...Beacause we are all connected. We are all love. We are all one. And Kerala's orphans are our children....
A curious thing happens when the collective energies of yoga, love and and service come together. What starts as a means of doing something good for the body, leads to making peace with the mind and the ego which in turn causes the spirit to blossom and grow. This is where the magic happens and this is where a magical journey has started that we'd like to invite you to be a part of.
For a little over a year, a group of souls has been coming together to practice yoga in a beautiful park in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday nights. The classes are free, but attending yogis are invited to share donations in any amount they can afford to benefit children in orphanages in India. When the classes and charity yoga began, we had never met the children in these balasramams in that small village in Kerala, God's Own Country, as the people there call it. That all changed in December of 2012, when 9 women from the charity yoga class flew to India to personally deliver clothes, toys, and the collected money to these 3 very special orphanages. Two were homes for boys and one for girls.
It's the story of the girl's orphanage that we want to share with you and invite you to help us literally change their lives. When we arrived, we were surprised to learn that adoptions are not allowed from these orphanages and to see that the children were in very good health. We all had images of Oliver Twist in our heads which thankfully was not correct. I wish I could replay the experience for you on a movie screen, but words will have to do. And pictures.
We were treated as honored guests in their home as they served us cookies and coconut water while each girl introduced herself by name and what year of school she was attending. They ranged from around 6 years old to 20. They sang lovely songs to us and danced and played games with us for hours as they melted our hearts with their beautiful smiles and eagerness to interact and share. We were beyond thrilled when the oldest girl, Vidja, helped teach a short yoga class just before we had to go. She was amazing and looks after the girls with a mother's love and apparently leads them in yoga every day.
I'm not even sure they knew we were there for any reason except to spend time with them and that was enough and brought joy to their faces. When we gave them a substantial sum of money at the end, around 50,000 rupees, they were astonished and beyond grateful. I think they felt like they needed to give us something as well, and couldn't realize that they had given us more than we could ever give them. Before we left, one of the young volunteers from the town and a few of the elders drove with us out to the site of a new orphanage/home they are building. Or were building. Someone had donated funds to build the new facillity to replace the temporary rental home they live in now. But they had run out of money and couldn't complete what would eventually be a two story home with room for all of them and the capacity to take in more girls in need.
It was at this moment that all 9 of us who had made the journey realized that WE could help them finish building this orphanage and literally change their lives and the lives of many others in the future by giving them a home of their own where they would continue to be cared for and nourished by the wonderful people who look after them, cook for them and make sure they have school, rest, exercise and spiritual time each day.
So, our mission continues - with our Wednesday night charity yoga in the park and an anticipated visit there again this December. We want to see them again to be sure they know someone cares and to raise more money to finish building their home. The generous souls who attend the Abu Dhabi yoga events are amazing, but can only do so much. This is where we invite you to help us make a real difference in the lives of these beautiful young girls. We've taken to calling them Kerala Sweethearts. And they really are.
It's as easy as clicking a PayPal button and donating direct to the fund. If you don't have a PayPal account, it's secure and simple to set up. We encourage you to give $5, $50, $500 whatever amount you wish and to share the site with as many people as you know. Please share it with your own yoga communities, your churches, your schools, your office mates, families, friends, neighbors. And if you'd like to come with us to deliver the money and see the amazing joy and beauty of these girls yourselves, you are invited and we will get you the details when it's time.
As we drove away on that sunny day in December, our hearts were full and our eyes heavy with tears. Seeing those girls waving goodbye, we felt like we were leaving our own children behind. And we were. Because we are all connected. We are all love. We are all one. And Kerala's orphans are our children. The realization that we can genuinely and tangibly change their lives for the better is overwhelming and we are committed to making it happen. Please join us in love and gratitude and with the power of the positive energy that can give these 20 Kerala sweethearts a home of their own. And a home for future sweethearts to call their own.