When I first found out that I was going to go to India with World Vision, I was incredibly excited; followed quickly by nerves, anxiety and fear. Not because of where I was going, or who I was going with, but more because of whom I was leaving behind.
I love to travel, I crave to see the world and know it’s people, but I love it most with my family. My kids are my heart and packing my bags and saying goodbye wasn’t easy. Neither was explaining to them exactly why it was that I was going.
I explained to my children that I was going with World Vision Australia to see the work that World Vision in India is doing. That I would be going “in to the field” and meeting people and hearing their stories so that I can tell others. “Ok” they said with blankish nods.
“So, do they grow food in the field?” asked my daughter.
“Huh? Oh, in a field, like a paddock or something? No, that’s not what I meant when I said, in to the field.” I laughed. “It’s just an expression that means I’m going to be going to the actual locations where money that is raised through child sponsorship and other donations is spent.
“Ahh” (some dawning realization) “Ok.”
“You know how we sponsor Yolamu in Malawi and we pay money to World Vision each month? Remember how I’ve told you that the money isn’t just for him? (nods) In fact, the money is used to support the whole family and the community too. You see, World Vision, in each country and each area of the world, have people that live in the area and know and understand the complex cultures and differences and needs of each area, community or village, and together they identify and address the issues most pressing for that area. From there, they develop programs, designed to educate and empower the community to strive for real change and make an ongoing impact.”
I realised then, it was kind of hard to explain it to children. In fact, even adults can have a difficult time understanding what really goes on and how aid works and this is part of why I was being invited over. To learn, to see and to experience what really goes on and what impacts are actually being made, so that I might be able to find a way to explain the importance and to share with others back home and around the world.
And so, here I am, in India. The world’s second highest populated country and predicted to become the highest in the near future.
I’ve just spent my first full day in the field, where we visited three of the projects that World Vision has helped implement in the rural area of Pudukottai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. My head is still spinning from the exuberance, energy, passion, warmth and sincerity of the people that we have had the pleasure of meeting. Who generously, sometimes bravely and almost all with pride and passion, told us their stories and how World Vision has helped and impacted their lives and the spill on effect from that.
Their stories will follow soon, but for now, it’s time for me to close my eyes from the sensory explosion that is India, rest my head that’s bursting full of new knowledge, faces and experiences, and go to sleep. Hopefully with dreams of my babies back at home, who are doing their little bit, even if they don’t know it, by sharing their mum for a little while.
Dear Kids, Mummy is in India and she can’t wait to tell you all about it.
You can follow along with our adventures (when we have wifi that is), over on Instagram, under the tag #wvaindia and #wvabloggers. I’m here in India with fellow bloggers, Kelly from Be a Fun Mum and Alison from Talking Frankly. Check out their sites for even more of the story.
Look where else we are. Are you following along? :)
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