteer in but rather traveled around and decided to volunteer with some spare time which ended up being a little in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand.