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Past volunteers experiences

Cannot wait to be back again

”While teaching English in Anna Nagar community for around a month, I have learned a great deal about life in the Delhi slums from the Asha students, and the impact of Asha’s work. The hospitality of the locals has been incredible, and I will sorely miss all the great friends I have made here. I will cherish the memories always and surely hope to come back and teach here again in the future”. Andrew Robertson-  Student, Scotland (July 2017)

 

The most fulfilling experience of my life

”Volunteering at Asha was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. My volunteering lasted only for four months but the friendships I made will last forever. It taught me that success does not depend on hardships one faces but their determination to achieve even when things go horribly wrong. I went to teach the children at Asha, but ended up being a student. The children here are full of determination. They taught me how to be content, how to sail even when the wind is against you and how scientia ipsa potentia est (knowledge itself is power) still holds true. Knowledge is the greatest gift anyone can ever give to someone, the one I received from Asha. It was a very humbling experience which changed me in ways I could have never imagined. I got the opportunity to experience what true happiness means and I look forward to being involved in future as well”. Sudhanshu Agarwal, Student-India (June 2017)

 

”What an inspiring week! As we visited the slums and projects Asha has taken up, we were blown away by the genuine community transformation taking place. The precious people we talked and laughed with, who are seizing opportunities for a better life with both hands, gave us much encouragement. For us, a connection has been made with Asha, one that we hope to develop in the future”. Dave & Chole, River Church, UK- (March 2017)  


”In Feb my husband and I took a team of 14 people from across the US to Delhi, with the purpose of seeing firsthand the work that Asha is doing in slums across the city. This was the 4th trip to India and each time we visit, we get a deeper understanding of the wonderful transformation taking place in these slum neighborhoods. It was a privilege to deepen our relationship with the communities of Jeewan Nagar and Seelampur and can’t wait to bring another team next year”!  Sara Furste, River NYC- Feb 2017  

An Indian Adventure…

”David and I had an absolutely amazing experience in New Delhi and what struck us most, from the moment we stepped off the plane, was the complete contrast between the fantastic high rise structures and beautiful temples and the abject poverty of the people living literally on the pavement and under bridges with little more than a mattress and the clothes they were wearing.

We were able to witness first hand, the impact of the work of the ASHA charity group we had gone to support and which has been close to our hearts as a school for the last 4 years.

We were privileged to work with the children who attend the ASHA centre.  They all live in the slums, many one room houses (I use the term loosely) with often 7, 8 or more people living together and sharing one bed.  Yet, the children are very grateful for everything they do have.  Their families are close-knit communities who enjoy being together and they strive to live their lives according to the ASHA values which are very similar to our Christian Values.  Friendship, Generosity, Love, Kindness etc.  We were delighted to be able to sing songs about the blessings that we all receive from God and to share Bible stories with the children.  We both have memories that will stay with us forever”.Lisa and David Bernard, Clifton-upon – Dunsmore C of E Primary School, UK(2017) 


”I spent 10 days volunteering in the Asha centre in Mayapuri in 2014 and 2016 with a group of pupils from The Wallace High School, Northern Ireland. The warmth of welcome and kindness shown was truly touching. I love the people of Mayapuri and the experience of working with the kids was exhilarating and truly inspirational. They have truly left an imprint on my heart”.Victoria Thampi, Wallace High School, Northern Island (Nov 2016) 


 

Dr Elaine Smith, Rheumatologist from UK at Asha clinic

“It was my immense joy to return to Delhi and serve Asha as a medical volunteer. I carried out clinics in 4 different slums and one in the polyclinic at Asha HQ. I was particularly delighted to conduct ‘home visits’ to patients who were too weak to attend the clinics. The beauty of Asha is that although volunteers may only be able to stay for a week, the infrastructure is already set up so that patient follow up and long term care is continued by the excellent local health care volunteers attached to each Asha slum. Thus an acorn is able to grow into a mature and fruitful tree”. Dr Elaine Smith, Rheumatologist, UK (2012)


“It has been incredible to meet people living in the slums and hear their stories of empowerment and escaping poverty. Seeing the medical side was fantastic, but seeing the holistic transformation of the entire community was even better. My experience at Asha has been a much needed reminder of how privileged I am. When I return to the UK, I will try to live more simply so that I have more to give”. Ben Saunders, Volunteer, UK (2012)



Dr Adriana, Radiologist from Greece at Asha Polyclinic

“My time at Asha was a very successful beginning point. I can declare that every personal expectation was satisfied. My trip boosted my professional ideals of helping people to improve. Personally what I valued the most was the possibility of furthering my collaboration with Asha. My goal is to return in 2013 and enhance medical activities”. Dr Adriana Vitzileos, Radiologist, Greece (2012)


Hanna Branch & Team from UK at Mayapuri slum

“In all the charities and development programmes I have come across, I’ve never seen a charity that does so much from the grassroots getting whole families involved. Asha has such an inspiring vision to empower the communities and they do so much with the limited resources they have. I would always encourage anybody who wants to get involved with Asha”. Geni Corbett, Team Leader, Students’ Team, Nottingham University, UK (2012)


“I loved spending time with the children in the slum; they have been such an inspiration. My last impression will always be of how little people in the slums have and how their standard of living is so challenging. Yet, it is more disturbing to think how much worse it could be if Asha were not helping the community”. Jake Panesar, Volunteer, Brentwood, Essex, UK (2012)


Sam Tweed“What amazed me most about the young people I met (students from Asha slums) was their sheer ambition. The College students I taught have plans to become teachers and civil servants; the younger children dream of following them to university too. English is the key to making so much of this possible and I hope more volunteers will come and see them improve further. I hope what I’ve been able to teach in this short time will help these children in their future and they gain the success they fully deserve”. Samuel Tweed, Volunteer, Aberdeen University, UK (2012)


Frankie from UK at Tigri“I felt very close to the kids very quickly. I realised though that when I wasn’t there anymore, I wouldn’t be able to carry on the influence that hopefully I’ve been able to provide, so I concocted a very ambitious plan in order to leave a legacy in the form of a library in Tigri slum. The kids can browse a collection of books, both English language books as well as Hindi books. They can take them home for a week and bring them back for other children to borrow. I think that could be an incredibly useful resource, not only in keeping their English going but also in inspiration and confidence building”. Francis Martin, Volunteer, UK (2012)


Dick n Nigel-aug2012“Over the 7 years that we have known Asha, we have seen so much change. This is not a charity to sit on its laurels! Asha is always looking to see what more can be done on behalf of, and alongside the poor in Delhi. We have been so excited to see so many young people having the courage and resolve to enter further education. We were delighted to see so many people being assisted financially with loans from banks. Many of the poorest families in Delhi are having their dignity restored and their right to inclusion in society confirmed.”  Dr. Dick and Julie Hogben, UK (2011)


Dr Louise Dolan from UK examines a patient“We gathered a team of different medical practitioners from our local hospital. Now the idea is to leave sustainable skills; there’s no point in parachuting people in if we can’t teach the locals. But it’s always true that coming to a place like Asha and India changes us and I think all of us have undergone amazing change. We just hope that we can go back, pass on the message of what we’ve learnt and support the ongoing work of Asha in the future”. Dr Louise Dolan, Consultant Rheumatologist from South London Healthcare Trust, UK (2011)


“Whilst we have been here, we have been moved, challenged and inspired not only by all the staff, but also by the slum people themselves. Through the work of Asha, so many of their lives have been completely transformed; they have become more equipped to serve their community, better educated to improve their situation and mainly and most strikingly, the people have a new sense of pride and dignity that shines through their life.” Julia & Laura, Volunteer, UK  (2006)


“I come away amazed at these resilient people who cope with slum life, see birth and death there, and all of the joys or struggles in between. They believe that change is possible and are working, with Asha’s help, to improve their conditions. I really admire that and feel the richer for having had my life touched by those who live in slum communities in Delhi.” Gareth Williams, Ballymena