Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Despite the Trials

I mentioned recently that I have been having a rough time the past few weeks regarding the planning of our trip to India.

The thought of canceling the trip altogether was a very real and viable option.  And I confess. I was at the point of not wanting to deal with it anymore. 

But I am glad we pressed through the annoyances.  I was reminded of the reason we are going to India. 

Speaking of those reasons, let me share them with you in a bit more detail:

In the not too distant past, India officially abolished their caste system.  Unfortunately, reality speaks differently.  A group of people formerly known as the untouchables is trapped at the bottom of society.  Discrimination and prejudice dictate the conditions of these people’s lives. 

These former untouchables are now known as the Dalits.  Those born into this bottom rung of society are faced with tremendous challenges throughout their lives.  Because of the discrimination they face it is next to impossible for them to find a decent job, which in turn leads to numerous other issues.  Providing the essentials for living: food, clothing, healthcare and shelter, is a daily struggle. 

The sole purpose of our trip is to help these people. 

Karl and I first heard about the organization Go Longitude when two of our friends told about their personal experiences in India.  Our interest was immediately peaked.  We checked it out and signed up for this year’s winter trip, which one of our friends happens to be leading.

The goal of the volunteers during the trip is to help the Dalit people in a tiny village by building a family a house.  One trip at a time, volunteers are helping the Dalits rebuild their homes. 

The participating volunteers all pay their own travel expense, food and lodgings during the trip.  On top of that, it is the volunteers’ responsibility to fundraise for the materials used to build the homes.

The fundraising goal is a mere $5000.  It is so amazing that just $5000 is enough to build a brand new home for a family! 

This Christmas, Karl and I are putting everything towards this trip.  If you are interested in helping us buy the materials to build a home, please click on this link.  Any help at all will be transformed into materials that will become a home. 

In case you haven't seen it, here is a great video about this volunteer experience:

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1 comment:

  1. Hello, I am a friend of Rachael from Duluth MN. She said she graduated college with you. She gave me your blog so that I might ask u about your experience in Japan. I am thinking about going there to teach. My daughter and family are being stationed there in June and I want to be closer to my grandchildren! I would love to know how u went about looking for the teaching position and what is involved. I would really love to hear from you. Thank you!