Saturday, February 24, 2007


My time volunteering in Calcutta has come to end. I was volunteering in four different locations, and all of them full of great experiences and beautiful people. The home four young adults with mental disabilities was always a treat to be able to visit. They were always so happy and positive, just to be around them was a great privilege. Everyday they would be waiting for us, looking out the window and some down on the street to greet us. We would teach them and play with them hoping to increase their vocabulary, knowledge of the world around them, and their motor skills. This was the basic lesson plan set up for all the lessons by Empower the Children. I also volunteered at a hospital for kids who needed surgery for Cerebral Palsy and Polio. These kids came from all over eastern India. Many come from the neighboring state of Bihar, the poorest and most lawless state in India. In Bihar people are routinely killed for the cars they are driving and it is still possible to buy slaves. So when the children are healed many times the parents don't want to take them back. The life they have in the hospital is much better than one they could dream of having back home. In the hospital they are provided with education, music therapy, a safe environment, steady and healthy meals and so much more. What I did there was help bring an alternative type of education. The lessons were always fun and involved some form of art and story telling. The kids always remembered me and it was amazing to see how happy they were each time I returned. I also helped teach at two schools for street kids. Just like everywhere else, the kids were so cute and amazing. At all these places the kids were provided with not only an education but a meal as well. The main theory behind Empower the Children is that id kids aren't educated, then they will never be able to escape poverty. This is something that I truly believe. These children might never attend university, but if they learn to read and write they've at least made progress past that of their parents. Over all I had a really nice time in Calcutta, but unlike many other places in India it's not the city that I will miss. I came there for the children and it's them who I'll remember when I think of Calcutta.

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