Sorry for the update overload! I'm a little behind ;) But I still wanted to make sure that everyone got to hear about my fabulous adventures and experiences in this beautiful land of India! As well, I need to be confident that I have adequately documented every precious moment here. I leave in 5 weeks. I can hardly believe it. The time has flown by far too quickly. India, you have my heart. I'll give you all I've got for the next 5 weeks!
I love being an Intern at Maitri. It is such an incredible experience! I love the people I work with and the projects we facilitate. There is no such thing as a perfect NGO but they do a great job at making a difference in the community and positively influencing many lives for the better. This last week, we had the opportunity to visit Aashirwad, the Senior Citizen's Center about 45 minutes drive from our office. It is home to about 15 elderly.
|A beautiful building just on the outskirts of Delhi.|
|This is Winnie Singh's, the Executive Director of Maitri, Father who first started the senior citizen's home.|
|Mr. Jolly of Maitri helps run Aashirwad.|
|This is one of the sweet older men at the home that we spent the afternoon with. He showed us all of his old photos and told us about his life - I loved it!|
|Their yoga center in the basement.|
|The school children playing just outside!|
|Eating lunch at the old folk's home :)|
Also, I am so excited about some recently developments with one of our more recent projects, Project Jeevan. This supports the widows in Vrindavan (read more about them here). We are now facilitating another ashram in Vrindavan - called Radha Teela. These Nepalese widows are ages 65 to 105. They live in about 3' x 8' sheds with 2-3 other women. These widows refuse to beg on the streets, as many other widows do in Vrindavan. They rely on God for everything they have and are given. Maitri is working to really improve the conditions of these widows at their new ashram. Maitri is also working to increase the number of widows we serve in Vrindavan from about 500 to 600 widows.
These are the women of Radha Teela:
|This woman's "home" (behind her) is very cold because air flows in freely from the outside because there are no ways to cover the bricks or the doors...as winter approaches, the conditions will only worsen...|
|This sweet old woman is 104 - I'm not even kidding. Look at the beautiful wrinkles that illustrate every trial she has suffered in her many years.|
Also, here are some incredible photos from our recent saree distribution in Vrindavan - the Singhs (owners of Maitri) provided a saree for every widow in their Ashram.
|Winnie Singh with a widow in her new saree|
|Feeding the widows at mid-day meal|
There are many other projects going on at Maitri as well! We are working on a project for the homeless in Central Delhi as well as doing research to open another ashram in Varanasi. We have been preparing for more presentations to educate high school students about adolescent issues such as sexuality and substance abuse. We are planning an upcoming large health camp with the rickshaw slums. Many things up and coming! Incredible!