Magazines Winter 2017 - Page 14

Sam Varley: India

Year 13 student, Sam Varley, visited India for the second time in October. He told us about his incredible experience:

This October I undertook a trip to the state of Kerala in the south of India. This was with a charity called the Vidyal Trust who have been working in India for nearly 30 years. The charity has worked in some of the poorest slums in the area helping the poorest families. They have set up multiple projects, including a home for 30 slum elder women to live, a children's education centre, a food support system for the leprosy colony, and home visits to cancer patients unable to access hospital facilities.

I have now been lucky enough to visit twice. This time I was helping with day trips for the elders, and more than 50 children, to the beach and on a boat trip to the backwaters - experiences many have never had. The look on their faces with joy and happiness made all the charity's hard work worth it. We had the chance to visit the leprosy colony, in which around 20 families all suffering and affected with leprosy live, to give the support of the charity's monthly food packets including essentials like rice and water as well as medical supplies.

The change between my two visits has been amazing to see. The development of the charity and the local area is positive. The conditions of the slum never fail to shock me but the introduction of bore wells has had an amazing impact and allowed better sanitation and prevention of diseases spreading. The charity have helped hundreds of people and allowed children to progress to degree level education which is the key to the development of third world countries like India. The Vidyal Trust can proudly say that 100% of donated money goes directly into the development of the charity.