Light on the dark side of Goa

Light on the dark side of Goa

Light on the dark side of Goa

Goa is always associated with sun, sea and sand but also has a very, unknown dark side, as we discovered. In the city of Margao we visited “Stepping Stones”, a shelter for children.

The children here roam the streets, are forced into prostitution, are abandoned, abused or have been left by their parents. The children are between the ages of 1 (!) to 14. In Stepping Stones, the children find the protection they need so desperatelyand are being lovingly taken care of by the volunteers who work there. When the children arrive at Stepping Stones, they take a shower first, brush their teeth and can eat without constant fear and anxiety.But still there is a lot of sadness in every child. You see it and you feel it. And even then it is great to see that children who enter as a “scared little bird” melt after a few hours. And ultimate joy is when you manage to make them smile and that they join you in playing. And yet despite the smile and the fun of playing you notice the pain and sorrow. The children held on to us as if they would never allow us to leave, a feeling that makes you shiver.

Therefore, it is so nice to let them find out that their start of 2011 will be one they have not seen before! Early January we took all the kids to the beach where we had organised the “New Year Games”. We played with them and of course there was plenty of food and drinks.It felt like a short holiday break for them. But the party was not over yet, it became even more festive that day. After dinner the volunteers explained in hindi to the children what a beautiful and amazing miracle had been created. Their crying for joy and cheering were getting louder and louder with each item called out next. The children completely went out of their mind, it was great to see and feel their happiness.

Without your help this would not have been possible. With your donations we could buy them:

  • 75 pairs of slippers
  • 75 school bags
  • 75 rain jackets
  • Gas oven
  • Storage cupboards
  • Toothpaste, soap etc.
  • Food
  • Toys

From Goa we would like to thank you all from the bottom of our heart for all the donations we received and we wish you a very beautiful and special 2011.

Charles Giesberger