When I arrived in India, I had something very clear that I wanted to do: I wanted to work with children.
During my first week in Chennai, I searched for NGO´s and orphanages. Once I finished a list with very few names, I started to visit each of them and offering my help. As someone once said, “an orphanage is the only place which leaves me feeling empty and full at the same time.”
I was ready to work as a volunteer and immediately was welcomed to collaborate in a place called “Christian Faith Home”. Of course it is a Christian home where hundreds of orphans and women live. I began to go weekly, dividing my time between teaching and playing.
Sometimes, I gave them some gifts, but one day after six months, I realized that I had to do something else for them. Despite having some donors; there still had a lot of needs. They could not afford a lot of things. Then, I decided to ask other expatriates for help. I talked with them and I offered them to collaborate with me by giving small donation each month. Surprisingly, not all the people wanted to join me in the project.
It was unbelievable to see how people living in India with a really high income level are so reluctant to help those who have a lot of needs.
However, some Spanish friends and members of the family began offering to help me with their money.
This is how “Orfanatics” was conceived. Orfanatics is a social project to collect small quantities of money on a monthly basis in order to cover basic needs, such as diapers, food and toiletries. I was in charge of collecting the money and buying the supplies. Once this was done, I handed it over to the orphanage. I take some pictures and share them with the donors.
More and more people started to join the project and after one year I can proudly say that we have donated more than a thousand euros in kind. Last year, all the children had a Christmas present. For many, I think it was the first gift they had received in their life, and I was lucky to be there and see their joyful faces.
I am happy to see how people support “Orfanatics” and feel part of it. It is not an NGO, it is not an ambitious project and I know it is not sufficient to really change children’s lives. But with this small help we can improve their way of life. It is not easy to be an orphan. Children are innocent and it is very sad to see how many of them are abandoned in India only because they have some illness or disability or simply because they are female.
I know them, and I can confirm that all of them are very friendly and sweet. It is easy to realize how much love they need. And like Mother Teresa said, “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”
I’m leaving the country in two weeks but I will continue with “Orfanatics” with the help of my Spanish friends living here. We´ll continue to give donations to the orphanage each month and sharing the pictures with all the “Orfanatics” fans on Facebook.
I am proud of this project – not only for me, but for all the members, and it is nice to see how a lot of people working together do big things. I want to conclude with a quote which one of my favourite writers, Isabelle Allende, said once:
“We only have what we give.”
If you are interested in donate to or cooperate with Orfanatics or the Christ Faith Home for Children, you can contact them in their Web, Facebook (Orfanatics), Facebook (Christ Faith Home for Children) or Twitter (Orfanatics) and Twitter (Christ Faith Home for Children).
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