Having spent some time in Rishikesh, India, I can’t help but see how privileged we are in Belgium and the rest of the Western world. Most of my family and friends own their own home, a car or two, can go grocery shopping every week and send their children to school where they receive high quality education. In India, there are so many who don’t and never will and every day is a struggle to get by.
Ramana’s Garden Children’s home in Rishikesh takes care of homeless children and provides free education to children of local families who can’t afford to send their children to state schools – they would otherwise not go to school at all and spend the rest of their lives in poverty, like their parents. The children are taught in English, not just maths but also things that for us are so logical now like not to throw garbage on the floor (although it’s a continuous struggle as they see everybody else do it).
Ramana’s is an ever growing village with several school buildings, a play garden and a yoga studio. There’s a cow shed, chickens doing their chicken business in a free range way and an organic garden, all of which is used to feed the children (Rishikesh is strictly vegetarian) and also to make delicious food in the organic café. If you visit one place in Rishikesh to have an amazing raw cake, let it be this one! The view on the Ganga from the café is only an extra bonus.
So when I heard about this place I wanted to make a contribution, however small, and spent some afternoons flyering in Rishikesh with the children. Even if you can’t imagine the lives they lived before they ended up in the orphanage, they are so sweet and loving and shower you with hugs and kisses.
Make this world a better place, start with the children, right? Break the cycle…
If you want to make a contribution you can sponsor a child, volunteer a few hours flyering, doing dishes in the cafe or whatever your skills are, donate some clothes or toys… or just go for an amazing organic lunch. Every day open from 11am to 4pm except Mondays. Every little helps.
Visit Ramana’s Garden Children’s home website here.