Tiasha Banerjee, a representative from GlobalGiving, has visited the New Life Centre recently and reported on "...the inspiring work that you all (Alindra Naskar, the Director of the school and the staff) are doing. I was overwhelmed by your hospitality."
It is heart-warming to have the work recognised and valued.
Once again my visit to the school this year was a mixture of joy and frustration; joy at seeing the children grow and prosper in this excellent school, but frustration at the difficulties Alindra faces, in this disadvantaged area of West Bengal.
The children who go to this school have very different lives to the children in a school in the UK. Their parents mostly live at subsistence level, their fathers in jobs as daily labourers, mothers at home looking after the children. Homes are made of mud, brick and thatch and daily existence would seem basic to young people in the west.
And yet, children are the same the world over, as this photo (above) shows. When I asked these teenagers to get closer together for the photo they fell about giggling at the thought that the girls would have to move closer to the boys! The middle boy was having none of it as you can see.
My life has been enriched by my visits to this school as I witness how people manage on so little and yet remain joyful and childlike in their delight. The staff at the school are incredibly hospitable as the GlobalGiving representative commented, not only with their material goods but their time.
On my last day I was delayed on an errand and was dismayed to think that I hadn’t said goodbye to them, some of whom I have known for 10 years now. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the school an hour and a half after the school finished to see that they were all waiting patiently to say goodbye and have some photos taken. The male staff were wearing the Charity’s polo shirts we had taken out with us (below).
Wouldn’t you like your life to be enriched by such contact?