"WE CAN GIVE A HEART OF UNDERSTANDING AND COMPASSION TO A WORLD THAT NEEDS IT SO MUCH" Jack Kornfield.
A few months before the terrible earthquakes in Nepal in early 2015, I had the great privilege to join a group of fantastic people from Spain who goes year after year for a few weeks to Bal Mandir, the largest orphanage in Nepal, to share all their love with the children living in this impoverished corner of the world. It is difficult to describe in words what I felt for the first time to see the conditions in which they live: no running water, with very little food, in darkened rooms full of moisture and tiny beds destroyed by the passage of time ... the situation is terrible. But these feelings of deep grief soon disappear, largely because of the heat they receive everyone who comes into their little world with; in less than five minutes my heart was overflowing with affection, thanks to the smiles, hugs and tenderness of hundreds of little people quite formidable. I find it surprising and overwhelming to witness something like this: how is it possible that living day after day in such conditions, these children have such an enormous capacity to share and to love? These kind of situations are the ones that make me feel that, beyond the deep wounds that exist around us, there will always be room for magic and beauty to flourish.
My job during this week was to take the pictures that would illustrate a calendar that "RUTA6" association goes on selling each year to raise funds to mainly get grants for some orphans to study in the best conditions, and consequently, eventually find an open window of hope for a better future. And thanks to this support, now many of the young boys and girls who have already left the orphanage pursue careers in engineering or pharmacy, such as Netra, Jodish and Basanti, or engage in body and soul to help other children in need, creating the association "Creative Nepal"; or work tirelessly to improve the lives of five girls from Bal Mandir with severe mental deficiency, such as Kalpana ... before she started taking care of these poor creatures, they used to spend twenty four hours a day lying face up looking at day ceiling; now, however, they bathe every day, they sit in wheelchairs and spend hours doing fun activities with them trying to activate a little bit their brain ... and above all, trying to bring some joy and hope to their battered hearts; and what about Ram and Laxman, two twins who now live in Madrid with Aurora and Jose Luis (founders of Ruta6 and wonderful human beings), to learn Spanish and in the future to pursue a career in our country; they also devote hours to help this marriage as Jose Luis has spent the last few years in a wheelchair due to multiple sclerosis. Extraordinary stories of extraordinary people, who thanks to their fortitude and their great heart make the world a better place.
I can assure you that all the support and the work is welcome and absolutely necessary as the greatest drama of the lives of these children begins when they turn eighteen and they open the doors of the hospice to them, to an unknown world where nobody and nothing awaits them. And now more than ever, they need all the help in the world because, due to heavy and continuous shocks of earthquakes, they have lost their home....a less than comfortable home, yes....but after all their home. They have been forced to be separated from many of their friends and to be relocated in other orphanages where conditions are just as terrible and everything is new and disconcerting for them.
It is clear and evident that this poor world of us is hounded. But to live experiences like this makes me feel that not everything is lost, and helps me to understand and to remember that there are many people fighting hard every day to make things a little better. And it reaffirms me in my idea of trying to stand up to all that greed, selfishness and abuse of power that sometimes I witness through my photographs, always trying to reflect in them that beautiful part that lives in the human soul .
I feel a great fortunate to have the opportunity to travel, to connect with other realities that greatly enrich my soul, to share unforgettable moments with wonderful people, people who can be happy with very little and that with their sweetness, their generosity and their warmth always leave an indelible mark on my heart.