Tag Archive: India

Pastors’ Field Visit To Arpana ADP, India

By Rev. Terrence K. K. Sinnadurai
Chairman, Desa Amal Jireh/Rumah Faith

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Group picture taken in front of World Vision India Office, Chennai, after an encouraging interaction session between the Malaysian pastors team and World Vision India on the first day of arrival. (From left to right: Front row –  Rev Calvin Lim, Rev Allen Tan, Dr Jayakumar Christian (CEO of World Vision India), Pastor Cheryl Lai, Rev Denise Yong; Second row – Rev Francis Ho, Sister Margaret, Brother Valentine; Last row – Pastor Faye Chen, Brother Joseph Lai, Rev Lynda Choi, Rev Terrence Sinnadurai, Brother Allen Benjamin. World Vision India staff)

I.    Introduction

Firstly I would like to thank World Vision Malaysia for inviting me to join the  Pastors’ Field Visit to Guntur, South India on May 19 – 23. This is my first visit to Andhra Pradesh .

Secondly, after being involved in social work for so many years, I realise that I am just touching the surface and our work is very small and specific compared to what World Vision (WV) is doing in India.

Thirdly, with limited funds and personnel, we can only do limited work but what World Vision is doing in India is a real eye opener. I would like to congratulate World Vision for their efforts.

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Pastor Faye Chen was showing the coloring work that she did happily together with one of the children in a community church that we visited.

II.    What Impacted Me Most During This Visit?

A.    First Impact – Adequate funding and personnel is needed to competently handle all the work that is being done. I also learnt one aspect of interdependence in the World Vision Partnership: the Malaysian office and other Support Offices in other countries commit to fund-raising while countries like India (designated National Offices) are the recipients of the fund. I realized that adequate funding is important to give good service to the poor. The rich must help the poor. The haves, the have-nots.

B.    Second Impact – That all of World Vision staff in India are passionate about the Lord and their work. Many are regular church goers, and some are even Bible College graduates. They work among all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. They are very professional in their approach. As they work among the poor and oppressed, their main aim is to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.

C.    Third Impact – World Vision’s structure must be commended. The founders and those who have spent a lot of time in working out the structure must be commended for it seems very successful. I believe this is replicated in many countries. The World Vision head of India, Dr. Jayakumar Christian has a firm hold on the organization and runs it well with the help of the support staff.

D.    Forth Impact – World Vision’s emphasis on regular prayer is commendable.

III.    What Significant Benefits Can The World Vision Community Development Programme Bring Or Provide To Arpana ADP?

In my opinion WV is doing a tremendous job among the villages in Arpana. Initiatives like Economic Development, Education, Health and Sanitation and Community Empowerment seem very effective and are touching many lives and raising them from their level of poverty. Many families, individuals, ladies and students are being helped.

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Children of a school in Arpana gathered under the WV program of “Child Health Now” to pledge on their commitment towards health while receiving mosquito nets and livestocks supply. Malaysia pastors team was overwhelmed by the cheering and smiles of the children.

The only way I can see further significant benefits that can be extended to them is to help more people in more villages. Maybe more funds should be raised to give further help to reach out to more villages.

Arpana4
A family headed by a widow living in a “home” made do by cloths and bamboo sticks. The children and family are deprived of security, protection and provision.

Secondly, I feel after spending resources on these projects, there must be another back up group that tactfully ministers to the spiritual aspect.

Arpana5
Malaysia pastors were praying for the children and families who respond to the sharing of the gospel. Years of laboring with the people living with HIVs in this community has opened up the hearts to receive the good news of Christ – a holistic transformation that World Vision pursues with faith.

Fourthly, the schools are in deplorable conditions with poor furnishings. I understand the Government is only constructing the structure and not helping with the furnishing. It will be difficult for World Vision to furnish all the schools in the villages. I hope that World Vision can work further with the local politicians to look into the furnishings.

Arpana6
A community centre that World Vision started with local villagers to give safe space for children to play and to learn, and to hold community meetings that emphasize on the well-being of children.

IV.    What Will Be The Positive Learning Lessons You Gain That May Contribute To The Christian Social Ministry in Malaysia

The situation in Arpana is different to Malaysia and as such we can’t adopt all the programs that are being done over there. Though it may be hard to find hardcore poor in our country, there may be pockets of them in certain places and relevant programs should be considered.

The only hard core poor I can think of are the Orang Asli in West Malaysia and the Pribumi in East Malaysia. World Vision and churches should penetrate into these Orang Asli villages with the relevant projects.

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Children in a school that we visited raise up their hands with excitement to express their response to “Child Health Now” project.

V.    What Are The Opportunities That You Have Discovered And Would Like to Explore Further To Support This Initiative With World Vision?

While visiting some places I was impressed to give an offering. But I think my offering will be a small drop in the vast ocean of World Vision’s financial need.

It will be good if World Vision can share her vision with the local churches so that we can partner with World Vision in the mission fields of these needy countries. Sponsoring children will be a good way to start with.

I think churches will come forward to partner more readily if the social emphasis which is an important way to break the ice with the community is capped with a spiritual emphasis too.

快乐随手可得

青年特务前往印度传爱之行
文/颜凯荣

KY

下午,我们到了一间小学做交流。虽然教室有点简陋,但是这里的学生还真的不少。到达时,学生们列队迎接的场景真的让我有点不自在。毕竟那么盛大的欢迎场面只有在电视上看过。我不过是无名小卒一个,列队、欢呼、撒花瓣……这样的情况对我可说是生平第一次啊!就差没把花瓣捡起来当纪念而已。

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仪式由校长致辞开始,其实我真的听不懂……还好有翻译,让我不至于只能从校长的表情猜测他在说什么。接下来的表演很精彩,一架古老的手风琴弹奏出来的印度歌曲很优雅,加上演奏的女同学和几位小朋友的舞蹈。就像一部古老的歌舞剧,虽然不明白歌词的意境却从舞蹈中看出快乐和谐。

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接下来就是我们表演的时候了,一首在江湖上流传已久的Chicken Dance,舞出的活力让小朋友乐翻了。语言不通时,肢体语言就容易表达我们的情感。快乐很容易就可以感染别人。

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当然我们还带了一首歌、一支舞蹈和一个手语表演给小朋友。We Shall Overcome是一首意义深远的歌。虽然歌词简单,却也表达了我们对自己和对他们的期望。“明天孩有希望”的手语是有点临时抱佛脚,但我们也是经过苦练而学出来的。最后我们也表演了我们著名的马来儿歌Rasa Sayang。虽然时间很短却很开心!

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我们也带了一些小玩具和纪念品给这里的小朋友。派礼物时大家静静地坐着接礼物,老师们一个指令同学们一个动作,纪律很到位!

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接下来的游戏时间,踢足球是很消耗体力的东西。平时没做什么剧烈运动的我可是跑到快断气了!

KY

哈哈! 我不会踢球啦,可怜我的队友东奔西跑地追着我胡乱传球。经过这次我会好好的把球练好,不会带球、不会射门,没关系。至少要把球稳稳地传给队友。

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时间不会等人,但留下的回忆和体验会让你回忆一辈子。这是和时间的一笔交易,值不值得就看你体会和学习了多少。

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晚间,小小的叙别会简单而温馨。这几天的活动,学习、摄制和探索,都在这个叙别会上温暖地发酵着。

KY

我们会继续向饥饿与贫困挑战。精彩的背后,总有一些默默付出,却不愿把名字说出来的无名英雄。我期待着下一次的相遇!

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早晨,我们要出发到机场了。很不舍……但却很想回去分享给大家知道我们的体验。百感交集啊!

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不要再画了啦,手很满了! jiehui很爱画,我们都给他画过。

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我们在车上就是不停地画不停地画,彩绘真的很有趣。Elle 在画着 Star的手。很专注啊~只是车不停地晃,很难画得好吧?

KY

上机前,很多事一直在脑海盘旋。这里的一切,见过的人遇到的事,我想这一辈子也忘不了。我会向认识的人,说出我所有的感受。这是人生宝贵的一课,我的脑又开通了不少。

KY

世界宣明会在各地做出的贡献,远远超出我的想象。让这里的人在傍徨无助的时候,有了一个期待和希望。以往我所认识的世界宣明会真的很表面,这次的旅程我重新对这个组织有另一番了解。深切地体会到他们每日那么辛苦是为了什么在努力。加油,世界宣明会!

KY

游戏结束后……歇息一下。这位婆婆很美丽,我在拍的时候就觉得很有爱。不管到那里,爱这种感情很容易就从肢体语言流露出来。一个眼神一个笑容就能感受到简单的幸福。

KY

今天过得很开心,其实快乐可以很简单。有时我们一直把人事物复杂化,变得要开怀大笑也有点难了。很多事抱着单纯的心态去做,不论是帮助人还是做善事。想得太复杂,原本日行一善的心也会被束缚起来。让快乐简单化,快乐随手可得。

第二篇 – 颜凯荣

青年特务的印度传爱之行
文/青年特务颜凯荣

开心吃饭的Umang Program

摄影,是我的嗜好,这次的印度之行,我当然不忘随身携带我的相机,走到哪儿拍到哪儿,以捕捉那转瞬即逝的影像。在第二篇的分享中,我想用画面分享我在第四天的学习点滴。

Umang Program 是世界宣明会为当地居民提供的一项营养餐计划,让妈妈们带着一到五岁的小朋友来这里吃营养均衡的一餐。

KY

这就是Umang Program  的食材啦。说真的我叫不出所有香料的名字,就如照片中间有个用报纸包着的叶子,我和其他人不停地拿来闻,这叶子没什么味道但煮的时候味道就出来了,总之就是好吃就对了。当然,好吃并不是重点,在这项计划中所关注的乃是食物的营养成分。您知道这些食物可以帮助减少多少名五岁以下的儿童死于营养不良吗?

KY

妈妈带着自己的小孩到这里时首先要测量小朋友的体重,以便做个记录。量体重的过程让我很懊恼,不知道是因为体型的关系吗?我抱着的小朋友不是直接暴哭就是一直喊妈妈。我真的那么可怕?

洁慧很努力地帮我“善后”,不然我对暴哭的小孩还真的束手无策。给小孩看照片视乎是很好的方法。只是为什么就是不要我靠近呢?叔叔也有照片给你看的……不要哭嘛!

KY

话分两头,外面的厨房已经开始煮水了。我们要继续做饭了,只是辛苦这些当地的志工教我们做饭。我们的厨艺有限,也不懂怎么调味才好吃。这是我生平第一次煮的印度餐,也希望吃的小朋友能够吮手指,吃得健康!

KY

印度的食堂大娘教我们怎么用这把“菜刀”。用的时候真的要很专注,不然切到手指不是包扎就能了事的。我在切的时候,旁边的人再三叮咛着要小心……要小心……要小心……(感觉就好像在听流行歌曲一样—不停重复着)

KY

饭煮好了!有没有想要吃的感觉?有没有闻到香味?有没想要自己也来煮一下?你知道这道菜有多少的营养价值吗?

KY

开饭的时候这里的小孩很整齐地沿着墙坐下,等待餐食。与我们马来西亚不太一样的是他们都没在餐桌上吃东西,然而却安静得多。小孩没有喧闹也没有撒娇,就静静地坐着。

KY

有些小朋友很爱吃,大大口吃饭的摸样,让我想抢他的饭来吃,看上去就觉得他盘里的饭特别好吃。有些则按着一口饭要嚼18下才咽下的原则吃饭,所以吃得很慢。

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小歇后,我们到外面与附近的小学生和中学生玩了起来。Elle很爱玩泡泡,我很“恶搞”地记下我们大概在这里吹了5000颗泡泡……可以列入健力士记录吗?

KY

淑欣 和 Apam比赛吹泡泡……基本上我不知道输赢啦。只是我们和当地的小朋友很认真地看这场没有输赢的比赛。儿时的小玩具我们却玩得很开心,相信互动才是玩得开心的秘诀。

KY

小孩眼中透出的神采是宝石不能比拟的。看着他们的眼睛,我很期待他们的未来,长大后的他们会不会延续着一份互助的精神?杜绝贫穷是很浩大的工程,但是只要有着怜悯互助的精神,我想就算不能杜绝也至少能让大家过得幸福快乐。

体会

青年特务前往印度传爱之行
文/颜凯荣

人会在不同的体验下成长,在看见与体会之间丰富自己的人生的历练。我在印度的这几天里看见与体会成为了我最难忘的经历。

到达印度时,由于是这里是冬天夜晚比较快来临。天空昏暗的程度大概晚上旁晚六点,就几乎是在马来西亚的晚上十点。冬天的天气干燥,日间与夜间的温差大概是十度。白天会在23到25度左右,而夜晚就会骤降至13到10度。在我们行驶到目的地的路途中飞扬的尘土,恼人的车笛声与行人不停的在路上交错的情景。这些景色看在眼里成为了我对印度的第一印象。路途上看到一些村子多数的店家,在夜晚只用一颗省电灯泡在照亮店铺做生意,还有杂乱无章的摆地摊。所谓的杂乱无章是,如果在我国地摊通常会向着路旁或是同一个方向。然而这里视乎却是按照自己喜欢的方向与位子坐着摆地摊,让我体会到他们随性的一面。

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KY

隔天早晨放眼过去的景色,纯朴安静,是个很美丽的村子。当然这毕竟只是肉眼看到的景色。生活环境的差异往往是最好的体验环节,接下来几天的行程我体会到一些关于饥饿贫困衍生的问题,这些包括了食物,水源,教育与自身保障的问题。当地的居民屋旁都有一个池塘,这个水塘是他们的水是供给他们日常洗衣洗餐具的用途。水塘的水是不会流动的,也不会排出去。所以我看见的里边的水已经是浑浊不堪,这里的小孩也要在这样的池塘里洗澡。水能载舟亦能覆舟,这样的情况下水源污染带来的疾病在这里也相当普遍。

KY

有一次我们拜访其中一家的家庭时,婆婆很好客的把干粮请我们吃。吃的时候那种千百种情绪涌上心头的的感觉很不好受。很幸福能让婆婆那么开心,很惭愧我不能给于更多的帮助,很开心能品尝到的干粮,很心虚我们在吃着婆婆充饥的食物。在不懂是哭是笑的情况下,我选择低头,默默的把手上的干粮吃掉。最后告别时, 婆婆感激的眼泪还一直在我脑海里打转。这里的小孩很纯真。人很奇妙,看得少就要得少。简单的游戏就让他们玩得不亦乐乎。但是他们面对的问题却比我想的还多。在不能摄取足够的食物及营养的情况之下, 导致上课无法集中精神,智力与体格发展深受影响。我更担心的是他们的未来。他们小小的心里也有自己的愿望。然而受到的阻挠却很大,不管是生活还是生存上。

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世界宣明会发展一个社区至少需要十五年的时间。回想这十几年的饥饿30营会, 大家都在营会中体验饥饿,在这段时间内不断地与饥饿与贫困挑战。我在这趟路途中得到了坚持下去的理由。我还有一段很长的路要继续走下去。

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Hi! INDIA – Part 2

青年特务前往印度传爱之行
文/青年特务赖洁慧

第二人生,何时到来?

“Namastey! Apnar nam ki?” 入乡随俗的我在印度就用这几句话打天下。这旅途,穿过了几个村庄我最终发现大家的问题都逃离不了贫穷。贫穷是一个很可怕的东西,尤其是亲眼见证了当地居民们如何活在贫穷的国度里。没有足够的粮食、破烂的衣着、简陋的屋子再加上无法预测的天灾,这就是他们的生活。

在印度,每日有5千名5岁以下的孩童因营养不良而逝世。了解当地居民的起居饮食后,我才相信了这残酷的事实。从他们口中得知月入后,我愣了一下。88令吉的月入够用吗?这是我有史以来听过最少、最不可思议的收入。88令吉得承担家里所有的消费如衣食、学费和其他开支,每方面根本无法得到足够的数额。好听的说是三餐,但实际上他们早餐只喝一杯茶。 午餐是白饭和一道咖喱菜,晚餐却是未知数。他们的晚餐有或无取决于午餐所剩的份量。有时候没有晚餐他们还得挨饿入睡。体验过饥饿30我知道这种感觉并不好受,更何况这是他们长期面临的问题。小孩们还因为营养不良常患上一些普通流感及疾病导致身子弱,有时还无法去上课。这不只影响孩子们的发育,还可能永久性地影响他们的未来甚至带来死亡。一个营养不良问题续而再产生更多的难题,究竟他们的问题何时才会来到尽头?想到当地人的生命因这问题而危在旦夕时,觉得自己很幸福,没遇过类似的问题也不曾挨饿。

JieHuei

当地人的咖喱菜,这是他们一天配饭的唯一道菜。

旅途中到了一个简陋的小房子,里面只有一张木桌、木凳、黑板和挂在墙上的秤还有坐在地上喂食的母亲们。UMANG PROGRAMME在那里提供3岁以下的孩童营养午餐,帮他们量体重并教导母亲们如何帮孩子摄取营养。母亲们认真学习和准备的画面看得我很开心。这计划不但提高他们的营养知识,还能确保孩子们每天至少拥有一份营养餐并降低营养不良造成的死亡率。我亲眼见证了自己有份筹得的款项那么实际的帮助了他们,很有意义。这让我更坚持的想要帮助他们更多,希望可以为他们带来更好的改变。

JieHuei

孩子们在享用营养餐。

JieHuei

这是一个很特别的量体重方法。我们在小孩身上套上一块布,然后再把布吊在秤上,最后就是往秤看他们的重量。

饥饿30个小时并不难!至少我们知道30个小时之后,我们一定会得到解饥餐,挨饿的感觉必定会消失。然后再回到各自的正常生活,一日三餐无忧。可是,在巴萨提长期受命运折磨的这些人,他们并不知道何时才会有三餐温饱的感觉,甚至不晓得明天会不会有足够的粮食。那么努力干活的的他们,认真地活着就是为了能拥有更好的将来。这些人,他们绝对值得拥有更好的生活!我们也绝对可以为他们带来一些改变。《童心协力,对抗饥饿》, FIGHT HUNGER! 诚意邀请您加入2013年的饥饿30, 为无声的他们献出一份力。他们崭新的第二人生,就在我们手上!

JieHuei

Hi! INDIA

青年特务前往印度传爱之行
文/青年特务赖洁慧

很庆幸自己被选为2013年的青年特务!这可是我人生中第一次搭飞机,所以在等待的过程中心里满是兴奋与期待。终于有机会去探访另一个国度,我很期待去见识印度居民的生活方式以及文化。我打算把希望与欢乐带给印度的孩子们,所以准备了一些象征希望的星星手链。

JieHuei

JieHuei

第一眼的印度

这一天终于盼到了。飞往了三小时半的机程,我正式抵达了印度。刚踏出印度机场就受到了印度世界宣明会同工们的热情接待,感觉很亲切!接着又是四小时的车程,我们正前往此行的目的地巴萨提。印度的空气不好,地上的泥不时散漫在空气中。坐在车里的我们都不敢打开窗口,只管着戴口罩。印度主要通道都很窄,路边还挤满了人和自行车。一路向南的路灯愈来愈少,唯一的灯源来自在路上行驶的车辆。那么漆黑的夜晚,行人的影子并不明显。车子与行人的距离很近,还没适应的我一度担心意外的发生,很惊险!

JieHuei

JieHuei

途中我们停下来的市集,这是其中一个摊子。

巴萨提VS马来西亚

巴萨提是个很宁静的地方,一望无际的稻田尽收眼帘。然而,宁静的背后总是藏有残酷的现实!热水在当地是很珍贵的,这个冬天我体验了冷水澡。每天大约15摄氏度的夜晚,我就格外想念家里的热水器。在巴萨提生平第一次看见了以泥土、水及稻草盖成的屋子。屋子很简陋,一个睡房及小小的厨房,一家四口就挤在小小的睡房里。尤其现在冬天夜晚格外冷,他们仅有的薄薄被子足以带给他们温暖吗?屋子也没有电源供应,他们的唯一灯源就来自小油灯。有时候天灾还会无预警的摧毁居民的家园,而每次灾难后的重建都足以让他们身心俱疲。印度虽是世界十大工业国家之一,但同时也是人民收入最低的国家之一。巴萨提居民的收入入不敷出,无法拥有最基本的需求如电源供应、干净水源、坚固的屋子及充足的营养食物。然而这些都是巴萨提人们患上各种疾病及营养不良的原因。

JieHuei

JieHuei

我在印度经历了很多的第一次。第一次在冬天冲冷水、第一次看见那么简陋的小屋子、第一次那么亲近贫穷的议题还有很多说不完的第一次。这让我不禁想起自己多么的幸福,置身在天灾鲜少发生的马来西亚而且还拥有那么多物质上的享受。同一片天空地下,幸运的我们是否应该对他们施出援手呢?诚意邀请您加入我们,参加2013年的饥饿30活动!《童心协力,对抗饥饿》,FIGHT HUNGER!

A journey to incredible India – Part 3

By Famine Advocate Lee Ling

Day 5&6 in India: What I’ve learnt

I have learnt a great deal from the trip but here are the most precious ones which I would like to share.

1)    Every child has dreams and aspirations, even for a child who is constantly plagued with hunger and malnourishment.

Abijeet
On the last day of our trip, we visited Abijeet, a 9-year-old boy. This little guy has a mischievous look but in a very adorable way. We saw his cuteness and excitement when he met us. But we also saw that he is too thin and malnourished. Abijeet’s family is very poor and his father has kidney problem. Abijeet and his family have very little to eat and sometimes, they would not have anything to eat for 4 to 5 days.

Elle

The charming Abijeet

We asked Abijeet what he wants to become when he grows up. “Doctor” he said. We asked why. He said that he wants to serve people. “Will you be charging money or will you be treating people for free?” I teased. “Free!” he said it with a big grin. We were instantly moved by Abijeet’s noble intention.

Parama

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The bright and talented Parama mesmerizing us with her dance.

Parama lives alone with her old grandmother. They only have each other as both her parents have abandoned her. Their mud house was in a very bad shape and it doesn’t look like it can withstand the next heavy rain.The biggest challenge that she faces is education as her grandmother is unable to provide for her. She hopes to have books so that she could go to school. They also have very little to eat.

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This was their only food for that day as they couldn’t afford any rice.

Despite living in such a dire condition, Abijeet, Parama and all the other children here were  just as adorable, as playful and even as talented as our children back home. They too, aspire to become teachers and doctors. But they are plagued with hunger and poverty and they might not have a future.

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Us having a wonderful time with the children.

2)    What is very little to us can mean a world to the less fortunate.

The average familyhere earns about 1,000 rupees (RM57) a month. Itwas really shocking to see how little these people has to eat and how they have been struggling without clean water, electricity, safety, health and almost everything else that we have here. I was also shocked to learn that a huge 25kg bag of rice only costs about RM38 here and was again shocked when I see people crying when they received the rice from us.

Is it possible to help children like Abijeet and Parama to grow up healthily and to realise their talents? It is a resounding yes but only if WE DO SOMETHING. I believe that every one of us can do something, be it volunteering, donating or joining the 30-hour famine.

Elle

Let’s fight hunger together!

Amazing people

Besides the less fortunate ones, we have also met with a lot of amazing people during our trip and had so much of fun together. They helped us tremendously by being our guide, our translator and we have learnt so much from them.

These amazing people are the staff of World Vision.

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Our last night in India with the World Vision staff and volunteers.

After getting to know the staffwho are based here, we got to know that most of them are well educated, with masters and basic degrees. There is nothing here in this small place, no cinemas, no cafes and there is nothing that we city people find pleasures in. The nearest city is 4 hours away and yet, they came all the way to work for the communities here,  depriving themselves oftheir families, friends, comfort and everything. They could have easily found themselves a job in comfortable, air-conditioned office in the city but they chose here.

We have only been here for a few days and we have only met the poor families once, but we have already felt so demotivated, so much of frustration and sadness. And these people have been here for so long, and they must be feeling whatever we are feeling and so much more.

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Us posing for the camera with Apam (in the middle). Apam is the pioneer of the area development project here and he has already been here for four years. When he first started, he can’t even speak the local language but now he can speak well. His determination and perseverance is really admirable.

What Impressed Me the Most
What impressed me the most from this trip is the volunteers who serve the people here. One of them is Mr. Balai Mondal. Balai looks like an average villager. Their family of 5 live in a mud house and he does not earn a lot. Despite that, this man has a BIG heart. Balai started helping World Vision voluntarily when it first started in 2009. His role include facilitating training for the community and child monitoring under World Vision Child Sponsorship Programmr. Besides that, he has also done a lot of volunteering work to help his community.

It wasn’t very usual to have someone with such a big and selfless heart like Balai. We asked what inspired him to do so. He said that he was from a very poor family and there were many times when they did not have enough to eat. But yet, his parents had brought him up and he understands how it feels to live in poverty. There wasn’t anyone who could help them during their distress so he hopes that now, he could be the one to offer help to others in need.

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Balai and us. We were at the brick road which Balai and the other villagers have built with assistance from World Vision.

We asked what is his hope for the future. I was expecting that he would say a better income for his family and sending his children to universities. But instead, this was what he said, “I hope that every children in this village will have education, every home has food, and our village will have hygienic toilets and water”.

Shall we all embrace Balai’s hope to help the less fortunate ones?

A journey to incredible India – Part 2

By Famine Advocate Lee Ling

Day 3 & 4 in India: Eye-opening

Before we embarked on our trip to India, we have been warned to expect the unexpected. I wasn’t too worried as I thought that poverty wasn’t anything that is too new to me. After all, I have been to third world countries, I have been to the 30-Hour Famine camps and I have fasted for 30 hours straight. But I was dead wrong. My experience over these few days was really intense and eye-opening.

More than half of the children here were malnourished, underweight and physically and mentally stunted.

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Shue Xin measuring a child under the Umang Program.  This program is implemented by World Vision to tackle malnourishment among the children.

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Even the cows here are severely malnourished.

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People are using filthy water for bathing, laundry, washing cutlery and everything else. As a result, they have skin problems and diarrhoea.

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One of the pools where they get water from.

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The villagers here stay in houses made with mud and fortified with dried cow dung, bamboos and woods. However, mud houses are fragile and will be easily destroyed when there are heavy rains or floods. The poorer ones are not able to repair their houses if it requires woods/bamboos as these costs money. They are also not allowed to chop trees (if any) as these are from a reserved forest. Throughout the trip, we have seen people applying new layer of mud and dung to their houses which seems to be quite a routine.

Elle
A few houses will share a tiny toilet normally made of out dried hay and plastic bags. There is no sewerage system. In this particular toilet, the waste will fall from the tree to the tree roots and ground below.

Elle
The water pumps where they get underground water for drinking. Children and women would have to fetch water at least twice a day and walk about 15 minutes or more.
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Dried cow dungs are used as burner for them to cook as they could not afford coal, oil or even woods. Many ladies are seen drying and handling cow dungs during the day. The dungs here are flattened and molded into sticks.

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There is no electricity in this village and people rely on oil lamps. It is extremely dangerous as it can easily catch a fire if it’s accidentally knock over. There was a little girl who we met with severely deformed hands as she was burnt in the fire.

Over these two days, we have visited 3 families and an ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) center.
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A toddler from the ICDS center. The children here are so irresistibly endearing even though a lot of them are malnourished.

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The advocates preparing food for the children at the ICDS center. World Vision provides nutritional food for the children here.

One of the families which we visited was Purnima’s family. Her family is extremely poor and hunger is a daily occurance for them. Her family survives on a meagre income of 1000 rupees a month (approximately RM57).

Purnima is malnourished like many girls in her village. She is very very thin, soft-spoken and often clings to her mother. We noticed that her head was always hung low and she would look at us with her eyes looking slightly upwards. She was also slower to respond. We knew that these are some of the effects of malnourishment on her. Purnima also falls sick very often and she suffers from typhoid, heart problem and skin disease.

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Purnima and me

We followed her to fetch water, which is her twice a day routine. She bought along a water container and she supported it on the side of her waist and with her hands. We walked briskly and it took us about 10 mins to reach the water pump. She was barefooted and we walked across a dried up mud field. They told us that during the rainy season, the whole area will become muddy and walking will be really tough. Wearing shoes is impossible as the shoes will be sticking to the mud.

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Kang Yong helps Purnima with the water container. This is quite a strenuous task for Purnima as she is weak and would always feel very tired.

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Delivering food from World Vision to Purnima’s family.

Despite the differences of language, skin colour, background and everything else, it’s still very heartbreaking when we see the sufferings of the people here, especially children. If only more people could start GIVING then children like Purnima would have a better future.

A journey to incredible India – Part 1

By Famine Advocate Lee Ling

Hello India!

We’ve finally arrived at the Kolkata airport after 4 hours of flight! It was sunny and breezy when we reached. First impression of Kolkata? Very dusty.

Elle
We’ve just arrived. Don’t we all look excited?

Once we left the Kolkata city, the roads became narrow and the streets were only lighted by the moonlight. There were only a handful of cars throughout our journey. Occasionally, we will pass by streets lined by  small, dimly lit and run down shops where the locals buy their necessities. Most of the locals that we saw on the streets are men, possibly because women and girls here are confined within their homes. The rest of the roads were mostly lined with fields, trees, ponds and mud houses.

After 4 hours of a very bumpy and dark ride, we reached our lodging in the village. It was already 9pm then. It was a very cold night as it was the winter season. The facilities in our lodging were very basic – no  hot shower or heater. I almost yell when I splashed the freezing cold water on myself during shower. That night, I was curled up like a snail in my sleeping bag to keep myself warm and I was thinking how blessed I am as I will only experience this slight discomfort for a few days. What about others who have never been warm before?

Day 2 in India – The Journey Begins

We woke up with much excitement on what today is going to bring us.

Elle
Briefing in the morning.

We had a video shooting after the briefing. This was my first time being videod and we were all very nervous and awkward.

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That is Kang Yong in the photo, sharing his thoughts for the video

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Our first stop for the day is World Vision India’s ADP office

After the visit to World Vision office, we visited a boy called Samiran.

Little Samiran was only 6 when he had an excruciatingly painful throat infection. He had to endure this for 20 months as his parents could not afford to send him to a good hospital. His father worked as a daily labourer and earned about 1,500 per month (approximately RM88). When World Vision started working in his village, Samiran, together with other children who were ill, were taken to the Kolkata hospital. He was diagnosed and underwent immediate surgery to remove his chronic tonsillitis.

Elle
Us and Samiran’s family outside of their mud house. Samiran is the smallest boy in this photo.

Picture of love

After leaving Samiran’s house, we went to an Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) centre with the mission to paint a rainbow-themed mural on their wall.

Due to the high number of malnourishment cases in this community, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is designed to guide expectant and new mothers and to provide the children with nutritional food.

Elle
I was hoping that it would turn out okay…My only drawing experience was from playing Draw Something.

Half way through, the sky turned dark and it was getting increasingly difficult for us to see. There was no electricity in this place and of course, there also wasn’t any light or fan. We could only rely on our torch lights.

It was really tiring as we had been squinting our eyes and working through the darkness. In my mind, I was thinking about the people here who have been struggling with darkness all their life without electricity.

3 hours later…
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Want to see how it turns out?
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Elle

Finally! Here’s our masterpiece 🙂

Though this mural won’t be winning any best mural award, but it was done with our hearts and sweat. I hope that it can cheer up the little ones and their mothers here whenever they feel dejected by poverty.

That night, I thought of Little Samiran. It was really heart-breaking to think of such a young child suffering for a prolong period when his illness can be easily treated with proper medical care.  What he told us today was repeatedly playing in my mind. “It was really painful especially when I was eating. I felt like the food was stuck in my throat and wouldn’t go down. Sometimes, I felt like I was going to faint”.

I cringed at the thought that we might not be seeing this adorable little boy today if he didn’t get the assistance from World Vision. How many more children out there are suffering from treatable sickness? We cannot do much as an individual, but together we can bring a world of change to people like Samiran and his community.

Would you join me by participating in this year 30-hour Famine? If you have already joined the camp previously, why not join as a volunteer or camp leader this year? You will never know how many lives that you will impact by just participating.

I’ll see you then!

第三篇 – 谭淑欣

青年特务前往印度传爱之行
文/青年特务谭淑欣

最深的体验,最真的感动
今天也是我们的最后一天的探访,来到了乡村地区,Kumirmari的其中一间学校。到达那里时,我内心充满期待,因为将可以和这里的小朋友交流。我们踏进校门之前,那些小孩已经准备好迎接我们的到来。他们热情地以花朵欢迎我们,第一次被这么多人的热情与欢呼声迎接,感觉就像明星走在“红地毯”上。之后,他们就很有规律地坐在塑胶地毯上,而我们四人就被安排坐在另一边。这里的环境很糟糕,也没有很完善的设备,他们的课室都很简陋,我真的难以想像小朋友们竟然还可以忍受坐在太阳底下周会。比起他们,记得我们不管上小学或中学,我们的学校都有宽大的课室、舒适的礼堂、和完善的设备。

校长和老师们一一把我们介绍后,我们就和小朋友们进行破冰游戏。没想到天真活泼的小朋友们都很配合我们一起跳起舞来。过后还有几位小女孩呈现的才艺表演,如跳印度舞、演奏小钢琴和唱歌。我觉得他们都非常有才华,他们的表演太棒了!接着,我们四人也代表马来西亚呈现我们的传统舞蹈Rasa Sayang和手语歌曲。虽然我们语言不精通,但我们也尽量用简单的孟加拉语和当地的小孩们打招呼和交流。完成之后,我们也带小朋友们到户外玩游戏和踢球。每个人都尽他们的100%力量做到最好,虽然最后的结果没赢也没输,但我们每个人都发挥了团队精神。再次回到学校,因为我们将派礼物给小朋友们。我们送上铅笔盒和文具品,他们都很兴奋。小小的礼物代表着我们的一份心意,可以看见孩子们脸上带着快乐的笑容与满足感。

突然好不想离开这个学校和这个地方,因为这里充满着欢笑声就像孩子们的快乐天堂。心里面有许多的感触,这群生活在贫困地区的小孩穿着破旧的校衣,学校的环境也没有很好。但他们竟然可以那么知足,发自内心最纯的笑容和简单的快乐深深地打动了 我的心。很喜欢和小孩子们在一起的时光,他们教导了我乐观地看待每一样事物。就像他们每一位都乐观地等待着一丝希望。每个小孩都应该拥有无忧的童年,每个小孩都有他们的梦想,但饥饿很有可能剥夺了他们的希望和梦想。在此我呼吁大家一起加入抗贫的列车,让孩子们可以在健全的环境中健康地成长,且活出丰盛的生命。让我们一起同心协力,对抗饥饿。

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