I came here to intern for my master degree for 10 weeks. It was the most incredible experience of my life. Living here allowed me to really match with the culture and to get to know so many lovely people.
It is the funniest alternative for the boring corporate, or traditional, internship. Here my main tasks had to do with my own experience. I offered them my ideas and they accepted them in a really good way. I redesigned the website and got involved in basically all the activities I wanted. I kept myself very busy all the time and now I am going back home really happy and completely satisfied for what I got here.
I spent my days usually doing my work, with ocasionals chats with all the people around , some days they take you out for activities of the organisation which is quite interesting. During evenings I spent most of my time with the girls at the orphan home. They simply steal your heart. I wish I could take them all with me. I was lucky enough to meet other volunteers from different parts of the world, and so they enriched my stay in a very good way.
It is a life-changing experience and everyone should live it. Just buy your ticket, pack your stuff and get on board! It is something you will never regret.

Catalina Reyes Z.Intern – CEMS MIM, Chile.

Interning for MCCSS for the past two months has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my life. Through working with all of the programs here, I was able to learn so much about this colourful culture, the people, the social work system, and also myself. The children and women here immediately adopted me in as a sister, imprinting their kindness and joy on my heart. I have been deeply and profoundly touched by the amount of positive work that MCCSS does in their community for those whom are oppressed and in need. When feeling discouraged about having not yet “saved the world” like I thought I was going to, the staff here continually reminded me that every little change counts towards something greater. It is this hope that I am leaving with and wish to share with you.

Carmen ElyseVolunteer. Social Work student, Canada.

Coming to MCCSS, I had no prior experience working with social work or an NGO, thus I had no idea what to expect. During my first few days here I was greeted with so many smiles from the staff and “Hello Sister” from the children. I felt like was home. My entire time was one huge learning experience and MCCSS did a fantastic job keeping me busy, using unique skills to make me feel like an important member of the agency. I came for the human trafficking project but was able to help out in every program they offer. After two and a half months I gained so much knowledge on social work, social problems in India, and how every person can make a difference. But most importantly I gained a family.

Jessi Cord Intern, Appalachian State University, USA.

I have had an amazing opportunity to work with the staff of MCCSS in various departments of the agency. This experience has increased my knowledge in international social work, and has also given me a greater understanding of how social work is done in India. Having the chance to live, work and learn in India through MCCSS has provided me with hands on experience, which I could have never learned in a classroom. I have not only learned about the need for the various programs that MCCSS provides, but also have witnessed the resiliency and strength that the girls, boys and women possess. I have enjoyed both learning, sharing, and increasing my awareness of global issues through this opportunity. My placement with MCCSS has provided me with an immense amount of growth on both a personal and professional level. Because the knowledge gained from MCCSS I will be much better prepared as a future social work in both my native country of Canada, and internationally.

Debbie SeeleyVolunteer. Social Work student, Canada.

My time at MCCSS has been nothing short of amazing and I feel privileged to have been a part of such good and important work here In Chennai. It has been an extreme learning curve from the very first day, and although exhausting and challenging at times, I would not change one minute of it. The major challenge and set back within my work here has been the language barrier although with the help and support I have received it was worked around. The staff at MCCSS are amazing and very intelligent people from whom I have learnt so much, they have encouraged and inspired me more than they will ever know in my future career in social work. They have taken time and have shown much patience in their work with me! My cultural learning has by far passed my academic learning within the organization but I believe to be uncultured can lead to ignorance surrounding many social work issues so this may also be a huge benefit to my future career. I have gained a good understanding of social work here in its Indian context through much exposure in so many different projects done within the organization. MCCSS has helped me to learn to work on my own initiative and take charge of my own learning which is a huge step for me! My interaction with the boys in the new begins home and the girls in the protection home, has been the most rewarding part of my experience here. I want to extend a huge thank you to both the staff, the survivors of trafficking and the boys in the new begins home for letting me into your lives and providing me with an experience I will never forget. Academic learning, in comparison to hands on work with people and the learning that comes with experience will never come close to teaching you the tricks of the trade of social work like my work her in MCCSS has. I leave with many good memories, that I will forever cherish and a very high regard for this organization and I would recommend it to any student in the future.

Linda Maria BarrettIntern. International MSW Student.

I recently completed my Bachelor of Sociology and came to MCCSS with an interest in trafficking, HIV/AIDS education, and women’s empowerment. I spent my time in MCCSS observing multiple departments and thoroughly enjoyed my visits to Women in Development self-help groups and the HIV/AIDS groups. Speaking with slum women about their self-help groups was inspiring and informative. Additionally, I assisted MCCSS with administrative duties and preparing for conferences and presentations including the Trafficking Seminar for college students. Further, I created and implemented informative presentations along with the other overseas volunteers for the Short Stay and Protection home occupants. The presentations included an art therapy program, nutritional presentation, and a discussion on puberty. Overall, my experience at MCCSS was very beneficial in providing insight to how an NGO provides services to marginalized urban populations in Chennai.

Amy Lebichuck Volunteer, USA

I have been at MCCSS for six weeks where I mostly was connected to the WID department, making observations for my bachelor in social work.
My focus has been on empowering the Indian woman, so it has been very interesting working with different problems and solutions for the women in the slum of Chennai.
It has been very rewarding for me to see how much it means for the women to have someone at MCCSS as a motivator for them.

Ann Louise Petersen.Volunteer, Denmark.

I’m here at MCCSS do to research for my Bachelor assignment and I have used six weeks in Women in Development (WID). It has been a great experience to join and learn from the staff members in WID. I have visited a lot of SHGs in the slum areas in Chennai. It is fantastic to see how these women gather together in SHGs and are being able to lend money in the bank with the help from MCCSS. I have been researching the outcome of these SHGs and there is a pattern; the women in the SHGs have become more independent, gained a lot more confidence. They have developed into strong women that take responsibility for themselves, their family, their children’s future and struggles for better conditions in the local community. With help from MCCSS these women are being empowered to take responsibility, not only for their own lives, but also for the community. MCCSS are providing a lot of awareness programmes about banking, legal matters, social justice and many others. Gaining more knowledge about how to interact with others and in the local community is very important for the women, because before they joined a SHG many of them only worked in the house. MCCSS are doing a great job working with the women in the slum areas.

Tanja Bertelsen.Intern, Denmark.

In my two months at MCCSS I learned more about cross-cultural counselling than I ever did in an American classroom. Through spending time with the counsellors of the Family Counselling Centre, observing counselling and interacting with clients, I experienced a glimpse of the complexity of Indian culture. The staff was very welcoming and willing to include me in activities whenever possible. They also tried to utilize my skills and let me work in areas that were of interest to me. In was interesting to get to know a how such a well established non-profit operates. The children of the Short Stay, Protection and Boys Homes were so friendly. I will remember their warm greeting of, “Hello Sister” fondly.

Kristin Pope- Cleveland, TN: USA- MS Counselling Internship- June/July 2011

I entered MCCSS thinking that it would be a educational experience for myself; that I would work with the children and go back to my home country a better social worker and more knowledgeable about another country’s culture and customs. I was also scared of many things. After two months of working around the women, children, and staff, day by day, I learned more than I could have ever hoped for. I feel that I am fearless after living around the children at MCCSS, and I thank them for that. I see the hard work, time, and strength that the people in a society so different and a society I have come to know and love radiate each day they wake up to face the world. When I reflect back on my time at MCCSS, I will look at it most positively, no matter how tired or frustrated I was at times, as a period when I came to believe in the true power and strength of a human being.

Margaret Evans—United States