Hands on India
Written by Clifford Wallace Employee Ashley Foskett.
Normally, you’ll find reception whiz Ashley operating the front desk at the Macquarie Park offices of Aristocrat. However, over January and February this year, she stepped right outside her comfort zone. Ashley embarked on an epic adventure, spending time travelling and doing charity work with Hands On India. A volunteer organisation that provides basic medical care and support for people in remote areas of India and Nepal.
The charity runs annual volunteer trips, taking teams to assist in outreach work. It provides funds to 7 schools and approximately 700 children in areas where the child labour rate is high. It also funds 2000 Women’s Empowerment groups, enhancing health and well being and partnering with local, community-based NGO’s to work with remote communities.
Ashley worked with these groups, assisting in the provision of food and medical services and participating in a women’s group. Ashley’s journey saw her travelling to the Siliguri Corridor, a remote stretch of subtropical land between Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. Along the way Ashley met some amazing people, not to mention experiencing altitude sickness in the Himalayas and -31c temperatures.
Here’s Ashley’s story in her own words….
Having the opportunity to travel overseas has truly been a life changing experience. To not only have time away for myself, but to also travel to India and do volunteer work for a charity called Hands on India has made my heart feel fuller than ever. I have always been drawn to helping others and devoting time to do what I can to make someone’s life a little easier, and a little brighter. But the big question is “where do we find the time?”
We are always so dedicated on taking care of ourselves first and it’s hard to sometimes put others before yourself.
Working with The Clifford Wallace Agency has provided me with the chance to accomplish a goal that I was craving to achieve. To be flexible with my lifestyle and to allow me to help others is something I truly value in a company. Some of the things that Hands on India provide are:
- Running annual volunteer trips; taking teams of 30 chiropractors and assistants for 2 weeks to provide ‘hands-on’ musculoskeletal care for those working in hard labour; breaking riverbed rocks and on tea plantations.
- Funds 7 schools (over 700 children) to provide quality education for children who were previously amongst 1 in 4 children working in child labour.
- Funds 2,000 women in Women’s Empowerment Groups; helping women gain economic independence to further their family, and community’s education and standard of living.
- Works to enhance the health and well-being of local communities in Siliguri, India.
- Partners with local, community-based, Indian NGO’s who demonstrate cultural and social sensitivity and work with community and government structures when administering their NGO support strategies.
My job was being an assistant for the chiropractors to set up the rosters for the day, fill out medical history forms and taking the blood pressure of our patients.
The biggest highlight of my trip was starting the day going to one of the schools that we fund and administering de-worming medicine to the children. They were always so excited and so very grateful for the work that we do; smiling from ear to ear, you can see so much love in their warm brown eyes.
Providing funds for the women empowerment groups allow them to kick start independent businesses, provide aid and education to the community and act as a support network for those in need.
All funds raised by Hands on India go directly to these projects; the organization is completely volunteer based and non-profit. It is the enthusiasm of local chiropractors and the generosity of the community donations that allow for this project to continue with greater results each year.
If you would like to support, please visit the link below: