We recently spent a month in India.
We visited DEEPA ACADEMY in the region of Gujarat.
Many of the pupils at the school are physically or mentally handicapped. About half of them have no disabilities.
We have committed to helping them and we started by financing several teachers, including an English teacher and a physiotherapist. We have also financed panels for solar power and paid for the servicing of two wells which are unusable at the moment and bring them into operation. We also provided for shelves and tables necessary for the school.
This is Banu, now a member of the staff at the school, who used to be one of the students and now is qualified to work there. His devotion to the children is contagious and he is completely involved in the running of the centre. Banu is disabled himself. It is very touching to see some of the stronger children carry him on their back.
The faces and the joy of some of these children is worth every effort. Their willingness to learn and evolve is directly related to the help they can get and we are happy to contribute to their development.
They show their love constantly. We never had so many hugs in so few days.
The school has several classrooms, a newly built area for physiotherapy, as many of the children with physical disabilities require therapy.
This is their playground.
The children put on a show for us, which included several dances. It was a priviledge to be part of the selected audience.
Every minute of the day was a photo opportunity. They loved having their pictures taken and of course we loved taking them.
During our stay, we had the opportunity to visit the family of one of the children, who greeted us with very warm hospitality. These are some pictures of the village from where this child is from.
Here is Samuel, the head and the heart of this magnificent project, showing us their small production of bananas. He touched our hearts with the amazing work he has done over the years under very difficult conditions. The children, the teachers and the caretakers all live on the premises.
On the right some of the children from the school.
We loved every minute of our stay with Samuel and the children.
Before leaving, we invited them all to ice cream, which of course they love.
Here is David with the teachers of the school, who also live there. They do an amazing work and we are glad they have the energy and the professional skills to keep the project going.
We congratulate Samuel on the good work he is doing and we want to continue being part of this project.
It was wonderful for us to be able to spend some days at Deepa Academy, playing with the children and sharing every moment of the day with them. It was a life changing experience.
We can't forget their joyous faces. They come back to our memory repeatedly. We keep having flashes of their beautiful smiles day and night.. They seem to have left an imprint on us written with indelible ink.
We hope to keep these memories forever...