My name is Therese Clark and I am one of nine Diploma of Nursing students that went to New Dehli, India. For 16 days, we provided health education sessions for street and working children supported by Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT), an Indian non-profit and non-governmental organisation.
Here are my highlights:
After a very long flight, we finally arrived in New Delhi. Although exhausted, the excitement of exploring, experiencing new cities, people and the culture of India overtook my need for sleep. New Delhi is vast with many vehicles along with the sounds and smells of an overcrowded city. The food is quite delicious although very spicy so different to how I experience Indian cooking back home.
The Salaam Balaak Trust provides a day centre immediately outside the New Delhi train station in which they work closely with the police in establishing missing, deserted, or confused children arriving unaccompanied on a train surrounded by unfamiliar faces, unfortunate dealings and expecting to survive alone in a vast city such as New Delhi.
Days spent with those kids have been such a positive and inspiring learning experience for me to see that when a child is given the necessities, guidance, learning resources, love and support that they can be anything they want to be. I am proud of each and every one of those boys and grateful that Salaam Balaak and CQUniversity provides these needs so openly and tirelessly to these children.
Salaam Balaak Shelter for Girls
I was amazed, these girls were bright, bubbly and so excited on our arrival. I was welcomed immediately and soon learnt that a simple word of DiDi (pronounced dee dee) was Hindi for big sister. Today not only provided education to the girls at Salaam Balaak it also educated me on how positive, eager and willing these girls are in regard to education. I am truly looking forward to my time being spent there again tomorrow.
Many of the girls have been living here since they were quite young they have bonded beautifully with the staff and their other DiDi within the home and it is quite obvious that these bonds will never be broken no matter what.
India, unforgettable treasure
India you have left me with endless memories, so many laughs, dancing, singing, friendships and learning. I have treasured this journey and its experience and I look forward to visiting you again another time soon.
I would like to thank you Salaam Balaak that has given me so much more than I ever dreamed. Friendships, laughter, song, dance, personal growth and inspiration. I also thank CQUniversity for the opportunity for me to take part in this amazing life experience. I have grown so much, I have shed many tears, I have laughed and I would encourage every nursing student to apply for this wonderful life changing experience.
And finally to Samantha Willoughby and Leigh Hine (CQUniversity lectures that organised this Indian trip) for your hard work in making this journey possible.