Sunday, Nov 18 2018
AG Home Seva - 25 Mar 2013
On the 4th of March, two of our gurus and I went to AG Home. AG Home, formerly known as Andrew and Grace home, is a home for troubled teenagers. It is a full fledged residential home for teenage girls at risk. Their clients comprise of teenagers who are either juvenile delinquents that are beyond parental control or are victims of sexual and/or physical abuse. Their mission is to love the unloved by reaching out to troubled youths and families; providing a temporary place of refuge so that lives may be restored, renewed and revived. It is their wish that all girls who come through AG home will be at the end of their tenure and will find hope and direction in their respective lives. They hope that family relations are improved and they would be able to gain the support of the family when they are discharged from AG.
When we went there, it was about 5 pm and the girls were returning back from school.When they reached home, their bags, pockets, pencil cases and even phones went through thorough checks. Their attendance was marked by taking thumbprints. While the checks were going on, the girl who had just gotten back from school was telling us about how her father used to threaten her that he would put her in a girls home and how she never listened until one day it really happened. She said in a laughing tone that she still remembered herself running out of the gates, crying. While she was saying this, Aunty Ruby, one of the most respected people there laughed along with her and talked animatedly with the girl. They seemed so cheery and happy that one would think there was never a back story to their lives.
When we first reached, the sports teacher welcomed us warmly and led us to a cosy room in the library. She asked us questions like which organisation we came from, how we came about saving money for a project like this and how we had managed to save this much. We told her about the "Save a dollar a week" project as part as "Smile and the whole world smiles with you" theme. Our group saved a dollar a week for the entire year and with whatever we collected, we used the money to buy toiletries. We told her about how we wanted to contribute to AG Home and that we bought toiletries for the girls. We also wrapped them in gift wrappers. She really appreciated all the help we did and had conveyed her greatest thanks to everyone who had helped save up money.
A little while later, Aunty Ruby came in. She had been running the place for about 4 and a half years. These girls are said to have unlimited amount of energy and to make sure that there is something to keep them occupied, they have sports activities every single day. My dad, who was waiting in the car for me said that they are very energetic and very, very good at netball and basketball. As we were touring the place we saw them running up and down the steps to higher and higher levels each time. Seems tough, doesn't it? But the girls did it.
They have a dance studio, gym, little garden, lounge and even a fish spa just for the girls to sit and talk to each other. Only during the weekend they get to go home to see their parents. They yearn to go back home to their parents, go out with their friends, watch a movie with their siblings or just have dinner with their family.
The lessons that we have taken back home are : we should count the good things we have in our lives and appreciate them, instead of becoming unhappy over the things we don't have. We grumble about ourselves not having shoes but some people don't have feet. We grumble about not getting our favourite food but some people don't have any food at all! We have learnt that we should count our blessings!
We can do lot more things by putting a ceiling on our desires. Helping AG Home girls is just one part of the project "Desire less & Help more"
Swami Says, "Desires are like luggage which is a heavy burden in the journey of life. Less luggage more comfort makes travel a pleasure. Therefore, gradually reduce your desires. If you have less luggage, you will be more peaceful." - Baba
JAI SAI RAM