Chris Mann

11 November 2016

I have been involved since the very beginning of the school’s commitment to Udayan in 2004 and it was on hearing Mrs Weldon talk so passionately about the work of the home I became hooked. The 2017 Mission will be a special one for me as it was 10 years ago that I was fortunate to be part of the group that visited India and Udayan when I was in Year 13! I am amazed and exceptionally proud that Udayan is still a huge part of school life at St Joan of Arc and 13 years on the school community has raised somewhere in the region of £120,000.

Since leaving St Joan’s in 2007 I have become a trustee of City of Joy Aid, UK (the charity which supports Udayan in the UK). Whilst many things have changed over the years at Udayan it still lives by the Bengali translation of its name – dawn, new beginnings. The children there are given a home, education and medical attention. Without Udayan these children would be living on the streets or in slums – such is the stigma of leprosy.

This will be my fourth trip to India with St Joan’s, having been a part of the 2007, 2011 and 2015 teams to visit Udayan and other projects supported by City of Joy Aid, UK. It will be wonderful to be back at Udayan again and see the progress that has been made in the past two years, as well as to spend many more hours with the children. We as a group look forward to sharing photographs and our activities with you through our daily diary (technology permitting).