Yesterday was one of the most memorable days of my life. We were planting seeds literally.
For over a year, I have been feeling helpless with this urge to do something every time I visited the Matunga Children’s Home.
1. the children there have a hunger to do something and learn something but lack opportunities and
2. the children are mostly addicted to churan (bhang goli), are just waiting to pass their time, sitting idle and have nothing to look forward to in their life.
Yesterday, Priti Aunty and I, sat with 23 children in a circle (at the Matunga Children’s Home) who were interested in kitchen gardening. We had no idea what was going to unfold. We started by explaining the kids what it mean to be sitting in a circle. We shared our group values, our hopes for the group and asked them what they expected from the circle.
And then got straight into action, cleared a patch of land. Collected 70+ big rocks to create a bed, dug the ground and spread dry leaves and mud, re-shifted BIG really big cut trees to experiment with hugelkultur farming. It was 5 hours of sheer hard work…
After lunch, when the kids came back some older boys shouted at me for taking out all 23 children to work. (the kids are usually locked up in their rooms in the afternoon). They said what will happen if some of them ran away, you will not be allowed inside. It took me a while to calm them down, and guess what? not a single kid tried to escape. Everyone one was there.. present! digging, passing mud, cutting weeds.. doing hardwork.
The kids had a great time and so did we. We did a debrief circle where all of them unanimously said come everyday didi. We learnt a lot. I feel like more than learning about farming or gardening, the kid’s biggest takeaway was that they felt really good about themselves. Their confidence boosted and so did their trust and friendship.
This is only the first step of a long journey and a very good one indeed!