Diego from Costa Rica
Had an amazing experience...
First I would like to thank Food for Life Vrindavan for the opportunity to help out even for just a few days. During my stay, I was able to assist at the Care for Cows Goshala and the organic farm of FFLV. I spent a great time doing everyday tasks and enjoying the company of the cows. I also had the pleasure each day to have a nutritious lunch at the schools with the kids who always taught me new words and gave me back a smile. And I had the chance to attend a kirtan and dance festival at Sandipani Muni School which was full of wonderful music and devotion. I have to say it was an amazing time. Special thanks to all the staff members for showing me the place and helping me out with the tons of questions I had. Thank you and I wish the best for Food for Life. Keep up the great work.
Pranesvari from Mexico
“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”
Now I can understand this quote by being a volunteer at Sandipani Muni School. It was such a joy and so much happiness to share yoga with the girls and the truth is they gave me so much love and fulfill my heart. Thank you Food For Life Vrindavan for letting me be part of this beautiful service to the planet and the girls in India. I feel so inspired by all the work that you are doing and will be delighted to come again every year..
Aylin from Turkey
Volunteering at Food For Life Vrindavan was one of the most memorable experiences I had. I was mainly assisting in organizing office stationery and files, distributing evening meals, organizing and distributing donated clothes as well as helping during events at the school. I've learned a lot at this lovely place... I discovered how much time, effort, and energy has been put into making it what it is today. Here in the school, you can feel the energy, passion and hope deep inside the girls. Women at the FFLV sewing and embroidery center also taught me how to make embroidery also and I cannot express how it was deeply I was attached to all the people here. I would love to visit Sandipani Muni School again as I am very impressed by the work that has been done there and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to meet you all.
Mariah from USA
Those couple of weeks of volunteering at Sandapani Muni school, teaching English to the young girls truly touched inside of my heart. I have taught English before to children in Vietnam and Indonesia but the girls at Sandipani Muni School were the most respectful young girls I have ever been around in my life. Anyone would be amazed at the range of talents these girls are practicing daily much more on top of their mandatory academic work. At certain times I’d laugh at myself, thinking that I am teaching these girls but in reality, they are much more advanced than I am. They genuinely appreciated the way that I taught them and are the type of girls that I'd want my future daughter to be, and this is something special. I know these braided-ribbon haired girls will call me back to serve them in the near future.
Naomi Da Ros, France
Volunteering with Food for Life at the Sandipani Muni School in Vrindavan was a life-changing experience. Coming from France to India can be a little overwhelming, especially when you are very young. But I had a warm welcome and everyone was extraordinary kind to me. I was well supported from the first day I arrived.
I taught kindergarteners English and assisted with the meals distribution at lunchtime. The girls were adorable and so endearing. In one of my projects, I taught 7th and 8th-grade girls how to make dolls. In addition to volunteering, we had time to visit the city, the region and meet with the locals.
Unfortunately, I had to return home earlier than planned due to typhoid. Despite that, I would go back without hesitating. I loved the spirit of the school which is to empower young girls and aspire for a better life. I could not feel more grateful for the wonderful time I had.
Thank you FFLV!
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)