Find out more about my children from the AMURTEL Family children’s home. If you would like to become involved in supporting them you can find out more information here.
AMURTEL Family’s renovation project on TV – Kanal D!
The AMURTEL Family children’s home in Panatau is in desperate need of repainting and renovation, after years of wear and tear. I was so happy that Kanal D came to the home to make a piece about our story, and I hope it helps to attract the support that is needed to keep the children warm, safe and happy for years to come! You can watch the video from the Kanal D archives here.
You can also contribute and make the campaign a success – already it is more than 50% funded! Here is the crowdfunding site link.
Watching our kids grow up
This is a video / slideshow I made for the 20th Anniversary party of our Familia AMURTEL home last September. It was such a beautiful feeling to be altogether with all of our Familia AMURTEL children – now of course, most of them are already grown-ups! It has been an amazing experience to see them grow and mature – often quite the roller-coaster ride, but overall I am quite proud of each of them! Glad to have been part of the adventure.
Hope you will enjoy watching this too!
Amazing acupuncture clinic treats cerebral palsy in India
In the autumn of 2015, I had the opportunity to travel to India. I revisited a project that I deeply appreciate and admire – the Abha Seva Sadan Multitherapy Clinic, which serves a very neglected rural area in Jharkhand state, near to the city of Bokaro. I made a short video documentation of one of their most impressive projects, the Cerebral Palsy program for children:
The multidisciplinary team of doctors at the clinic use a combination of acupuncture, physiotherapy, herbal medicine and homeopathy to treat children with cerebral palsy. The results are quite breathtaking. In Romania, one of our kindergartens integrates children with cerebral palsy and over the years, I have seen how their incredibly dedicated parents were always trying out new therapies in the hopes of improvement, which was often quite slight and difficult to determine.
However, in many cases, if the child is treated early enough before the onset of contractures and the resulting physiological deformations, the results are quite visible, as you will observe in the video.
AMURT Earthquake Relief in Haiti
Following the devastating earthquake in January 2010, AMURT and AMURTEL set up “Child Friendly Spaces” for 3000 children in the refugee camps, managed 14 camps for 10,500 people an ran medical clinics and women’s programs focusing on post-trauma stress management.
I had the opportunity to create this documentation of the important work that was done, to bring more support to the effort.
It was a very inspiring experience to work together with the Haitian people, whose smiles, determination, warmth and resilience were amazing, especially in the context of the enormous challenges they were facing.
AMURT and AMURTEL Haiti Earthquake Relief from Didi Devapriya on Vimeo.
UN Secretary General visits AMURT CFS in Petionville Camp
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, made a one day trip to visit earthquake affected Haiti. Since the January 12 earthquake, the Petionville Country Club has been transformed into one of the largest camps for displaced people in Port-au-Prince, with estimates of up to 70,000 people living there. AMURT has opened 3 Child-Friendly Spaces in the camp, serving approximately 460 children so far, and projected to serve up to 1000 within two weeks. As Ban toured through the camp, he visited one of our Child-Friendly Spaces scheduled to open the following day. Sara Wolf (Sarita), the AMURT Child Protection Coordinator, explained the educational importance of providing safe opportunities for play and self-expression for young children. She described our program which offers story-telling, art, music, karate and yoga as well as meals and nutritional support to children 4-12 years old. He enquired if the children are going to school, and she explained that as schools are still closed, AMURT is providing this transitional program of 3 hours a day. He was very impressed to see how happy the children look.
AMURTEL Haiti: Smooth tarp distribution
Sunday morning, Jayatii awoke to the sound of pattering rain drops through the broad leafy banana trees, and the slow steady dripping of water through leaky roof of her tent on the roof of the AMURTEL headquarters. In the dim, groggy light of early morning, her first thoughts rushed to the people in the camps. Most of the 11,000 people displaced by the earthquake living in the camps that AMURTEL is overseeing, are staying in huts hastily made of corrugated tin, scraps of wood, and tarps.
A surplus of tarps were still lying in the AMURTEL depot, and Jayatii’s conscience would not rest until she found a way to distribute them to the people getting wet and muddy in the slow steady rainfall. So, at 6 am, she and Ramakrsna sketched out a plan to distribute tarps to the women in the camp in Citroen. Later that morning, an AMURTEL team handed out cards to the women in the camp, and returned a few hours later in the afternoon with the tarps. When the AMURTEL vehicles arrived, the camp committee quickly cordoned off an area for the women to stand in queue, and the distribution was organized with surprising ease and efficiency. 133 tarps were distributed in about 20 minutes. Read more
Tending Climbing Vines – the Vistara Project
Vines naturally seek to climb and grow ever closer towards the light. When untended, if unable to find a fence, or tree or other strong support on their own, they tend to sprawl chaotically into a great, tangled mess. But when pruned and guided onto a support by an attentive gardener, then this same twining nature of the vines can fully express and they quickly climb higher and higher.
In all forms of service, whether as educators, awakening the thirst for knowledge in young minds, or as social workers, empowering people to solve their own problems, or spiritual aspirants helping other travellers along the path of life, we become like the gardener. We seek to help vines make contact with a strong supportive structure that will enable them to grow and express their own inherent potentiality. Read more