Greetings from India

Greetings from India. I have been with Samuha in Koppal since 9th October. I am here with Barb Purdie, a physio from Ontario. We have had a full and busy time here. The day after we arrived, we visited Hampi, a beautiful historic site nearby. It is situated on a river with a rocky landscape and many hills and temples, dating back hundreds of years.

The following day, Samuha had organised a kid’s residential camp for 5 days. There were about 50 children here with their families and we were kept busy providing therapy and advice from when they got up at 6 am to bed-time around 9 pm! On the last day of the camp we went on a field trip to a nearby dam with gardens and playground and everyone enjoyed an extensive picnic.

We managed to fit in visits to the spinal cord injury centre too, where there are 10 clients, including a young boy, with spinal fractures. I will be returning there tomorrow as there are two new clients just admitted. This past week-end we went to Deodurg, another Samuha project, about 4 hours away from Koppal. There we saw 14 children with disability ranging from delayed development to a rare neurological condition. Today and yesterday we had 2 full days of teaching the 28 member disability team on a range of topics including stroke and autism. We covered a lot of ground and the group was very engaged.

We have barely a week left and have village visits planned as well as more work in the early intervention centre and the spinal cord injury unit. Hopefully we’ll manage a day off to climb up to the fort above Koppal. Although we’ve been so busy, our time here is very rewarding and the staff are most outgoing and friendly.

This week we’ll be planning the budget and determining how SODA funds will be used over the next year. The main needs have been identified as, the spinal cord injury unit and some new exercise equipment. The staff here are all doing great work and SODA funds are being put to good use to help these families.