During my travels through the magical country of India I really wanted to give back to the people who had been so kind and caring to me – “to pay if forward”. Luckily in my path came the opportunity to volunteer at the amazing Ananda Vaika Green Gurukalm (AVGG). I was going to help the kids with English. After a long journey I was greeted by two of the young students I would be tutoring. Their warm greetings and smiles were most welcoming to a foreigner who was completely new to the area. We walked via the organic farm AVGG have set up, the fresh water spring straight from the Himalayan mountains to the location where these two children live and where I too would be living for the next days.
In the afternoon we headed off to the after-school that takes place every day. Children of different ages, boys and girls from the area head to this after-school daily. A chance to learn new things directly from volunteers and of course the teachers who work there. It was surprising to me how eager they were to absorb new things, so welcoming of new people, so willing to get involved. From the first lesson I knew that I could connect with these students as they wanted to soak up the information you told them.
AVGG is a very special organisation doing wonderful work for all in the area. Education and knowledge are power, and they provide this in tenfold.
Anyone can come and volunteer here – everyone has something to teach whether it be English, theatre, meditation whatever it might be. Go volunteer and you and more importantly the children of the community will reap the benefits.
Magical memories. I went to give back, but I couldn’t help but get something back in return from the children’s wonderful openness, the help of the management and from the warm hosts who provided accommodation.
Pay it forward!