Last summer I traveled to a magical country called India with my two friends, Dominique and Gared. We spent three weeks volunteering, living, teaching and painting at a place called Ashraya Initiative for Children (AIC). I can't even begin to tell you what beautiful work AIC is doing for the children of Pune, India...children who would otherwise be living or begging on the street or in the slums. They house twelve children full-time in their home and provide education through their education outreach program for over 200 children.

The kids living at the AIC house are a true family. It's amazing to watch them interact with each other. They are cared for by a tireless, dedicated full time staff as well as volunteers. I love the opening of this poem that the oldest child, Aakash, wrote about his experience living in the AIC house: "I open my eyes...ah! The joy of a new day...no matter what comes along, my happiness will stay. We take a deep breath, we're glad we're alive." This beautifully describes the hope that AIC works so hard to provide for the children of Pune, India.

Would you please vote for AIC to win $20,000 through the Chase Community Giving Challenge? It's so easy...just one click. It really only takes a couple of seconds. I can't imagine a better cause and I believe in this so much!! In the words of the founder, Elizabeth Sholtys: "$20,000 goes a long way for AIC - for example, it pays for ALL of the school-related expenses for ALL 200 street kids and slum children in our Education Outreach Program. This includes school tuition fees for both public and private schools, exam fees, uniforms, underwear, shoes, sweaters, hair ribbons, lunch boxes, textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, art supplies, backpacks, external tutoring fees for our oldest students who attend a year-long prep course to help get them ready for the 10th standard board exams, and many other things."

 Please vote and spread the word! Thank you friends!



Monet said...

What beautiful photographs, and I certainly did vote for the organization. Much love.

Joanna Goddard said...

these photos are absolutely amazing!

Morgan said...

I just love the one of the child asleep with a paintbrush!! Next time I'm in India, I want to visit that organization as well.

hearblack. said...

wow, this looks like a great experience lydias