What an uplifting experience I had this weekend.
I had made the decision to drive over to Cavelossim and there I had the pleasure of observing, for a short time, a group of 12 & 13 year olds who were staying in the Haathi Mahal hotel and resort, Goa for a few days at what is called “Camp Royal”.
These children all come from poor backgrounds and in many cases they are the first child in their family to receive any form of education. Through the work of the Christel House, that set up a school in Bangalore in 2001 to educate the children of poor families, they are now achieving amazing results.
Each year a group of them spend a few days at this resort and as I had not been here in monsoon before I had not previously had the opportunity to see these children and observe them in the flesh – and am I pleased I decided to go visit.
I had the pleasure of speaking to a man (Thomas?) who works at Christel House and had organised the group that came this year (as he has in previous years). He told me that he had been with this wonderful non-profit NGO for 10 years and spoke with pride when he told me that many of the students there this year had achieved marks above the Indian National Average in the subjects of Science and Maths. I could see how much he loves and is devoted to his work and also working with the whole organisation.
And these children were so wonderful, well-behaved, smiling, happy and loving. When I got there they were not on the resort, as one of the customer service staff who had taken on the task of organising their events that day had taken them all off to the beach where they were dipping in the sea (76 kids and 11 teachers!).
George (CS guy) actually had decided to stay at the resort for the past few days so he could be there when needed and was really involved with everything, as well as doing his own work! He was truly enjoying this special time too.
In fact, I spoke to a lot of the staff at Haathi Mahal who had interacted with the kids and had helped out with all the various events over the past few days and they were also ALL smiles and were really happy to be involved with the experience. They also told me how the children had been “seen but not heard”, coming and going in an orderly manner and not rushing around or being too loud (as many another 12 or 13 year old might!).
These children had really touched their hearts as well as the hearts of many of the guests on the resort, who had offered to donate money when they had seen what was going on and learnt about the organisation.
After I had been there about an hour the children returned from the beach and many were soaked through as they had so much fun at the beach they needed to be hosed down outside to rinse off the sand before entering the resort. However, they all came in chatting happily and then went off to their rooms in a peaceful orderly manner to change for their lunch. And when they came down for lunch the boys all arrived around 20 minutes ahead of the girls (nothing new there!) and sat quietly waiting (that WAS new to ssee!) for the rest of the group.
When all were there, the food was served to them all as the Haathi Mahal staff all lined up to hand the plates along a chain and across to the tables and the children ate peacefully and in a well-mannered fashion.
They did not waste a morsel nor did they ask for more when offered if it was not needed and I was told that this was how they always were at each mealtime. No greed involved – whereas when I was a child I recall my parents having to reprimand my sisters and I when we sat down to eat on occasion for being loud, rude or greedy.
These kids were just model examples of well-brought up and educated young adults. What a pleasure it was to see this.
After lunch they all filed out in an orderly line, first collecting a “Trunky Club” t-shirt before heading off to their rooms. They were to return in an hour for more games, swimming and a drawing contest (depending on which team they had been assigned to) and that evening they would be taking part in a talent show after dinner.
I headed off at this point, after being offered and partaking of lunch with the staff helper. Even in this short time spent with these children, a strong impression was made on me so that I had to write it down and post a blog about it.
The work of charities so often goes unnoticed or is not observed but here at Camp Royal you could see results! Such has this charity grown and been supported by sponsor donations since they started that they now have a second school in India established in Lavasa. There are 1000 students in the Bangalore school alone and everything they do is purely from donation so please help if you feel inclined to donate to a worthy cause – this is a great one definitely.
You don’t need to dig deep into your pockets either – a little donation goes a long way. The guests at any Karma Royal Group resort has the option on check out to donate easily as, in India, Rs.50/- is added to each final invoice as an optional extra.
I find this a brilliant and “christel” clear way to give without having to pay a lot to see the smiles on the faces of these wonderful children and their teachers. Go visit www.in.christelhohuse.com