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Get a feel for how this visit can change your life, by reading the diary of our 2011 trip, from travelling companions, Julia, Gavin, Chris, Carly, Mark and Rachel
Day 1: Sat 5th Nov
For Chris and Julia it was "Welcome to Dubai" due to travel problems en route. Gavin, Carly, Rachel and Mark duly arrived in India, checked into the YWCA and spent the day acclimatising. An evening spent at the Gymkana club with Krish was followed by drinks elsewhere..Breeze Hotel bar.
Meanwhile Chris and Julia had arranged reservations on Air India to continue to Chennai in the morning..
Day 2: Sun 6th Nov
Welcome to Chennai! At least it was…for C+J who arrived at the YWCA at 7.30. Breakfast was at 8 where the group all joined up for the first time.
After breakfast we set off for Prema Vasam to visit Selvyn and meet his ever-growing number of (160+) children who are disabled (special) or orphaned (normal). They greeted us each with a floral tribute and a welcome cup of coffee. The children were very excited at our arrival and hel our hands whilst gazing at these tall visitors from England.
Selvyn and his amazing staff then took us on a tour of the building and as we visited each room he explained some of the individual stories which brought the children here. The more able-bodied children were very keen to introduce us to their less fortunate friends. Even though it was difficult or impossible to communicate with some of them, just a touch or a handshake brought a smile to their faces.
We were also treated to a welcome dance in our honour performed by two girls in matching costumes who enjoyed putting on a show for us as well as all their friends.After the tour of the building it was time to convene in the modest dining room, which in itself had seen a vast improvement since the previous year by the addition of long tables and benches.
The moment had come to hand out the toys!
It was a wonderful moment for all of us to see the sheer joy on all the children’s faces as we passed around the selection of toys and bears which we had brought with us. The children were so well behaved and friendly in their excitement to each have a toy or two to play with.
There was no greed or fighting over who was going to have what. Photos were taken and the noise level in the room was incredible and wonderful.
It was a great moment which I think the whole group felt.
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