I will be commencing my journey in a very familiar location – India. For the past several years, I have been periodically volunteering with a wonderful organization:
Child Haven International
I must admit that I may be somewhat biased in my adoration of C.H.I. given the fact that it was founded and is run by my grandparents.
Child Haven began in 1985 in Dhanera, Gujarat in the NW part of India as a small home for destitute and orphaned children. Since then it has grown to 5 homes in India, one in Bangladesh, one in Nepal, and one in Tibet. The homes are run based on the ideals and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi: equal treatment without regard for sex, caste, color, religion or race, non-violence, vegetarianism, and simple accommodation. The children live at the home as long as they need to – most often this is from early adolescence until early adulthood, but sometimes families just need temporary help due an illness or misfortune. Child Haven provides food, shelter, clothing, education, and most important love. It is fully funded by personal donations from generous people in Canada, the United States and elsewhere. If you would like to donate to this worthy cause or would like information about volunteering, please visit their website: www.childhaven.ca
Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.
– Mahatma Gandhi
Beginning in May, I will be accompanying my Grandmother on one of her quarterly visits to all of the Child Haven homes. I am so excited to return to this amazing region of the world; to see these places that are both exotic and familiar, and to rekindle friendships with old and young alike. Despite the heat and humidity, the voracious mosquitos, and the shockingly cold bucket baths – I look forward to this trip all year long. I can’t wait to tell you all about it…
Thanks for reading!