Hi my name Sarha abrgal form France, this is my 6 months experience in India. I spent 6 months in India from February to July 2016, in Deralakatte, a village next to Mangalore.
I was working and leaving in an orphanage with 85 children, two sisters, two women in the kitchen and another volunteer. The orphanage is called De Mercede Orphanage.
The purpose of our stay in India was to take care of the children when they were not at school, located just next to the orphanage. We were helping the children with homework (English and Maths), taking care of the Hindu children during prayer or church for the Christian children, helping in the kitchen to serve or make food. We were also teaching about hygiene, like showing the children how to brush their teeth properly and twice a day, or giving bath to the smallest children… Sometimes we brought the children to the hospital when they were sick. During the weekend we could organise some games and different activities for them, or simply be with them and communicate with them thanks to a mix of English and Kannada, really funny to see! Even if we didn’t speak Kannada and they didn’t speak English, it was always a pleasure to speak with them and so easy to understand each other.
But with the other volunteer, we also try to bring some other project in the Orphanage. With the help of a man who was visiting sometimes the orphanage, we managed to stitch for each child one clothes. The man provided us some saree materials and pants materials, and we stitch one skirt for each girl and one pant for each boy.
I knew a little bit how to stitch before coming in India, but the volunteer with me took some lessons before I arrived and she taught me the “Indian style”. Together and thanks to a stitching machine, we stitch 35 skirts and began to stitch a few pants.
We first took the measurements of all the children and we stitched a little bit every day, during the day, when the children were at school. We had to check for every child for the size, trying to make a little bit bigger so that they can put the clothes one or two years after. It was more complicated for the pant, that’s why we didn’t finish completely the project before going back to our country.
We did this project because we both like to stitch and do something with our hands, and we wanted to make a gift to the children they can really used. They can put the clothes for function or to go to church.
I really loved my experience in India and I’m really grateful and happy about it. I really loved being the Akka (big sister) of so many children. It was so nice to have this kind of relationship with them and really leaved with them every day. It was like a really big family with the sisters and the two women working in the kitchen. I really miss this place and the people, and I know that I will come back to visit them and learn more about India. I’m just sad because I know that I will probably never those children again and I will miss them so much!
Even if sometimes it was hard to keep being motivated every day, I’m really happy about this experience and I’m so happy that I went in India! I feel more confident and independent, and more and more curious about India but also the world.
Thank you FSL for this opportunity!
Thank you for everything.