Back in 2009, while still in college, an opportunity presented itself, which would send myself, and 20-30 other students to India to do HIV/Aids education. The experience was one of a kind, all of us were there for about 3 months, taught thousands of kids, adults, and anyone we encountered. Thinking that I was going there to help teach people, break the stigma etc. I was instead shown what true happiness looks like and they were really the teachers in my eyes.
Someone in my group just posted giving an update about one of the HIV positive orphanages, which we spent a great deal of time hanging out with the kids. When I had visited there in 2009, the director of the orphanage, had picked out this plot of land to build a new home for all the kids. Well, almost 10 years later, not only is the orphanage thriving, the building complete, but he now is caring for over 47 children there. What was awesome to hear was that a lot of the children that I had spent time with when I was there, they are now taking care of the younger ones, going to college and living a fulfilling life. Solomon, the director, and his wife are probably some of the most selfless people that I have ever met, and I am proud to say I was a part of something that impacted those kids lives over there.
HIV positive kids/people in India are looked down upon and treated very poorly. Many people believe that they can contract HIV from those kids by touching them, talking to them or even being in the same area as them. It’s sad because these kids didn’t contract HIV, they were born with it and instead of letting it hold them back, they are living fulfilling lives.
Looking back at some of these pictures I treasure a lot of these memories and one day I can’t wait to travel back there.