Ruchi’s Story

Ruchi did not choose to be born to a poor migrant laborer family. She did not choose to be born a girl. She did not choose to have an alcoholic father. She did not choose to be so poor that she could not go to school. She may be a victim of her circumstances, but she embraces life with optimism and courage.

I often saw Ruchi roaming the streets wearing nothing but her underwear, and sometimes a tattered t-shirt. She was always carrying a wide-eyed, dust-covered baby on her hip and holding the hand of thin smiley toddler. When our eyes would meet, she would give me a big smile. After seeing her around for so many days I asked her about her family, what she was doing and if the baby had eaten…


Ruchi is the second child of 5 siblings. The baby was Rinku, her littlest brother. The toddler was Ashish, her second youngest brother. Her parents are migrant laborers hailing from Bihar. They travel to find work. They live on the streets at the construction sites for the duration of the job.

When they were in the village, Ruchi went to school. She studied till second grade. But when poverty struck the family, they had to move to Delhi to find work. This meant Ruchi could no longer study. She needed to look after the younger siblings while mom and dad worked.

So here she was. This sweet soft-spoken smiley 10 year old caring for two children all day long. She bathed them when there was water. She fed them. She helped them go to the bathroom. She entertained them. She consoled them when they would cry. And she never asked for anything for herself.

I could not bare seeing them sitting in the dirt piles all day in the hot sun. So I told Ruchi’s parents to start sending her along with Rinku and Ashish to our Home of Hope. They were grateful. I told her to come at 9am the next day. She showed up at 8am, as if she was too excited to wait another hour.

The following day, she brought three more children with her.
“Didi, they also want to study. They don’t have a mom.” Her compassion was showing.

Now it is four months later. Ruchi is a kid again. She studies. When Rinku cries, our housemothers step in. Everyday From 9am (or 8am)- 6pm Ruchi is a 10 year old girl. She has found solace in our home. Sometimes, when her father drinks too much in the night, she will show up extra early in the morning with that same beautiful smile and say, “We needed to come here today. We didn’t eat dinner last night, so the babies are hungry.”

Since Ruchi came, I feel even more now than ever, that our Home of Hope is just that. A Home of Hope- A Beacon of Light for all those children who just need to be seen, if even just for a day. Ruchi continues to bring more and more children whenever she meets ones in need. I haven’t told her this, but I believe she would make an incredible social worker!

 

Ruchi and her littlest brother Rinku

Buffalo Wild Wings

Help us in fundraising for One Life to Love, an Orphanage in New Delhi India! By dining with Buffalo Wild Wings on Route 1 in Princeton, July 13th, Aug.17th, Sept. 21st, Oct. 19th, Nov. 16th, Dec. 21st, and Jan 4th. Buffalo Wild Wings will donate 15% of your total bill to this Orphanage.

The One Life to Love Home of Hope focuses on rescuing children from the streets and providing them with a nurturing home where they can live the health life that every child deserves. Some are homeless, some are lost, some are abandoned, and others are victims of human trafficking. A large percentage of these children are physically and or/mentally challenged.

 

Through this home, we hope to also sensitize and educate the children’s families and communities about special needs children.

 

For more information visit: http://onelife2love.org

Direct donations: https://app.mogiv.com/onelifetolove/angelinacifelli

Contact: AngelinaCifelli10@gmail.com

 

Print your tickets here: OLTL Tickets 7.13

Puja’s Story

Puja's Story

UPDATE: Puja Was discharged from the hospital on 5th June. She is undergoing medication and doctors are confident she will make a full recovery! She is with us in our DayCare program for most of the day, but she is not safe at home. I am still searching for a Home for Puja, but I've had no luck. There is no home for Puja. So I am planning to open a home for Puja and other girls like her. Please join me in the effort to give Puja and other girls like her the safe and nurturing environment every child deserves. Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/homeforgirlswithspecialneedsGetting personal here. WARNING: some information shared may cause SERIOUS distress for some viewers.

Posted by Courtney Lalotra on Saturday, June 2, 2018

Puja’s DayCare Established

While 5 of our children are going to school, we still have 5 children who are not able to go to school and need a lot of care and attention at home. With Puja’s crisis came a revelation- we need to open our home to children in need. We are now reaching out to government hospitals and social organizations encouraging them to send children like Puja to us for DayCare. We are scheduled to hold an awareness campaign in three nearby slums to find out if there are any other children in need of care and protection. Please be praying for these events and for us to be led to those who are in need.
As we branched out, informing the hospitals and local community about our DayCare, we received a number of people who offered to volunteer their time to care for and educate our children. We also invite anyone reading this who is interested in volunteering with us to please contact us directly. We would be grateful for your services!
If you’d like to support the DayCare, you can do so by donating here: https://app.mogiv.com/onelifetolove/general

Yogesh Lalotra Certified BY IAHRW

The Indian Association of Health Research and Welfare is a group of researchers, health practitioners, social workers and students that promotes quality, indigence and cross-cultural researches, to provide research database to researchers, to build a platform for researchers for scholarly discussion to enrich thoughts for generating new ideas in psychology, education, special education and other health sciences, and to publish quality books, journals and scales and to provide them to researches at their doorstep to promote the discipline of psychology.
Recently, Yogesh Lalotra, along with other members of our In-Country Program Management Team, was certified in Autism Assessment and Intervention. Here he is seen being awarded by the founding member Dr. Neelam. Congratulations, Yogesh!

School Open for Special Needs Children

We are excited to announce our partnership with a nonprofit school located in Delhi. The students, teachers and faculty have opened their arms to our children. I was able to attend the inaugural program and share about the work of One LIfe to Love.
In India, space is a luxury. This non-profit school is already offering education to hundreds of underprivileged children and they literally had no space to fit us. They easily could have turned us down, as so many other schools have. But no. Instead, they said, “We can squeeze into one office and turn our other office into the special education room.” Then, they requested volunteers from Google India  to paint the room and make it ready for our children.
This partnership is expanding our impact. Now, not only will our Home of Hope children receive individualized special education in an inclusive environment, but poor families in our locality will also be able to send their special needs children to school. AND children who are already attending the school who have learning disabilities will get the attention they need.
Our school-going children are just so excited to wear their uniforms and mingle with the other children at school. If you’d like to support their education you can do so by donating to our Education Fund: https://app.mogiv.com/onelifetolove/letherlearn
We know this space will suffice our 5 children and maybe 3 more children from the locality. However, quoting FIELD OF DREAMS: “If you build it, they will come”. We would love to maximize our impact and provide a suitable space for well over 20 children. The cost of building a new classroom is about $20,000. If you feel inclined to support this effort, please donate to our Education Fund!

Water by Saanvi

Heat. Sweat. Exhaustion. Thirst.

Racing heart beat. Thrill. Excitement.

I feel all these things when we have a [soccer] match. When the whistle blows and the game is won, my first thought is to jump and cheer and hug my teammates. My second thought is to have a drink of water.

There we are, 11 players waiting our turn to swig from the single water bottle available on the field. I remember seeing Hollywood movies in which players would dump huge jugs of water over their coaches heads at the end of a match. I would laugh and think, “Wow, how fun would that be to do after every match.” I was almost envious of their unlimited supply of water.

But isn’t every drop special and priceless? Doesn’t every drop of water make an impact?

In our villages, water wells and pumps are built in the center of town, proving how instrumental they are to the community development. Everyone gathers every morning and evening to collect their daily water needs. If someone doesn’t turn up, then we will bring water to their home and check on them and make sure they aren’t sick or in need of any help.

In some of our villages the nearest water supply is miles away. Usually women will make the daily journey. Some see it as a STRUGGLE, and YES, it is very difficult to live without a nearby water supply. However women mostly enjoy these daily walks where they can chat with their friends, hear the latest village gossip, share their struggles and seek advice and support from one another.

In the cities, we sometimes struggle from water shortages in which there is low or no supply. We sometimes have to wait a day or two before there is running water again, which is difficult if you have not stored any emergency supply water in your home.

During these days you see people carrying empty buckets to their neighbors’ homes and leaving with full buckets back to their own homes. Water trucks come and everyone gathers with their buckets and wait their turn. The children especially enjoy the water trucks as they splash around in the water that leaks out.

And then, here we are, on the field, under the hot sun, after a tenuous and triumphant match. We 11 girls wait our turn to drink from that one single bottle. That one single bottle is beautiful. It is life-giving.

Not one of us takes more than our share. Not one of us drinks without thinking of the other girls who are waiting, just as thirsty and tired. And everyone gets their fill. Everyone is satisfied.

This proves how amazing water is, whether in excess or in limited supply. It gives life and builds community.

-Saanvi, age 11

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Saanvi’s essay was published in Bright Lite Magazine’s Water Issue http://www.brightlitemag.com/

Saanvi is a grade 7 student in

One Life to Love’s education program