Anna in India
The Anna Crossman Trust was inspired by the words she wrote in her diary on her last day as a volunteer at the Auxilium School in Kerala.
“But the thing that got me most was a present from one of the little boys, because I know his mum’s a tailor (I’ve seen her minuscule shop on the way back from school) and his dad’s a rickshaw driver. They clearly have no money. Anyway, he presented me with this little compact mirror with a doll on the front and told me, beaming, that he’d picked it himself. I had to do everything in my power – look at the ceiling, keep blinking – to stop myself from bursting into tears right in front of him.
I can’t help thinking that it seems so unfair that I can just saunter in, help out for six weeks and then leave these kids just so that I can laze about in south-east Asia. Although I really want to come back (to Kochi in general, but definitely to Auxilium) I didn’t promise them anything, because it would be too mean to do so, then not to come back. And even though I’m feeling all guilty and miserable now, this whole thing has made me want to do more volunteering. I mean, when you’re as lucky as I am in terms of happiness and wealth, why wouldn’t you?
Note to self/Anna in the future if you’re reading this years from now. You’ll never be too busy to do this. Even if it’s only for a month, just DO IT. Because you bloody loved it when you were 18.”