Mumbai, India 2010
I was privileged to have been part of the organising committee for the 2010 visit to Mumbai. After months of organisation, we set off, laden with equipment and resources for the Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Home For Children (link to webpage).
Part of the project required to to refurbish the play room for the children and we were able to decorate, equip and play with the children in their new finished room (see photo to left). Other projects included ridding the play area of dangerous rocks (see photo above) that caused the children to cut their feet when playing. This was a particularly hard task and the heat coupled with the dust made for a testing few days.
We also had the pleasure of visiting the neighbouring school where the children from the BJ Home attend and participated in teaching some English to the local children. Our overriding memories of the visit to the school were how much the children wanted to learn and how much colour there was around the old school building. The children couldn't quite believe that they had some visitors who had come from the other side of the world to see them.
Some of the money from the James Rao Live Your Dream Foundation is now being used to support the school. Please click here to read more about the project.
Towards the end of the week, we were taken in Dharavi, one of the biggest bustees in India. The scale of the settlement is incredible and the poverty in some places is beyond the worst that people might expect. There is a huge amount of amazing humanitarian work going on here and we were taken to the Banyan Tree School to meet the children and to find out how we could help out in future projects. The centre was amazing and the children were hugely excited by our visit (see picture left). We visited the computer centre in the school and it was explained to us how important ICT literacy is for the children. James and the team, with the help of James' Dad, also managed to send over a number of laptop computers to the centre with updated software and operating systems.
Matt Podbury - James's Geography teacher & travelling companion on the 2010 India trip.