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Koret Fellowship Program

Jolyssa Souza

Political Science major, class of 2019

The Mumbai, India Immersion group will spend a week in Mumbai learning from and accompanying communities with little access to wealth, power and privilege. Some activities will include volunteering at a residential hospital run by the Sisters of Charity, doing home-stays with students from the Jesuit Engineering College, engaging with adolescents at a Jesuit residential program for street kids, visiting a women’s college to learn about the reality of gender violence and inequality, visiting a hindu temple and a mosque. During the first week Professor Shoba Krishnan will lead the group along with students from Xavier Institute of Engineering in a community needs assessment in Dahravi, Asia's largest Slum. For this portion of the trip, the group will stay at Vinyalaya, a Jesuit retreat house in the city. The second week will be spent in and around Talasari where students will immerse themselves in rural life and learn about/engage the reality of India’s tribal communities. Students will stay with communities of Jesuits and women religious who run various schools and boarding houses for tribal children. Activities will include tutoring english, visiting schools, visiting some tribal villages, learning about the social and educational works being done in these communities.

As a political science major, I have learned of the political system in India and how it  affects the day to day lives of their citizens. This immersion trip would allow me to go beyond the classroom and textbooks and truly see the effects of this system for myself. As someone who hopes to someday work for the United States Government as a Diplomat, experiencing an authentic and unbiased lens toward India would allow me to truly experience this culture outside of my own and teach me just how important it is to be continuously connected with people who are directed affected by policies that are passed in government.