In August 2016, as every year, a humanitarian mission to Calcutta has been organized by the association “VIDA”, an NGO that belongs to the big family of VIS Foundation.. “V.I.D.A.” is its operational arm in this Asian Country. Our team was formed by 7 voluntaries coming from Spain, Italy, United States and South Korea.
The volunteers have worked in different centres. First of all, the volunteers operated in the centre of “Nabo Jibon”, managed by the Missionaries of the Charity founded by Mother Teresa. This institution accommodates hundred of abandoned people, mostly old men and serious disabled persons. The volunteers have been busy in the cleaning and the maintenance of the Centre, in the care of the sick, etc.; but above all they have tried to give love and affection to all of them.
A second part of the mission took place in the centre “Nirmal Niketan” that was found in the outskirts of the city, in the denominated zone of Kabardanga. This institution is managed by the Missionaries of the Word and it has been founded on the desire of our association and it is entirely financed by us since the beginning, around 4 years ago. It was particularly exciting to see how the construction of the second floor of the structure proceeds well. “Nirmal Niketan” has 50 children and disabled young children coming from the poorest environments in the zone. The volunteers have studied and played with them. One day we went altogether to the zoo; even if it has rained the whole time, it was indeed a day full of joy and happiness. Particularly beautiful was the last day because the teachers have organized a festival to thank us for all we do for them; the children were very affectionate and they performed with great joy and commitment. Indeed they are all small champions and an example to follow.
One day, we have organized “Hope for Homeless”, a project that since years “V.I.D.A.” does during the mission. It consists in the preparation and the distribution of food and goods of first necessity among the homeless or those people that live in the “slums” more marginalized of the city. This year the project took place in the zone of Howrah, one of the most disadvantaged districts and poorly taking in consideration by the state of West Bengal. 160 packages have been distributed to the same amount of families; therefore the beneficiaries were almost 1.000 persons considering that each family is composed by 5/6 persons.
The volunteers had the possibility to visit the leprosy Centre that the “brothers” of Mother Teresa manage in the outskirts of Calcutta. The volunteers had the possibility to visit the social activities of “Colores de Calcuta Foundation”, a Spanish ONG that brings forth three humanitarian projects in the a zone known as the “City of the Joy.” Our organization has financially helped them for different years. The group of volunteers participated on August 15, day of the independence in India, to an event organized by them; the girls of the centre “Anand Bhavan” sang and celebrated with joy this day. Besides, the event celebrated the 10th anniversary of the “Colores de Calcuta Foundation”.
Finally, even this year, V.I.D.A. has made economical donations to the various centres of the Missionaries of the Charity in Calcutta; this year the number of centres that have received funds were nine (9), more respect to the other years. It is thanks to our benefactors if we can make, year after year, all these donations for the poorest men among the poor.
Also in this occasion the humanitarian mission has been an unbelievable experience, indeed touching. Calcutta is magic, unique; it has the ability to change the life, to transform the soul. The volunteers have returned very motivated and desirous to keep on working together with the objective to improve the lives of so many people that need a helping hand.