Climbing with a purpose

Before coming out to India hiking straight up a mountain wasn’t really something I looked forward to doing every single day. This week I have learned that when you are truly motivated, even treacherous hills can come within your reach. It’s called hiking with a purpose, and one of our purposes this week has been to meet with as many candidates as possible for the Home for Peace Orphanage here in kulu. This has created a unique opportunity to have a series of conversations with community leaders, business owners, parents, guardians, and most importantly many girls who are in need. One of the questions that we have incorporated into our conversations is; what do you value? Surprisingly the answers that we have received all have a reoccurring theme.

Arushi is a very intelligent 13 year old girl. She is currently in 9th grade and has always dreamed to become a doctor. Although her life has not been easy, she is determined to reach her goal. About eight years ago her father was in a tragic accident and suffered life changing consequences; part of his face was ripped off, and has since become mentally ill. Due to this he has become negative towards arisha, and has repeatedly told her that she will never become a doctor. This experience has created a situation that has affected the whole family. They have been kicked out of their homes and have had to move several times. In the past few years arushi has had to attend at least 4 different schools. Despite the challenges arushi has maintained a perfect school average and is the top student in her class since 1st grade.

She has certainly dealt with many trials, but what is most surprising is her level of understanding of her circumstances. She knows and understands that the only way to change her situation is through education, that is why Arushi believes that in her life education is the most important value and investment she can make.

I have learned that at the beginning of any challenge, just as climbing a mountain is, it may be tough and physically tiring. Through the journey you will encounter trials, and might come very close to falling off an edge, as I almost literally did several times. Once you reach the top, you will realize that it was all worth it. These girls we have met, Arisha being one of them have a mountain to climb, they are motivated that they will reach their goals. We are doing all we can to help them through the journey.

Nefi Alarcon