Today, I am delighted to share a special story with you. It is written by my dear friend Christina whom I admire and am very thankful to be friends with her. I learn so much from her life, from her giving and sharing, from her kindness. She is just an 'ordinary' person, one of us, but her small steps made big changes in some people's lives, so I support her efforts 100%.
Here is her story:
Imagine a world in which we all shared our gifts and bounty with each other rather than focusing on self preservation… It all started with my first visit to Nepal with my husband Joe in 2003. We had a wonderful 2-weeks holiday in Nepal but after I came back to Singapore, this country and the people were constantly on my mind. I told Joe if I ever return to Nepal for another visit, I would want to give something back to the society there.
In 2006, I went back to Nepal for second time for my first volunteer work in an orphanage home with 57 children. Firstly, I have no experience in teaching and guiding children. The moment I saw these children, my heart was crying inside when I saw their living condition, dietary as well as behaviour. The list can go on and on. I saw very worn-out mattresses with bed bugs and shared by 3 to 4 kids on a single mattress depending on their age and body size. Eating eggs is a luxury for these children. The orphanage home did not have enough funds and the kids were fed with rice and potatoes (all carbohydrate) to fill up their stomach. As soon as I returned to Singapore, I shared my experience with my friends and within the next 2 weeks I was able to raise some money and wired them to the volunteer organization to buy new mattresses and food for the children in the orphanage home.
However, I was determined to continue to help them in any way I can from miles and ocean apart. I decided to do fund-raising for them. My friends donated monies to the fund for the Nepalese children at anytime of the year. It doesn’t have to be on Christmas, Chinese New Year, etc. Once the fund has reached to approximately 400 Euro, I would wire the money to the volunteer organization that I trust to buy food for the children on monthly basis. It may not be a lot of money but at least we are able to subsidize and provide their daily needs so that the children won’t have to starve.
I had been to Nepal a couple of times since then. During my recent trip to Nepal (from 3 November to 28 November 2013), Joe and I volunteered at 4 different orphanage homes (including the one I have been helping since 2007). Joe and I truly enjoyed every moment we spent with the children. Besides using the monies we raised to buy food, school bags, mattresses, school socks and furniture for the children in the orphanage home, what the children truly need apart from these basic needs is LOVE. The smile on the children face is worth more than a thousand words!
Joe enjoyed cooking for them while I loved spending my time teaching them some craft work, dancing, chatting and doing kids yoga. These children do not have Barbie dolls, Lego toys or simply any toys to play with but we would use stones to play “five stones” and some fingers games. It made me realized how fortunate we are where we live and come from but these children and poor Nepalese are suffering from poverty yet they are happy in some way.
Imagine if you choose not to buy a tall café latte or chai latte from Starbucks once a week, this amount of money can be used to purchase a tray of 30 eggs or 2.5kg worth of carrots in Nepal to provide a side dish for 17 children.
There is a quote by Dalai Lama which I’d like to share with you. “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive”. I hope everyone will continue to share and give in any way they can to needy people. For those who are keen to donate for this cause to help the underprivileged Nepalese children, please contact Jožica for my email address.
May all the sweet magic of Christmas conspire to gladden your heart and fill every desire!
What sharing and giving (small steps or big) did you do or would you like to do if you had all the possibilities?
PS: The question is part of the game 'Giving thanks, giving gifts'. Join us! (You can find the rules in one of the previous posts here and all the questions in all December posts). Rejoyce with us and have fun!