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Our last night in India | St Joan of Arc - Udayan

Our last night in India

16 February 2017

Today is our last day in India before the long journey home tomorrow. We visited the Asha Bhavan Centre which is an excellent home and school for children that have special needs. Here we got taken on a tour which allowed us the opportunity to see the fantastic facilities that are on offer and for us to go into lessons and interact with the children, who were extremely happy to spend time with us. We also visited their on-site craft shop where many members of the group purchased beautiful handmade gifts such as photo frames and pen pots. Sukeshi, the founder of the ABC started her life in poverty and was helped by Brother Gaston to build a new life. Sukeshi used her opportunities to build the ABC into something really special.

We then continued with the rest of our day by visiting Brother Gaston on his Ashram for vulnerable and abused women. Here we heard his inspirational story of how he ended up in India and the work he has contributed to the poor over many years. His life and ministry amongst the poor of Kolkata was the inspiration behind the book ‘City of Joy’. In the book he was changed to a Swiss Priest, partly to save his identity. The Swiss priest became an American doctor for the film and this character was played by Partick Swayze.

Dominique Lapierre, the author of City of Joy, wanted to give the royalties back to the poor of Kolkata. This desire led him to bring a suitcase full of money to Mother Teresa. She declined his offer because she knew of a young Englishman who needed some help funding his new home for the children of leprosy sufferers – Udayan.

And so our journey is complete: Dominique Lapierre writes City of Joy and starts City of Joy Aid, and under the instruction of Mother Teresa starts to fund Udayan (which had earlier been founded under the inspiration of Mother Teresa).

We are now sitting writing the blog before we head over to the Oberoi hotel for drinks as a treat on our final night.


Janice O'Donovan

@ 1755 days ago

Absolutely amazing. Safe journey home guys. What an incredible journey you have all been on. Can’t wait to see you at the airport. Love jan

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