The following message was written by Kirsty Erskine a volunteer from the UK who spent over four weeks at the Heal Children’s Village in Guntur during the summer of 2009. Having recently completed a Fine Art degree, she was able to put her art skills to good use with the very eager children.
The Heal Village truly is a little bit of magic hidden in India. I have been so touched by the welcoming and caring nature of the children and adults and have never before felt such a huge energy of warmth and kindness emanate from a place.
I think that what all the members of the Heal organisation do is quite incredible, and the best bit about it is that it works. It is easy to see in the children’s faces and eyes how happy they are. It is difficult to imagine some of the circumstances they have been through due to their happy and positive attitudes.
One thing that struck me the most when I arrived was the way they play together, never any fighting or crying, and if one child falls over he or she merely laughs and continues playing. I can see it is a way of preparing them for the bumps and falls in life and I think it is unique and brilliant.
The children all enjoy their work and it is evident that they try their best at most things. They all have fantastic ambitions of becoming doctors or engineers and it is thanks to Heal that these dreams have been made possible. The nature, kindness and warmth of the children are a direct reflection of the amazing people who care for and support them.
I feel honoured to have been part of such a place and to have had the amazing opportunity to spend time with certainly the kindest and most generous people I have ever come across. Leaving the village was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It amazes me still the overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude that the children have. They accept people for who they are and are happy just for you to be there. They ask for nothing and instead try to give you any of the few things they own in the hope that it might make you happy.
I am already saving up for my next visit. Not a day goes by when their smiling faces don’t pop up in my mind, and I simply cannot wait to see them again.