Our latest group of staff and seven Residents left for India this week to help those who are less fortunate than themselves. They will be travelling to Kolkatta and Mithra for a month’s immersion in India. The group will get back a few days before Christmas.
Brother Rob Callen has been leading groups of volunteer students to India since 1988. The primary objective of these journeys is to provide Residents with an opportunity to work with poor disabled children.
The group will stop in Chennai and various hospitals and homes conducted by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.
On this trip Residents: Will Coorey, Tom O’Reilly, Patrick Dowling, Andrew White, Tyson Flamsteed, Tom McKay and Lawson Enright will accompany Brother Rob and Mark Thornton who is the Deputy Head of St Leo’s.
During the trip the Residents will play with the children and keep them company. They can assist with simple tasks like feeding and clothing them.
Immersion means all the way in. The group will spend their time living in a completely different culture. Ideally Residents will extend a hand of friendship and approach each individual with an open and generous heart. Residents will learn about the rich and ancient culture of India. They will meet and work with a diverse group of people who make up this rich nation. It is an opportunity to live simply and to learn from those who manage on very little.
The group will spend time working with disabled and disadvantaged children at MITRA in Chennai. As well as some homes and hospitals conducted by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. The Residents will have the opportunity to work with \volunteers from around the world when they travel to Kalighat and Prem Dan. Help is also offered at Nabo Jibon – the refuge for abandoned and homeless railway children. These are the ‘formal’ volunteering opportunities which are open to the group. There will be many other ways for them to help in their day to day travels.
Without doubt this will be an eye-opening experience for everyone involved. The group will have a great opportunity to reflect both in India and when they return.