I forgot how hard it is to keep up on blogging out here! Days are pretty busy so by the time I have some time back at our room, I am too sleepy to write. So, instead of catching you up on every day out here, I’m going to spend some time sharing what I did today, because today was awesome.
Today our group went on a micro-loan tour of a leprosy colony called Barathapuram. This colony is basically the model colony of the work that Rising Star Outreach has done here in India.
We first met with the leaders of the town. This man below that looks like the Indian version of Colonel Sanders is the town treasurer, and the other man on the motorcycle I think is the town leader. Last time I was here I met the barber who was also the town's secretary. I was told that he passed away a few months ago from complications with leprosy. This made me so sad. He was a really sweet man and continued to work as a barber, even though his leprosy made it very difficult to do so.
|Town Secretary and Leader|
|The man on the left is Vincent, our guide|
|Town Secretary. He laughed a lot although it doesn't look like it in this photo. |
He was very cute and made us laugh with him.
|I was following this cute little chicken around to try and get a good photo of it, but it freaked him out|
This beautiful woman owns and operates her own convenience store out of the front of her home. Rising Star gives money in the form of micro loans to people in these leprosy colonies, so they can start their own businesses. What I like most about the loans is that they are just that, loans. They are able to have the money to start their business, and then they pay back the loan. Once the loan is paid back, that loan money goes to someone else to help them start their business. It has been a great way for Barathapuram to build their community. Many of the business owners are women, which is wonderful because India is a very male dominated country. It's great to see some strong women doing their thing!
|Rising Star built about 10 toilets in this colony for the leprosy afflicted and their families.|
|This woman herds cattle and goats for a living. Another micro grant success story.|
One of my favorite parts of the day was when we went to the town preschool and played with the little kids. They were so cute!!! See for yourselves :)
|This little girl was a bit scared of all the white people :)|
|This woman makes jewelry to sell. Everyone is so nice here!|
It was a wonderful day. I'm just sad I only have a few days left here. It went by so fast!