There are some good-hearted people in India helping to make a difference through Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). The poverty and living conditions either spur you to do something about it or to eventually to see it as normal. I discovered a group of women who spend several days a week at a school for migrant children and knew I needed to be a part of what they're doing.
This little 3 room school was built by an NGO to help villagers who had come to the city in search of work. It serves as a daycare and a way to supplement the public education the children are supposed to be going to but most do not. The parents work at construction sites and the families live in a small sections of these tin barracks.
We come in and teach basic lessons in English, do an activity, feed them a snack and give them a chance to develop small motor skills. Some of these children could not even hold a pencil when they arrived. It's amazing how fast they catch on!
These kids just steal your heart without even trying. There are about 20 children in this small room and they think nothing of sitting all intertwined. In fact, I think they are happier that way! Every chance they get, they pile on top of you.
They LOVE getting their photos taken. They crowd in front of the camera and demand, "Deedee! (Teacher) PHOTO please!" Then they will not leave until you show them their photo and then they crack up and want you to take even more photos. In the four weeks I've been going, I must have hundreds of pictures. In one, the children have made lanterns to decorate their classroom for Diwali and in the other they get the rare treat of playing with bubbles for Diwali.
Here are two of my favorite girls. I love making them laugh :)
The time spent with these kids are the best hours of my week. Their happy attitudes brighten my day. With any luck, these children will avoid a life of begging and living on the pavement. I'm hoping the English they are learning will give them an advantage in life so they can keep these adorable smiles!