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Big Job, Little Time

1 January 2013

By Tarik

When I arrived in Bodhgaya, Bihar on 24 December, I hit the ground running by purchasing items for the orphanages approved by Paper Kite’s Board of Directors. Paper Kite volunteers are here for the whole process of purchasing items and overseeing the work being completed before we leave. The orphanage managers assist us in finding materials and local workers to complete the work. This is my third time overlooking the process over the last three years.

The process is lengthy from start to finish. Four months prior to our arrival at the orphanages, the orphanage managers email me a list of items they need. Paper Kite Board of Directors reviews the list alongside our four programs (proper nutrition, clean water, education, health & welfare) and money we have received and raised during the year. This is always a difficult task, mainly due to the items the orphanages need and the amount of money we have to purchase them.

When we arrive at the orphanages, Paper Kite volunteers assess the need of the requested items at the orphanages and communicate with the managers. After a final board approval, the purchasing begins by me personally. I have become very familiar with the cost of items in this region and have somewhat mastered getting the lowest prices with the help of the orphanage managers. Work happens at a slower rate compared to the West and the pressure is on for all the purchases and work to be completed before we leave. This process is necessary to ensure everything we purchase will benefit the children.

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