By Kelly Kirschner, Semester at Sea,  Spring 2017

Getting off the ship in India, a group of us organized our own student lead visit an orphanage. Along with spending the day, we were able to collect clothes, shoes, and school supplies to donatefrom the ship community. 

We visited Emmanuel Orphanage which is a non profit established in 2000. Originally starting at 12 children, the home has grown to 125 residents. They provide housing, food, and education for children who are usually orphans or in single parent homes. Emmanuel’s orphanage helps children acquire basic needs and education which in turn leads them to earn employment and live independently in the future. Children come from families of all different backgrounds, such as sexual workers, beggars, lepers, and prisoners.Visiting the orphanage was an eye opening experience. All of the children were so well behaved and happy. throughout the language barrier we played hand games and danced and learned a little about their lives and what we can do to help the orphanage. Unfortunately, they desperately need sponsors to support things such as clothes, medical expenses, staff, and teacher salary. When talking to Rev. Varghese Thudian, who runs the non profit, he said there are around 40 children who aren't sponsored yet. This trip impacted me immensely and it gave me the realization that I can easily support a child's education and happiness and there are people desperately trying to help the children of India.