it has been decided. i will be going back to baan dada at the end of september.
a bit of background – i have always done a bit of volunteer work, trying to contribute where there was a need. i have worked on DNA exonerations for the Innocence Project, i have represented immigrant women who were victims of domestic violence at Sanctuary for Families and i’ve even done highway trash pickups (no, i wasn’t in trouble and doing community service!)
but nothing has touched me as much as my experience at baan dada. maybe its the first world poverty versus third world poverty difference? maybe it was the loving and brilliant children at baan dada? they are wise beyond their years due to their life experiences yet they keep their happiness and wear their hearts on their sleeve. either way, they’ve got my support for life now.
why am i going back? because there is still so much work to be done. using the over $8000 we have raised thusfar, i will help with some of the building projects. i will send lots of pictures to show you all how much your donations have gone. this is a real NGO doing real work. no administrative overhead. You donate $100 and we go buy concrete bricks to make walls the next week.
also, i will be working with the little boy you see in all my pictures and videos – puchada. he totally stole my heart and won’t give it back. the schools there refuse to enroll him because of his vision issues, so i am going there with ted to work on a plan to get him in school. maybe there, maybe here. either way, my #1 priority is to get puchada into school. as an overeducated, ivy-league pedigreed nyc girl, it is completely unacceptable that a child as bright and inquisitive as puchada is rejected from elementary school.
so, if you want to help out, you can still donate to Baan Dada – buy some more bricks for me to move or you can put a child in school for a year! or you can donate in-kind. i need monitors to bring to them because the monitors on the donated laptops are breaking, but i can at least rig a monitor to a laptop. and if you have an old laptop (what, your macbook isnt the latest dual core! 😉 to donate, i will bring it.
thank you. i feel very lucky to have friends like you.