Life Changing India Experience for Girls
Friday, 20 January 2012
Thirty two A level students from Bolton School Girls' Division have returned from India after a life-changing experience continuing the School's efforts in supporting street children in India.
The girls spent 8 days based in Vijayawada City in Southern India helping out with the Street Kids' Community Villages (SKCV) project. They offered help by playing games with the children, helping them learn English, playing football and helping run dance classes.
They visited the two SKCV villages that have been set up by the charity and which are now run by what had been homeless children. As well as helping out in the centres the girls also visited a Hindu Temple, a wooden toy making place, and the railway station where many children are abandoned and forced to live - SKCV have outposts there to help the children and get them to the villages. The girls also attended the wedding of an Old Boy and Old Girl during their time in India and got to dress in traditional dress for the occasion.
Whilst out in India they decided how to spend the £5,873.33 that they raised back home before the visit in a variety of fundraising initiatives which included a sponsored fast, a sponsored swim, cake sales, charity lunches, an Indian night and a car boot sale. The girls managed to purchase an embroidery machine, 25 embroidery frames, fabrics, threads, bobbins, 15 machine stools, 40 rolls of material, 2 cloth cutting machines, 10 boxes of fabric paints, 40 fabric brushes, 10 screens for screen printing, bed sheets, pillows, bed covers for 30 beds, dance costumes, jewellery and make-up for all the dancers (the girls and boys perform at different functions and can earn money for this), 100 plastic chairs for both schools, medical equipment including scales to weigh the boys and girls and stethoscopes, as well as 3 sewing machines for the boys, a cutting machine and jute machine.
The girls said the best thing about the trip was spending time with the children and getting to know them, and were surprised that they didn't miss home comforts and material luxuries at all but enjoyed living more simply. Becky Richards said: "The trip made me appreciate everything a lot more, the children there are so appreciative that they are cared for and looked after an don't seem to want for anything. They are so happy and generous! The trip taught me not to worry about the little things that really don't matter and to be happy."
Anjuli Thomson added: "It shows how money really can't buy happiness, the children out there are so happy and content with what they have even though they have very little. I have never seen such happiness as when we gave them pencil cases as Christmas presents, it's sad to think how we are given so much more and are not as happy as them!"
The Sixth Form students were first inspired by former Bolton School girls who visited the SKCV project in 2005. Bolton School has supported the SKCV project for 10 years.