A Trip to the Indian Himalayas By Virginie Cordero and Sarah Branquinho

I am just back from an amazing three weeks in Ladakh, in the Indian Himalayas, visiting and working on Lotus Flower Trust projects.

First of all, I want to thank our friends from Florida WiTR who have contributed to raising funds for the schools in remote communities there. Your generosity has allowed us to offer all the resource materials necessary for a Kindergarten in Mudh, a small village at 4000m above sea level near the Indo-Chinese border (Delhi 1535 km, Beijing 2172 miles). The kids and teachers have one classroom and a small kitchen but no teaching aids other than wall-posters and were so happy to receive all the books, note books, pencils, pens, colouring pencils, etc… and some balls for them to play as well!

With Sarah, I also visited Schachukul kindergarten, funded by WiTR and Dubai Duty Free in 2010, which we both worked on. It is in good shape and well attended.

The balance of the money raised through our WiTR meeting in Florida has also allowed us to fund the purchase of a much needed washing machine and solar Geyser for a home for 65 children with special needs center, which I will visit next year. The home was built with the funds raised by WiTR from the Janet Sheed Roberts limited edition whisky from William Grant & Sons. On our arrival in Delhi from Ladakh, we were welcomed by one of the managers of this center who came with eight of the girls: so touching and rewarding to know that we can help these young people live a normal life!

This new trip to India has allowed us to visit 20 schools in total and worked ourselves on two of them, with the participation of the little ones excited to put their hands in paint and finalize the Friendship Trees! The warmth, the laughs, the songs and dances that the different school kids prepared for our arrival is so touching and so fulfilling! They definitely are the highlights of our trip!

I count on all of you to keep supporting our work, to give to the young population from these very remote villages the tools to get an education, shelter and at least one hot meal each day.

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