During the Christmas 2009 Toby and I offered our time to work in what we called then, the ‘orphanage’ in Kerala (southern India). We wanted to give our time so that some of the people who worked there could ‘have a break’. Looking back now, we realise how miss guided our perceptions of the SOS village were. Nobody there needed a ‘break’ from their loved ones or from the work and tasks they do for one another. We soon realised why the SOS’s manager’s used the word ‘village’ rather than ‘orphanage’.
From day one we were fully embraced into the homes and families that have been created inside the village. One woman known as the mother is given a home and around 10-14 children to care for. The children become each other’s brothers and sisters. The village practices inter-faith and so the children of a Hindu family play in the grounds alongside Muslim children, Christian children and Buddhist children. We felt more Christmas spirit, hope and faith in this foreign land that does not even celebrate Christmas, than we have felt for many years in the UK. What little they had was shared with us with great pride. On Christmas day we simply had some tea (somewhat different to the normal amount of food and drink we consume on Christmas day at home) with one of the Mothers we got to know well called Pushpa – we felt completely at home because of the way she, and the childrenr, shared what they had with such generosity and love (it is Pushpa and her children in the picture including Suganthamyol who we personally sponsor).
The SOS village in India gives children with no parents a home, an education, a family and gives unmarried and uneducated woman the incredible job of Mother. This is not an orphanage full of tired people that need a break, but a brilliantly well thought out and planned village that goes some way to being an example of the sign that hangs in the entrance ‘The Children of the World are Everyone’s Responsibility’.
How Can We Support?
The harsh reality is that beyond the gates of this village where around 200 children are homed; there are many more children in need of the opportunities that this village creates. And with more and continued funding the incredible strategies and projects of the SOS can be spread to more of the children in the area. If you would like to help, we are raising £50,000 in 2010 to build new facilities for the children to help as many as we possibly can. Toby will be visiting the children every 6 months and will update you with their progress.
visit http://www.justgiving.com/TobyandKateMcCartney to donate today.
The SOS charity is so important to us and we thank you for taking your time out to help us make a difference.
With love from Toby & Kate xx