This small idea has turned big, really big!
It all started with a leadership seminar that we presented in Kotdwara in early October. 24 youth from the slums and local churches attended our one day event. Never having done this before, we embarked on a hands-on exploration of key leadership messages. Through games, talks, and hands-on problem solving tasks we looked at things like servant leadership, risk taking, collaboration, confidence, courage, vulnerability, humility and meeting the need that is in front of you. The kids (young adults really) were amazing and couldn't get enough.
Our day finished with this real life challenge.
*You are each given 100 rupees ($2AUD) to respond to a need that you see in your community. You can team up with others, or you can go solo. If you are successful, you will be given another 500 rupees to continue your project.*
We had no idea that is would be so incredibly successful.
One team of youth responded by helping an elderly couple. This man and his wife received a bed to sleep on. They didn't own a bed! The old woman also received a new sari and the old man received new shoes. A few weeks later the youth team repaired their leaking roof, bought them a solar panel and a stove for cooking.
There is another venture that is still in process. One of the youth teams travelled to a nearby town to buy musical instruments at wholesale prices. They are selling these for a greater sum in Kotdwara, to raise the revenue for their project. They haven't even started with the 500 rupee yet.
Another boy Aman, is from the slums and he used his 100 rupees to buy small goods to on-sell in a shop. With the profits he bought 4 sarees to bless women who live in the local Leprosy Mission Centre. This is incredibly powerful stuff!
One of the teams also used some of their profits to travel 50km by bus to visit Krish in hospital. Krish is the little kid whose arm has received surgery. It may need to be amputated. Krish loved his surprise visitors and new friends, and he especially loved the sweets and fruits that they brought to the hospital. This act of kindness had such a powerful impact on those in the hospital who witnessed this, they told a reporter and the story made the local newspaper (see below).
Each of these youth will soon receive a special T- shirt identifying them as the 'Kotdwarahelp Youth Team'. In their spare time, these young adults are keeping busy visiting the slums and villages, helping others, cleaning rubbish and having heaps of fun in the process.
www.kotdwarahelp.org is doing more than changing 'one life at a time'. This work is so incredibly rewarding and I thank you for your support. Can I please ask you to continue to donate to our work. Just a couple of dollars a week goes a very long way in Kotdwara. Be reassured that we use your donation wisely and carefully, and I am very happy to give you further details should you like to know more.
We are praying that the Kotdwarahelp Youth Project really is the beginning of something big and incredibly exciting. ...we appreciate you and so glad that you are part of our story.
Aman Visits the Leprosy Mission House
*I am very happy and excited to tell you that I’ve seen such a great work in front of me. I would like to tell you that Aman a boy from the slums who lives in poverty and scarcity has done an unbelievable and brilliant job. He has completed the Rs. 100 task very beautifully. First he invested that money in his shop and done a little bit of business with that and miraculously he multiplied that amount from that small shop. We all know that his shop is not that eligible or happening that he could earn for his own expenses but still god has blessed his hard work and helped him to manage a certain amount. So he bought 4 Sarees (Indian traditional women’s dress) and gone to Leprosy Mission Centre and distributed the Sarees among-st the women there. What a wonderful work he has done. Even though he lives in vulnerable condition, he helped the poor and socially neglected women. Aman is not medically fit as he has gone through a major surgery before and the doctor has advised him not to do hard work or heavy duties but still his zeal for helping has done a great job within his life.*
God bless this boy abundantly.
*Today (10th October), we were gone to spend some time in Kadarganj (Gujjar Centre) with the centre kids. We also took some local volunteers to be a helping hand in educating the kids. These volunteers are the same youth who has successfully completed the Rs.100 and Rs.500 task. They are very energetic and vibrantly bright youth and came up with new ideas and activities. The centre kids were very happy when they ‘we got taught new Hindi songs and few games. We also enjoyed the company of good jungle kids when the volunteers shared few stories and motivational sessions. The Gujjar kids learned good things in regards eco-friendly subjects and social activities. The youth then separated 5 groups and managed a campaign for cleaning the garbage (Plastic and Toxic Waste) from the village and told the kids about the eco-friendly factors. Then we also met with some wildlife friends like deer and land turtle and we took some group photos too. We also distributed food and chocolates and spent nearly 5 hours with them. We visited the ill children too one of them is Aarif son of Muhammad Safi, the volunteers prayed for him and shared some cherished moments. Aarif is a physically disabled child who cannot talk or move in his own but he showed warm smile when the volunteers met him and asked him about his likes and dislikes and for toys. Then we visited a little girl named Khanu daughter of Chamma, this little girl is suffering from some weird kind of viral and tuberculosis. She is also suffering from Typhoid and Malaria, we all prayed for her and she was very happy to see the volunteers because they shared good moments with her. The doctor has said she will recover soon but she needs intensive care and our support as well. The volunteers showed affection and passion towards this little girl.*