I am excited to announce that on December 26, 2014 I am embarking on a journey of deputyship to Sri Ram Ashram Orphanage in Haridwar, India. My experiences in India during January 2013 inspired me to return to this beautiful country and work alongside children at the orphanage. I have spent the last year planning this trip, which serves as my thesis project as I complete the Civitas honors program at Augustana College.
Sri Ram Ashram, “home” in Hindi, is located in Northern India in the state of Uttaranchal on a 16 acre farm near the town of Haridwar. Founded in 1984, the Ashram was inspired by Baba Hari Dass, a silent monk who dedicated his life to the service of humanity.
My project, Faces of Humanity, will focus on telling the stories of these children through their artwork and my retelling of their stories. This work will include, self-portraits, images of their heritage, and other memorable stories. In addition to compiling and sharing the works of art created by these children, I intend to research governmental support of organizations helping destitute and orphaned children in India. My work in India will also be in conversation with my mission as a Peace Scholar. I hope to relate the two experiences and begin extensive dialogue on the issue of indifference and the need to break down the barriers between “us” and “them.” My hope is this project will lead me to other volunteer experiences at home and abroad to continue telling the stories of students around the world. I am currently working to apply for a month of service in the West Bank at Project Hope, a Palestinian school, where I can further my research on peace education.
With the support of Civitas, I was provided funding for my airfare and transportation within India. I cannot thank Augustana enough for the overwhelming support I have received in the past four years. I want to thank everyone who has helped me to raise the $435 for Sri Ram Ashram Orphanage.
Your prayers and support for my journey abroad are second to none. I hope you will keep me in your thoughts as I embark on this incredible adventure.
Please visit sriramfoundation.org to learn more about Sri Ram Ashram. I will be posting regular updates on this blog when I am connected to the internet. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to share more about my hopes for this trip of service!
I am inspired by the words of Baba Hari Dass, and I hope his thoughts inspire you to pause in during your busy days to reflect on our responsibility as individuals to our neighbors at home and abroad.
“Work honestly, meditate everyday, meet people without fear, and play.”