The February group of volunteers were wonderful. We had five participants and together and individually they contributed a tremendous lot to Shikshan Gram. Here we are on our first day enjoying a Thali Lunch in Mumbai.
We had a great day in Mumbai – spent time with Maya Shahani of the Sage Foundation as our wonderful tour guide – she is such a fount of information – and took in the sights and sounds – Mani Bhavan – the house of Gandhi, Babulnath Temple, Ban Ganga, a brief visit to the dobhi ghats and finally a wander on Chowpatty Beach. Our brave group even sampled some street food fare!
The next day we went up to Shikshan Gram and the adventure really began in earnest. As we arrived at the site, the rooms where they were to stay were just being completed. In fact the beds were arriving as we did!!
Needless to say .. as hostess for the group, I was a little nervous but they all took in in their stride and were very accepting of the limitations of living as it still was then, on a building site!
Shifting a little of the Western mindset of “lets get into and start action immediately” was the first of many learnings for our group. Satish’s advice for our first day was .. “Just tell them to sink in .. and feel what is happening today.. tomorrow is plenty of time to start work!!”
Let me offer you some words from Lindsay.. she expresses well what her experience has been:
All in all we had a great time – with stops and starts we also achieved a considerable amount.
Many of us don’t realise just how valuable simply spending time with the children can be for them. These children are street children and to be spending time and paying games with volunteers from overseas is an oportunity for them to be exposed to totally different cultures and mind sets.
It is amazing how much can be transmitted to the open mind and heart of a little child in a very short time.
Mostly the feeling of being accepted and loved for who they are is of prime importance.. and just quietly.. as a volunteer that sense of unconditional love that flows back to us while we are with the children is a profound and invaluable experience.
If you think you would like to come and join us please fill in our contact form here and we will let you know when and how that can be possible.