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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Today was very exciting for Rachna and I because we got to meet with the Translator that will be working us in the next two months. His name is Antony and he is a professor at a local university in Trichy. He got his Masters in Social Work and he has been translating for various NGOs in India for four years now. This afternoon meeting with Antony was more for introductory purposes. We briefed him of the work we will be doing in the next month with the Narikuravar female artisans who make the beaded jewelery. We will basically be needing a translator for the teaching of Nest's business curriculum and also for administering one on one surveys for the purpose of evaluating the impact of Nest's programs on the community.

Rachna and I are responsible for separate duties. Rachna is currently working on a "LookBook" that showcases the jewelery products that Nest has ordered from the women. She will be listing the sourcing for all the beads and materials used for the necklaces as well as detailed descriptions of the products accompanied by photos. While Rachna is more in charge of marketing for the products, I am mainly responsible for administering the survey/interviews to the women. Nest's intention on conducting annual surveys to the female artisans that they give loans to is for the purpose of evaluation. Nest wants to measure the impact of Nest's programs on the livelihood of these women, because the purpose is for the women's income to increase so that she can better provide for her family. I will also be interviewing a control group of women who are not currently working with Nest for the purpose of comparing the livelihoods of these women versus the women that Nest works with. The control group of women could also possibly a future group that Nest can work with. Another duty that I have that will involve the translator is to gather testimonials from each of the women in the NEWS cooperative (called Chidya which means jewelery in Tamil). By gathering these women's stories, consumers in the United States will be able to know that their decision to buy their jewelery through Nest will empower these women to lift themselves out of poverty. It makes their decision to buy the certain product more personal.

We will be giving the Translator the new Nest Survey that needs to be translated tomorrow. Once we get the survey translated we can being scheduling the interviews with the women! I just hope that I can formulate relationships with the women that will make them comfortable enough to give me honest answers. I learned today from talking with the translator and some of the NEWS staff that the Narikuravar gypsy culture is somewhat isolationist. The gypsies do all that they could to preserve their culture and have managed to resist assimilating to the mainstream Indian society. I am worried that this means that their attitude towards outsiders will not be very friendly. The most I can do is account for behavioral hints during the interviews that I can take note of so that the surveys are as correctly administered as possible. I'm excited!

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