Three years having passed so quickly... suddenly I've finished my degree and am returning to TRUST! Unfortunately only for 1 week, but what a busy week that was. Very exciting to see the children again, a few new faces and lots of missing faces - Thirumaran's success at getting the elder children into colleges and higher education is very clear!
These children (who aren't really children now, only a few years younger than myself) are staying away in hostels to do their studies, leaving 31 children at the home in Vengadampatty. This is fantastic progress for the children who are away, who are now starting to build their own futures.
As before I had so much fun spending time with the children, everyone is still so happy with so much energy. I would have been more than happy just spending my week with the children at the home but there is so much more to do at TRUST.
TRUST India School, set up by Shanthi (Thirumaran's wife) last year, is now thriving, with three lovely English speaking teachers. It provides private education for children from local villages with much smaller classes and a greater focus on English than the government schools. As well as giving the opportunity of a better education for rural children it also provides some funds for the charity. Teaching in the school is now a prominent part of being a volunteer and is fun and rewarding.
Other changes include renovation of a small building to provide a new volunteer house, just between Thirumaran's house and the home, with its own bathroom, plot of land and beautiful view. In addition the upstairs girls dormitory is now complete, being used and looks fantastic and the well has helped greatly with water shortages. Also 40 young chickens had just been purchased and some turkeys were bobbling around... All to help with the dramatic increase in food costs in the last 3 years.
The handprint wall was ever present, a bit faded but had fared much better than I had hope after 2 monsoon seasons. I continued Bea's footprint wall idea and I suspect I maybe had the fun bit to do (painting feet) as opposed to Bea (building a new wall!).