Project why has been under the magic spell of five incredible young students from a business school in France. Mélissa, Jonathan, Francine, Axelle and Elodie landed at project why 4 weeks ago. As always it was my duty to welcome them and get them started. I normally spend time talking about our work and the volunteering options on offer and normally the volunteers are taken on a tour of the project before deciding what they will do ultimately do. But this time seemed different as these kids seemed rearing to go!
Presentations made, it was time to introduce them to the project. And we did. All it took was one look for each of them to decide where they wanted to go. Axelle and Elodie picked the women centre; Jonathan and Melissa chose Okhla and Francine adopted the special class.
For the next 4 weeks or so each of them went eagerly to their chosen place and gave the children not only their time but part of their hearts. Even when they were unwell, and they all got treated to a bout of the famed Delhi belly, they pumped themselves with pills and potions but never missed a day at work. They were always ready before the scheduled time and always had exciting plans and ideas to share with the children. It could be games, discovering the world or simply a bit of physical exercise, the kids always wanted more.
But that was not all. These wonderful volunteers came laden with gifts. Toys for the little ones and a huge purse meant to purchase what was needed. Thanks to their generosity and the generosity of their institution and friends project why was able to purchase much needed coolers and fans to beat the summer heat, oodles of mats to replace the tattered ones, stationery and much more, and even repair the roof of the women centre. But still the purse remained heavy and it was decided that we would keep the money and use it as and when needed.
It was a joy to have these incredible kids as they more than anyone else truly understood the secret of the Little Prince's fox: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye
. These kids only saw with their hearts. They did not see the dust, flies or heat but saw the smiles on the children's faces and their eagerness and enthusiasm; they did not see the lack of resources but saw the abundance of love. They simply saw the essential!
Each one of them gave their very best and more. And for us it was a true joy to have them as we too became better simply being with them.
I hope they carry happy memories that will spring up time and again and make them remember us. We one our side will always remember them fondly.