SUE Michaels from Montgomery is currently working as a volunteer in India, following a summer of successful fundraising. 

The trip, organised through the Trefoil Guild for former Guides, is working at a charity called Deep Griha which has several different support facilities near a large city called Pune (formerly Poona) and where the volunteers stay.

The group has been working in an orphanage for boys, called City of Child, where the boys, who have been found on the streets, either because they are orphaned, or because their families can no longer care for them, are offered accommodation and support by the charity.

There is a separate girls’ orphanage in a different location.

The ethos is one of education and nourishment, and the volunteers worked with the boys who all attend school, but also have to undertake the chores needed to keep themselves, and their rooms (they sleep in shared dormitories), clean, which includes washing their own clothes.  

Sue said, “The ethos is all about preparing these boys for a better life for when they leave the orphanage at 16.”  She added, “They all go to school, with some attending English language classes, which will give them a good chance of changing their lives, and in some cases the lives of their families, too.” 

When the boys reach the age of 16, they are helped with supported accommodation in a hostel in the city while they find their feet in the adult world.

Sue and her colleagues worked with boys from the orphanages on creating small baskets using pin looms, and with local women on knitting bobble hats for sale at local markets. 

In addition, Sue used a treadle machine to create curtains for the rooms, using fabric donated from Montgomery.

Image: Sue Michaels, from Montgomery  (middle row, left) with a large group at Deep Griha India.

Sue Michaels from Montgomery with some of the youngsters and other members of the Trefoil Guild at Deep Griha charity, India.