Poynton High School visited our Projects in India in July 2011. Our website was not doing as it was told, so it has taken a long time to be able to post this blog. Still, good things come to those who wait! 19 students and 3 members of staff, a parent and Grace and Paul Nadin-Salter accompanied them. Aletta Ashmore and Helen Milligan (trustees of India Direct) and Scott Keiffer were the staff members who organised and supervised the trip. Liz Cooper, parent, undertook to role of First Aider, which she did brilliantly. 64 Immodium tablets were given out altogether on the two-week trip. Not too bad… Everyone on the trip funded it for themselves. They also raised money over two years by bag packing at supermarkets, holding events, raffles etc. This money paid for trips out for all our children in India, a medical camp and craft activities for the children. Any left over will be going towards providing beds for the boys at Joy once their new building is completed.
Whilst out in India, the students visited both projects and a village near to Joy home. In the village, they helped with a free medical camp for 360 desperate villagers. Back home, they had raised £1000 from a raffle for this day. We were all deeply moved by the plight of the people. Many were literally starving, and there were a number of ederly and widowed people who were living on the streets. All were given a medical examination by a doctor, and an on-site pharmacy dispensed drugs according to their prescriptions.
In the evening, blankets, sleeping mats and saris were given out to those in most desperate need. At one point, people were surging to the front, desperate to get their much-needed gifts. Many tears were shed at that point.
The students also helped to paint our temporary Bethel home, carried out craft and sports activities with the children at Bethel and Joy, and had a lot of fun! They even bought a cow for Joy home, who came with a calf. Grace, Annie and Johnson went ‘cow-shopping’ in the village, and by that afternoon she was installed and happily munching away. Her name is Paul, which means ‘milk’ in Tamil. Her calf is called Pip – after the ‘Poynton India Project’. The milk will help provide the children with the vitamins and minerals they desperately need when they first come to us. The cow will eat waste vegetable trimmings and provide manure for the vegetable garden. Johnson knows all about cows and had everything set up in four hours flat.
The trip was incredible. Both the English and Indian students gained an awful lot of confidence, enjoyment and communication skills throughout the two-week trip. It was wonderful for Paul and Grace, Annie and Omega to see all the students working together with the Indian students to paint their new temporary home near Chennai.
India Direct is so grateful to Aletta and Helen for all that they continue to do for us. 4 more children are now sponsored as a direct result of this trip. Thank you so much to Poynton High School and your amazing support.
Annie would like to set up more medical camps. Each one costs £1000 and delivers free care to those most desperate. The Indian government has recently reduced the amount at which it believes people can live on. This causes even more desperation and distress when people are sick. Please help if you can. It makes a difference.