Highlights of India Volunteer Trip
The Miracle Foundation recently returned from India, and another successful (and fun) volunteer trip. This was the first group volunteer trip to the Bethel Home, TMF’s newest home in South India.
TMF Founder Caroline Boudreaux and Travel Coordinator Barbara Joubert
share their Top Moments from the trip:
The boy who couldn’t smile
One of the housemothers was taking his picture and told him to smile. He said he just couldn’t. Then, TMF paid for these kids to go on their first ever outing. They went to a park, got a special treat and got to see some animals. On the way home, the little boy went to the housemother and told her that a miracle had happened that day: he learned how to smile.
The pink bandana
Shubashree received a hot pink bandana. All day long, she would take off the bandana and carefully unfold it, smooth and then refold it. She would ask everyone to tie the bandana back around her head; but soon she would be taking it off and refolding it again, and asking others to refold it. She was so proud of that bandana!
Photo: Shubashree and TMF volunteer
The social status of kids living in an orphanage home is low; they are usually only the recipients of charity. The kids at Bethel were never asked to do anything, until TMF showed up and started a children’s club and Life Skills Education. “We gave them duties and make them responsible by implementing these clubs,” Caroline says. “The children take the clubs very seriously. They have a sense of themselves that the housemothers have never seen before. They’ve got a team spirit about them now.”
A paint brush for every child
The big project for the volunteer group at Bethel was painting murals in the school building. Many artists shined, and Barbara says that the kids are so talented that each one should have their own paintbrush, with their names on them!
Photo by TMF Ambassador Joanne Connerty
Hula hooping nuns
The Bethel home is run by nuns; one day, a field trip to the beach was planned for the volunteers, nuns and children. Volunteers had bought hula hoops for all the kids; but perhaps the nuns had more fun with them than the kids do. How often do you see nuns hula hooping on the beach?
A special goodbye
As the volunteers were getting ready to leave, one wanted to say goodbye to the child who had been his painting helper. He asked for the child, and everyone went searching until that child was found, and brought to the bus so the volunteer could say goodbye to him. “That kid looked so honored that he was searched for,” said Barbara. To be sought out, to be asked for by name, to be noticed as special, is a very powerful thing for these children without their own homes and families.