Our awe-inspiring trip to Kolkata in India will stay in our minds forever. We primarily visited Kolkata to experience the work that the remarkable charity Don Bosco Ashalayam does. Salesian School supports this charity that works with street children to take them off the street, give them a home, and educate them into well rounded loved citizens. The Salesian community in Kolkata set up this charity and has helped so many street children over the years.
Seven sixth form students, accompanied by two teachers from Salesian School in Chertsey, visited various Ashalayam homes, experiencing firsthand the wonderful work that the charity does. Through the sterling efforts of people back home connected to our school in Chertsey, the students were able to give out gifts, such as tee-shirts, colouring pencils, etc. The children were so grateful and showed such appreciation by singing for us and spending time with us.
Another highlight of the trip was celebrating Holy Mass at the tomb of Mother Teresa, who had also worked with poor children. Our sixth formers were overwhelmed by the fantastic work that she carried out until her death in 1997.
During our stay in Kolkata we visited partner Salesian schools where the students welcomed us with their many talents, such as singing their school anthem to us. It is an experience that the sixth formers from Salesian school will never forget, and demonstrates how grateful we should be for what we have.
If you are interested in sponsoring a street child for only £25 a month please contact Fr Andrew at email@example.com
Overall, it is safe to say that our stay in the Salesian provincial house was unforgettable. The priests displayed kindness and generosity in allowing us to stay with them, and Fr Remesh made us all laugh throughout our visit. It was truly an amazing experience, and one all of us hope to be able to be a part of again sometime in the future.
In my opinion, the Ashalayam project is an amazing opportunity for a lot of young people; it not only helps those that need the help but also points their lives in the right direction.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Bandel has been maintained by the Salesians for over fifty years; it was peaceful and tranquil. We visited the chapel just off the first court-yard and prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. At first, it was a relief for all of us to come inside to the cool shade of the chapel, but very soon we began to focus on the Sacrament in front of us and prayed, bringing everything before Jesus.
It was so important that during this busy trip we were able to make time to reflect on what we had seen, what we had experienced, and how we could help.
Apart from the minor obstacles that slowed us down in the day the real pleasure came from the children holding our hands when we were in the museum, it really felt like the values of a family when we were there. The most surprising thing was that even though we spent only a little amount of time with the children, they showed us love as if they had known us years. That really hit home with us and the friendships we made with the children in India we will cherish for a long time to come.
After arriving through the gates to Don Bosco Park Circus, we all instantly felt welcome and part of the Salesian community.
To view the photo gallery and video of the trip visit our Celebrating page.