Here are a few experiences shared by our volunteers:
Naomi Da Ros, France:
Volunteering with Food for Life at the Sandipani Muni School in Vrindavan was an amazing experience for me. Coming from Geneva to Vrindavan was a little overwhelming.. The first day I almost wanted to come back. But I had a very warm welcome and everybody was extraordinary kind to me so I’ve changed my mind very quickly!
The girls where I was teaching english was adorable and always very excited to see me. The food at lunch time was super healthy and delicious. You’ll see so many smiles and happy faces, it’s a great motivation for get out of your bed every morning!
It was definitely a life changing experience. I never thought I will learn so much in such a short amount of time. Honestly when you’re volunteering there every days seems to be a benediction. There is a lot of very inspirational person in the school who does an incredible work. Now that I am back to Geneva I see things really differently. I feel so grateful and happy for everything I have here. Food for Life is an amazing organization so that was a real honor for me to give my time for help them.
Don’t hesitate to volunteer at the Sandipani Muni School, I promise you will not regret!
Drew Pearson, a 26 year old Mormon Christian from Los Angeles, California first came to Sandipanimuni School in 2012 for 6 weeks. He was so deeply affected by the children and his service to them that he came back for 2 more months in February 2013.
Drew said he usually struggles with anxiety, and takes medication for this. But his anxiety is at an all- time low when he is with the children. He said, “Outsiders looking in, like our parents etc, may think that we are doing a great service by coming and volunteering…” Drew continued by saying, “when we are serving others, oftentimes those serving are the real benefactors of that service.”
Chris and Edison, China:
First timers to India, Chris and Edison were friends who worked together on some projects in China before deciding to meet up in Vrindavan. Sandpani Muni School was there initiation into India’s cultural and spiritual heritage.
I’ve have so many memories to take home of my time here at SMS. Being a place of pilgramage, Vrindavan was always a place that I’ve wanted to go and to be able to spend it with so many beautiful children everyday was just pure joy. I have met friends from all over the world sharing a common passion for teaching and a heart for giving. It has been an amazing experience. I feel I have expanded tremendously as an individual and will go back to Australia knowing that I have found a second home here in Vrindavan. – Edison
I’ve have so many memories to take home of my time here at SMS. Being a place of pilgrimage, Vrindavan was always a place that I’ve wanted to go and to be able to spend it with so many beautiful children everyday was just pure joy. I have met friends from all over the world sharing a common passion for teaching and a heart for giving. It has been an amazing experience. I feel I have expanded tremendously as an individual and will go back to Australia knowing that I have found a second home here in Vrindavan. – Chris
Sundari, South America:
Vrindavan, a multimedia communicator and Sundari, a dance instructor has been making the pilgrimage to Vrindavan since 2009. They came to SMS and added their own unique brand of flair and devotional knowledge, bridging east and west, tradition and innovation.
The children here are more than special, as well as Vrindavan Dham. You can experience it in a way that you have an extra energy and enthusiasm and somehow it feels nice to help residents of Braj (decedents of the friends and family of Krishna) to live better and serve them in general. As soon as you move attention from your own needs you become an instrument that does great things. So for me personally Vrindavan is like home, and being able to use my skills and share them with kids in this school is a bliss. I will return for sure. – Sundari
Vrindavan, South America:
Hmmm… when you come to Vrindavan you somehow dont feel or see how some people live. There is a good part about it and bad. Bad part is that sometimes you miss on those ‘little details’ and don’t develop as much compassion as one supposed to have. Good part is, and with this I am so fascinated. In west if people are in much better situations than here they would carry cloud around themselves and everybody will feels it. Here, people just magically work with what they have. Hardly any tears, handful of smiles and just sincere struggle. I find it amazing, and this is what it makes so hard to actually notice how their living conditions are terrible at times. They just go through them, often with still a smile to spare. Vrindavan
Amazing!! It’s incredible how you feel when you step inside Vrindavan and Sandipani Muni School.. Here people live in their own way, completely different from the rest of the world. They live a life where they struggle to survive, where the stronger rules, where girls get married at 12.. What we can do is to make them smile and forget what’s outside the school gate for the time that they are at school, and thank Food for Life Vrindavan for what it’s doing, giving them a hot meal, an instruction and a chance to change their lives. There are no words to describe how you feel when you are in Vrindavan, just feelings!- Benedetta
Rashi Singh, Canada:
There is something really special about these kids – purity, innocence, and a vulnerability not found elsewhere. It was my extreme pleasure to try to serve them. I hope I brought them some joy, and there is no doubt that they enriched my life in ways that will last a lifetime. I was also extremely happy to be in the association of the staff and volunteers who are dedicated, hard working and down to earth. I feel privileged to call them my friends. It is a true family atmosphere that I miss very dearly. Coupled with the fact that Vrindavan is a holy city, this was by far one of the most valuable experiences of my life. (Rashi Singh, Toronto, Canada)