Happy Diwali 2012!

Last year we were very much part of the celebrations with our friends at the Centre for Tribal & Rural Development, India. They showed us a fantastic time we will never forget! At Youthivate we wanted to wish everyone a Happy Diwali!

For those of you who are unsure about’s the festival, here is what’s its all about:

Diwali takes place today and is a 5 day festival known as the ‘festival of lights’ because houses, shops and public places are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called diyas. Lamps are lit to help Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, find her way into people’s homes.

Most people start the new business year at Diwali, and some Hindus will say prayers to the goddess for a successful year. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.

On the nights of Diwali the sound of firecrackers announces the celebration. Wish we were out there setting off bangers with you all 🙂 Have fun!


We Are Seeking International Volunteers!

We are looking for International Volunteers with experience of delivering and coaching a variety of sports to children and young people, with one or more coaching qualifications. To work with The Centre for Tribal and Rural Development based in Tamil Nadu, Southern India.

You can make a real difference with Youthivate by working at a local level to directly engage with the tribal communities, with an aim to improve the health of the children & young people through sport.

Why volunteer as a sports coach in South India?

  • Live in beautiful rural surroundings, diverse in wildlife, located in the foothills of the Nilgiri Hills.
  • Instantly make a difference to peoples lives
  • Use your skills and knowledge to help the local communities
  • Volunteering can enhance your future employment prospects
  • Give you a new perspective on the world
  • Volunteering is fun and fulfilling!


  • To bring enthusiasm and strong work ethic
  • Fluent in speaking English
  • Coaching qualifications in one or more sports
  • To plan, deliver and monitor a co-ordinated programme of sports activities in school in Rural India (Schemes of work and lesson plans provided)
  • Develop new sports and multi skills sessions suitable to the groups you work with
  • Celebrate the talents of children by holding inter-school competitions
  • Be a positive role model, creating a positive and fun environment
  • Motivate and encourage Indian children to participate in sport or physical activities
  • Hard work and commitment to Youthivate and CTRD’s objectives
  • Have fun 🙂

Volunteers will live at the CTRD campus located amongst the beautiful and peaceful tea estates and forests of the Nilgiri hills, and will be provided with full board, lodgings and local transport.

Get in touch!

We are looking for energetic, enthusiastic, patient, creative and fun individuals to join the Youthivate team!

Help us meet our overall objectives to create a sustainable model for improving participation and health opportunities in the Gudalur district of Tamil Nadu, Southern India.

If this fresh challenge is for you then please email your CV and any questions to Lara Pearce at youthivate@yahoo.co.uk



The Future

Lara & Hayley have currently organised for 5 German CTRD Volunteers to use the equipment donated to re-visit the schools and continue to offer coaching sessions from November 2011 – February 2012.

All session plans and scheme of work for the project have been left at CTRD along with donated resources so that future volunteers can deliver coaching sessions and use the resources to come up with new teaching sessions for various sports.

We also involved the teachers as much as possible so they could witness first hand the benefits of sport and exercise along with training the young sports leaders to aid with the longevity of the program.

At Youthivate we believe that with the help of CTRD we have met our overall objective which was to create a sustainable model for improving participation and health opportunities in these schools, as volunteers currently at CTRD will be continuing the project long after Lara & Hayley have left India.

There will also be opportunities for more coaches to go out to India with Youthivate, watch out for full details coming to the blog soon!







Overview of India project

Total number of Children involved in project: 607

Ages: 5-13 Years

The Youthivate project worked in three Government Tribal Schools in which all the students are below poverty line and they all have high percentages of Tribal children attending. It was immediately evident that these children were most deserving of this project as none had any sports equipment or delivered sports education as part of the curriculum, nor did the children even own shoes! It is clear to see that through Youthivate we have given the children a sound understanding of the rules and concepts of all of the sports and games so that they can continue to play them with the donated equipment long after the project has ended.

This was evident at Ammunkavu School 2 weeks after coaching when we painted a Mural at the school, as at Lunch the children set up their own Cricket match with teams and recorded the number of runs, overs, players out and innings without the need for a teacher to facilitate. This really was a joy to witness and demonstrates the level of success and impact Youthivate has had.

This project proves that Sport is an International language which breaks down barriers, so that it can be played across a range of different cultures. Sport keeps children fit and healthy through the activities and enables them to grown up stronger.

We hope that our project partners will continue to support Youthivate in the future 🙂

Photo montage donated

Each school received a framed montage of photos from the Youthivate project which was presented with at the closing event along with the films from our time spent there.  Each school was extremely happy to have memories from the project as they had very few photos as a digital camera was too much of a luxury for the teachers to own. It did amuse us to see a retro wind up camera that one school used and shows how much technology has progressed and how easy it is to take it for granted. Like the old days the flash refused to function….!!

Overall Youthivate donated a wide range of equipment to each school such as Volleyballs, Volleyball Net, Footballs, Rugby Balls, Cricket Bats, Balls, Gloves, Pens, Skipping Ropes, Posters and a Flag. Lara & Hayley also donated a similar amount of equipment to CTRD which includes a Cricket Net so that more volunteers can go into schools to help continue the project in the future.

Many thanks to our project partners back in the UK who have made this possible, we hope that you will continue to support us in the future 🙂

We hit the Indian press!

Two local newspapers covered the project promoting the fantastic work we have achieved.

The local councillors praised and thanked us for coming to their communities to improve the health and well being of the children.

Sport has brought so much happiness to these children in which we are confident the sessions will continue with the equipment donated to each of the schools.

The photos below were taken at the closing ceremony.