Inspired to run
by Allie Matchwick (Upper Bucklebury) & Katherine Manchip, both 21 years old studying Veterinary Medicine The University of Bristol
‘’The Paris marathon?! You must be mad, you’ve never run more than three miles in your life’’
This was an unsurprising reaction to our transformation from unfit, alcoholic students to future marathon runners. ‘Trust Children’s Home’ in Southern India has apparently changed us.
To support us and to help raise money for the TRUST Children's Home, please visit our JustGiving page at http://www.justgiving.com/Alexandra-Matchwick or download a form from the About TRUST page and contact us by post. Thank you.
The situation first arose while looking for some gallivanting to do in our summer holidays. A university friend mentioned ‘Trust’ and we were keen to do some backpacking around the jewel of the British Empire so booked flights immediately without really thinking about small children. We promptly forgot about the whole thing, carrying on in our university bubble. Before we knew it, we had arrived in the tiny village of Vengadampatty in Tamil Nadu state, Southern India being greeted by 40 excited faces, welcoming us with flower garlands. Over the next four and a half weeks, we got to know these faces and personalities well (although name pronunciation was never quite mastered!).
Having been unsure of what to expect of these orphans and the atmosphere of such a place we were pleasantly surprised to find maybe the happiest group of people we have ever met, not least due to the three dedicated staff members. It was easy to forget the shadowy pasts of these children as they thrived on the collective attitude of good fortune, opportunity and another chance. This was most obvious in their impressive determination to achieve in school. The atmosphere of the home is one of such contagious positivity, love and happiness and we never ceased to be amazed.
On arrival we felt slightly redundant as the children look after each other, leaving little for two English girls to help with. However, we soon became heavily involved with our own projects – a handprint wall, display boards and files for art, enough art materials to sink a battleship and two new bicycles for the 2 hour commute to school.
In this happy (and now art covered) environment it was easy for us to forget the constant financial struggle of the charity, (these worries are kept well away from the children) but Trust has no regular or guaranteed financial support. We have returned determined to raise much needed money for this incredible place. A new building to provide extra accommodation and privacy for the elder girls is at the moment half-finished, we aim for its completion.
The marathon is in April....We’d better get training...