Last month was extremely busy at Asha with four teams from parts of Northern Ireland and the UK visiting and volunteering with us. From school students to teachers and professionals from various fields, the teams came from all ages and backgrounds, and undertook a wide variety of tasks during their time here. All the teams were warmly welcomed by Dr Kiran and the Asha team.
Asha was once again glad to welcome a team of 12 students and 3 teachers from Rainey Endowed School from Magherafelt, Northern Ireland. The school has been bringing out similar teams every 18 months for almost a decade to work at Asha’s Kusumpur Pahadi slum colony. “The students who were in Bal Mandal (children’s group) when we came out the first time are now at University and are doing internships. It is simply incredible to witness this development!” remarked John Healy, Deputy Head Master of the school.
Visiting along with the Rainey Team, was a team of 9 students and 4 teachers, including Principal, Deborah O’Hare, from Wallace High School from Lisburn, Northern Ireland. This was the team’s first visit to Asha and they painted the children’s resource centre in Mayapuri slum colony with vibrant murals. The children in Mayapuri slum colony simply loved the new look of the centre. The team also engaged in value based discussions with young students which was enjoyed by all. We look forward to more such visits from Wallace High School in the days to come.
Along with the school teams, Asha was glad to host a team from St Stephen’s Church Twickenham, who worked at Tigri slum colony this year. Led by ardent Asha supporter Amanda Clegg, the team spent almost a week painting the Asha resource centre in the slum and interacting with the community there. “I have been bringing out teams to Asha for the past seven years, and what excites me the most about Asha is the fact that they never rest. They are always trying to find novel ways to improve the lives of slum dwellers,” remarked Amanda while talking about Asha’s latest Student Ambassador Programme.
Also visiting us was a team of 3 teachers from Clifton-upon-Dunsmore Primary School, Rugby, UK who worked at Seelampur slum colony. Over the past few years the school has been supporting Asha’s Higher Education Programme and has also included Asha in the school’s curriculum. Head Master David Briggs, who led the team, was overcome with emotion as he talked about the school’s involvement with the work of Asha. “I have never done anything that is as empowering and as rewarding as the work we have done with Asha,” he said.
Asha is immensely grateful towards the teams for all the efforts they put into their trip and the fundraising activities they organised prior to arriving at Asha. To thank them for all their efforts, Asha hosted a dinner that saw representatives from each team come forward and share their stories and experiences. Also speaking at the event was Dr Kiran who thanked all of them for being able to support Asha communities. “It gives me immense joy to see all of you coming back time and again to work with the Asha communities. Through your time and efforts, you have been able to contribute immensely to the lives of slum dwellers in the city,” said Dr Kiran.