Report: Beach on Friday 11th November 2011.Another Friday arrived and, for the children, there is only one thing to think about: The Beach!
After having lunch at Leading Light, you can feel the children's excitement in the air; it's time now to get ready... All the children are running around, trying to find swimwear and high visibility vests that fit them. The girls are in one room and the boys in another, the oldest helping the youngest. Some of the other kids are preparing the water, fruits, toys and towels, we mustn't forget anything....
Everyone is now ready. Some children are at the gate waiting for the bus, others are just running around but all have something in common, their smiles and happy faces. Finally the bus arrives and, after taking the register, it's time for departure.
20 minutes have passed and we are now at the beach. The children can finally run to the water, splash each other, and play with the curious tourists. Some try to improve their football or Frisbee skills whilst others prefer to concentrate on constructing creative sand castles. All of them look so happy so it's impossible to stay out of this, one must join in!
I spent the full afternoon in the water with them, am not really sure how I survived... a bunch of kids where jumping on me, splashing me with a mixture of sand and water then making me run after them. After a while I was so exhausted but the happiness of the children made me forget about that, so let's continue the fun...
With all their energy spent, the fruits we brought plus the ones generously offered by the tourists were really appreciated; plus the kids were also lucky to get yummy ice creams, they were so happy!
All the people watching were mesmerized by the screaming, laughing, happy, running children. That's a picture one can't forget...
Report: Morning Light. Monday 5th December 2011Today was my second time going to the slums, we visited the very first one I've been to a few weeks ago. There were some more tents and more children there, around maybe 15 to 20. Again the parents were out at work or begging at the beaches. The new kids were scared of us and didn't want to come with us at first but then Diego came to speak to the 2 ladies who where there with them (maybe mothers, aunties, not sure…) and they finally came.
2 or 3 volunteers where playing and teaching colours to some children whilst others were helping the children wash. The older children enjoyed it but the little ones were resisting and not enjoying it at all.
Once they were all washed, we gave them new underwear, helped to dress them and then took them to the floor mat where toys and alphabet worksheet were waiting for them. The tears disappeared when the toys came out
We handed out Samosas, bananas, hot milk and water but the kids seem not to enjoy the hot milk… maybe next time we should add some chocolate in it …
At the second round of food and drinks some of them were saving it for later, maybe that's the only thing they will eat today.
Beryl, our nurse checked a little boy who has had an ear infection going on for a while now, he still suffers from it so we went to the pharmacy to get him some antibiotics, hopefully next time I go there he will be better.
Marianne & Charlotte
Marianne : educated preschool teacher in 1996. Has been working in preschool ever since.
Charlotte : educated social worker in 1996. Has been working with children with special needs ever since.
We met The Educators Trust during Easter 2010. We met Diego and his stall at The Anjuna Market one Wednesday and were immediately impressed and fascinated by the work they all do in the organization. We visited the school a few days later and our love for this organization just kept growing. We decided shortly after that we would come here to Goa to work with E.T. We went back to Denmark to make plans for a 6 months stay in Goa. We were both lucky to get leave from our jobs. We came back during Christmas 2010 – bringing a lot of stuff nice people had donated to the children at E.T. – and made arrangements for our 6 months stay. Finally it was august 2011 and we got on a flight to Goa. And here we are – having the time of our lives.
We work Tuesdays to Fridays at Leading Light. Monday we make plans and prepare what to do with the children during the week.
We believe in learning by doing and that social skills and interaction are as important as reading and writing.
SPThe volunteering experience enriched my life pricelessly and now I am doing everything possible to help and support those beautiful angels forgotten by Indian society... “
Krunal Vohra (UK)
I spent 3 months volunteering at Educators Trust between Jan and March 2011. I spent the majority of my time at Leadling Light School working at the office there and helping the charity with their accounts and back office processes. Alongside this I did some teaching at the school and spent tuesdays at morning light and fridays at the beach, The time spent at Educators Trust has been inspirational and life changing for me. The children are absolutely wonderful and you really take to them and this is a credit to the hardwork that teachers have put in to them. Overall my time at ET has been absolutely amazing and I will definately be back.Report from Krunal Vohra
I was going to Goa to practise yoga for a month and wanted to volunteer at a children’s charity between my yoga classes. I found it difficult to find out about the charities in Goa from the UK and those that I did identify insisted on a minimum of 3 months commitment. When I arrived in Goa, the place that I was staying suggested the Educators Trust, as a small, grass roots start up charity near Mapusa.
My time was mainly spent volunteering at New Light, assisting Aparna with maths and English, which wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be! Some days I left absolutely exhausted – but in a good way. Most of the kids were so eager to learn new things and do their best (and they are all doing so well considering that English is their second or third language) it was an absolute pleasure to spend time with them.
I also helped out a little at Leading Light, where the kids were so pleased just to have me sitting there listening to them read or playing a game with them. The best part of the week for me, was the visit to the beach, on Friday afternoons, where you got to play games, build sand castles and go swimming.
Some of the children only have one change of clothes and are living without running water or electricity, but despite having very little in monetary terms they were are always smiling and laughing. In this consumer-driven country I live in where kids and adults seem to have everything, the experience brings you back down to earth and reminds you what really matters in life.
The charity is only small and they are still learning and improving. It was wonderful to volunteer somewhere where I felt that the time I was giving was making a difference, albeit in the grand scheme of things a small one. I know that I got much more out of the experience than the children got out of me - I left every day with a big smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.
I am looking forward to coming back next year and seeing how the children have got on and also how the charity has developed. In the meantime, knowing how far even a small donation can go, I am supporting the charity from the UK, via the Friends of Educators Trust India.
Laura and DanielleDuring our time with Educators' Trust we participated in all three projects; all incredible. Morning Light was a definite experience and we loved every minute of it. It was a complete culture shock but we met some of the most extraordinary children. Seeing where they lived was heart breaking but knowing that we were doing our part in helping them was invigorating.
Both Leading Light and New Light are proof that these children have copious amounts of potential. They just needed a chance to fulfil it.
We spent some of the time fundraising; organising events and hosting them. Although it was challenging the charity would be unable to run without this.
The charity is family based and all of the volunteer become part of it. The children really are special and each unique. They appreciate anything anyone contributes. We had the opportunity to play with them on the beach, teach, fundraise, organise a sports day and choreograph dance routines, which the children loved performing at special events.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE! WE LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!!!
Laura and Danielle x