I stayed with Smriti, the founder and manager of ‘Faith’ for over three months. I lived in her home with her family, it became my home, they became my family.
It can be hard to describe the experience in India as a western person. Such a huge part of it is feeling so much like a outsider looking in. Smriti gives you the opportunity to feel safe, comfortable, happy and looked after while she takes you on wonderful trips to see places and learn things you couldn’t on your own. If you have ever read up about the benefits of volunteering, working at faith truly ticks all the boxes.
The children were unlike any other children I have met and I have worked in many child settings. When you hear the term H.I.V you panic. You have heard about it, you know how deadly it is. You have heard how it spreads but don’t believe everything you hear. Once you know the facts you will know you don’t have to worry. Once I was there I felt completely at ease and ashamed that I too was someone who believe the misconceptions of the disease.
The children have more life, more motivation and inspiration than any other children I have met. When I left I left happy, uplifted and hopeful for the future.
It was sad saying goodbye, but they will go on being the fun loving energetic children they are, and I can leave feeling like I made a difference. Whether it was teaching English to a handful of children or just making someone smile.
This experience is like no other. It is not just volunteering. It’s learning, growing, experiencing and enjoying. Thank you so much to everyone involved. I wish ‘Faith’ all the best for the future.
For me the act of giving plays a huge part of what makes like fulfilling, satisfying and rewarding. So often people are not fully aware or told of what they have done for other people. A small act can turn into something so big, and it only takes a moment of gratitude to make someone do it for someone else and keep the ball rolling. I will never forget my time with faith, it was life-changing. It changed my outlook on life, my attitude towards humans in general, it gave me hope and encouragement. Of course I loved every moment of it. I loved learning about the culture, and Smriti and her family showed me and thought me the most incredible things.
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