I would like to thank you, and Bipin, for your time and the very warm welcome extended , to my husband , daughter and me, during our recent visit to your SOS Children's Village. We had a wonderful time touring the beautiful village, talking to you and Bipin, the children and the "mothers". I would like to thank the lovely children and the mothers for welcoming us warmly into their homes (we enjoyed the tea and biscuits) and sharing their remarkable personal stories.
I am very impressed and happy that the children are provided for in comfortable, immaculate and clean homes, the beautiful natural surrounding and above all the nurturing, loving and compassionate care from their "mothers", "siblings" and the apparent father figure that you exhibit to them. I was deeply moved and overjoyed to see such happy, healthy, active and enthusiastic children...the sense of security, self confidence and personal development opportunities provided for these children is truly remarkable and highly commendable!!!
The most striking and remarkable aspect of this village is the fact that you have homes represented by the three major religions, Hindu, Christian and Muslim. Visiting these 3 family homes, noting the children brought up according to their religious and cultural backrounds and yet everyone participating in the daily readings from each others sacred religious texts during assembly time, was truly moving for me. Your village is indeed a true model for cultivating religious and racial reverence and harmony, these kids are truly very fortunate to get such wonderful upbringing in these times of religious tensions and unrest.
I've also come to greatly appreciate the hard work of the "mothers"... what with upto 14 kids to manage and raise!!! These women have overcome their own conflicts, misfortune and tragedies with courage and grit to provide such compassionate care to the most destitute and vulnerable children... what great inspiration to all women and mothers in this world!!!
We absolutely enjoyed the dance by the talented group of young girls...again a show of self confidence and enthusiasm. My daughter, Karishma, couldn't get over how well they can groove and move to the latest hip track. The visit has been an insightful experience for Karishma...she conveyed to us how lucky she was to have parents and has gained further appreciation for everything she has...at least she stopped asking what we were getting her for Xmas!! We will always cherish the experience of this past Xmas.
Many, many thanks again for your wonderful and kind hospitality. I truly appreciate the leadership and care you provide to these beautiful children. I wish you and your team the absolute best for 2008 as you all keep up the great work. I was very impressed with the the new learning center at the village. I appreciate the need for books and furniture (tables and chairs) for the library and I will be requesting for some of the funds, from our fundraiser last year, to be directed towards this immediate need. It would be my pleasure and an honor to be a friend and supporter of SOS Children's Villages, Cochin.
I am sending you the photos from our visit in my next email.
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