My husband, Terry, and I as older volunteers felt the trip and introduction to Raphael to be a challenge. In some ways it was, but, from our very first day settling into the Mess and enjoying Hari’s cooking we felt safe and looked after. This support and interest for our comfort and wellbeing continued with kind staff and our fellow volunteer Bob and Mrs Shalini Kapil, (in charge of the volunteers quarters in Raphael). Continue reading Linda and Terry
Arriving at Dehradun airport and taking the hour trip to Raphael was colourful, busy and as I remembered from a previous visit to India a little hair-raising. Arriving at the Raphael gate you enter a green and tranquil oasis, set on the edge of the forest. Continue reading Trish
It was not until I retired 13 years ago that I came to know the joy of giving. Finding myself with more time on my hands I became a volunteer with The Smith Family, an Australian NGO involved in increasing the educational opportunities of disadvantaged children. It was a wonderful experience and I found there was enormous pleasure in devoting my time to helping people who are facing disadvantages. Continue reading The Joy of Giving – Bob
My time at Raphael was an amazing and rewarding experience. From a professional, cultural and social aspect my time was more than I expected. I arrived in India not knowing anyone but left feeling that I had made many new friends. Raphael has a commitment and enthusiasm to improve the lives of many people. It also has an ongoing learning environment for current staff as well as future Special Education teachers. Besides my working life, my Raphael experience was an opportunity for me to learn about India and for Raphael to learn more about Australia. Daily exchange of cultural ways was educational for all of us. Language, religious customs and of course, enjoying the delicious Indian food were some of the highlights. Many people in Dehradun were friendly when they knew where you worked. But the hospitality of Raphael staff was outstanding.
Ever since I was 12 I’ve not only wanted to travel to India, but immerse myself in Indian Culture. After two years as an occupational therapist in the public service I knew it was my time to go. A colleague, Carmen, had been a volunteer at Raphael 15 years ago. She had compiled a beautiful photo album of her time at Raphael. The timing was impeccable. Continue reading Georgia