I wish there were 240 hours in a day and I wish I had the gift of ubiquity! Wishful thinking but if that were the case I would have spent most of my time with the children of project why in each of our 11 centres. Sadly that is not possible and my visits to the project centres are often virtual, via the pictures I receive at the end of the day. Yesterday I got a camera full of pictures from the women centre and spent a long time browsing through them. And as I did, I experienced a range of emotions: from excitement, to bewilderment, to pride and even a tinge of sadness at having stayed away for so long.
Seeing little Meher dance and prance and even try her hand at computer surfing was incredible. And that is not all, her new pixie hairstyle, a little like my own, made me realise how time flies. It seemed just like yesterday when I first lay my eyes on her scalded scalp and wondered what her morrows would hold. In a few weeks she will sit for her admission test and in April pack her little bags and joining our incredible five at boarding school! Who says miracles do not happen.
Then there were umpteen pictures of children studying. Children of different ages, all very serious and motivated notwithstanding the difficult conditions or lack of resources. The creche however looked stunning with its new pink and white harlequin look! Then there were pictures of the Xmas party organised by members of a young church group. They were carols and cookies and loads of fun and the number of children was staggering. Thank God the roof was solid! My mind went back with nostalgia the first party organised at the women centre, a Xmas party for predominantly Muslim kids. But then as Usha Uthup says in her delightful song entitled Eid, be it Eid, Xmas or Diwali we wear new clothes, we eat good food, we visit relatives!
Then there were pictures of the sewing circle of Khader, the one we had begun with so much hope almost exactly two years ago. Today over 50 ladies has graduated with certificates and 50 more were in the midst of completing their course. As I looked closer I realised that some of them were stitching cloth bags, the ones that we make on order for one of our funders and hence these women had taken the first step towards financial independence. True there was a long way to go but I knew we would get there.
The last few pictures were of the monthly parents meeting. It was heartwarming to see that here too the numbers were staggering. And to say that not so long ago there were never more than a handful of parents at such meetings.
What an incredible journey it had been, one that had begun hesitantly barely two years ago. Share some of these Kodak moments with us.
Labels: women centre