Looking at our children’s pictures, it is really hard to think of the sufferings they went through in the first years of their lives.
Seeing the living conditions as well as the provisions they have in our Orphanages, one cannot imagine from what terrible conditions they got away. In the text that follows, we depict the past of two of our children. Their stories are different. Common denominator is the wretchedness and the neglect/abandonment which scarred their infancy, a fact that characterizes the earlier life of all of our orphans.
Maria (Poja) was brought up on the streets of Calcutta. When she came to the Orphanage 4 years ago, we saw a child whose little body was full of sores due to skin infections. Immediately she reached out her hand for money saying “taka, taka, daw”, which means “Money, money, give me money”, since she experienced the hard face of life from her infancy: during the day she begged in order to survive and at night she slept alone on the streets.
On entering the Orphanage, she was relieved of her dirty, shabby clothes and a hot bath welcomed her wretched little body. Her skin had so many sores that even the contact with the water and the soap hurt. A good portion of a hot meal is what followed, and right after that a second and a third one. ..
Little Maria could not believe her eyes: she had so much food without having to beg! And it was not only the food: medical treatment and proper medication healed the sores on her body and she was relieved of the skin problems that total lack of care and hygiene had caused.
But above all, it is love that comes to heal all the wounds of orphanage and abandonment. In the 4 years that Maria has been with us, she came to know the meaning of the words “care”, “affection”, “joy”, “company”, “play”. She already knows how to write and read, and despite her young age (she is going to nursery school in a month), she can communicate very well in English.
Among the boys of our Orphanage is little Ronny. Ronny was born in the slum huts that spring up in every corner of Calcutta. He was like a wild beast when he came to the “Saint Ignatius” Orphanage 2 years ago. He was a nervous and unruly child, who could only communicate through dirty words, which could make even adults blush. An enraged boy, full of violence and reaction inside of him due to the cruelty his pure eyes faced in the slum areas where he lived.
He would kick, call names and spit in order to keep the people around him at a safe distance. God knows what kind of abuse he had undergone to react this way. From the very first day he was surprised at the fact that no one reacted violently to his attitude. The only things he found in us were love and a warm hug. His change was extremely fast and spectacular: he has become one of the most eager to help and obedient little children we have, happy and sweet-spoken. He likes school and he gladly puts on his uniform in the morning in order to go to nursery school. He has been in the orphanage for 2 years now.
When these children are playing in the yard after having done their homework, sometimes they look at the gate of our Orphanage in case some relative of theirs visits them. So far no one has shown up. They have no relatives at all. They are all alone in the world, like many of our orphans.
However, despite their young age, they know that in a distant country, there are some Orthodox people who care about them, some people who cater for their needs without knowing them in person. These people comprise the big family of this Orphanage, thanks to whom the children’s needs and dreams can be realized.
That’s why they are happy and grateful. They have no way to pay back your great donation; however, from their pure innocent heart there is a wish for you going upwards in their daily prayer: