From Spain- With Love!

My name is David Martori, I am 16 years old, I am from Spain but I live in Japan with my parents. My life has taken me to many different countries and I have had the privilege of living in several countries. I was born in Spain and lived there for until I was 6, which is when I moved to Japan and stayed there for 5 years. Then, I went back to Spain for 2 years, but then moved to India and lived there for 2 years. Now I have been living in Japan again for almost 2 years and I plan on finishing my studies there, until I go to college abroad.

Having lived in so many countries I have had the pleasure of being exposed to many cultures, and living in India truly left a mark, since as amazing as the culture and the people are, there are still many problems left to solve. But it was great to see how hard everyone tries, and the extent to which people are invested in fixing the problems, piece by piece. Because of this, and considering how lucky I have been in life, when I started to join groups to help the community in Japan, I decided I should do it for India as well, since I had lived there before, and I wanted to do more than what I was doing in Japan. This is the second year I volunteer for an NGO in New Delhi, and I must say the exposure and the experience is like no other.

The community that I have worked with in Japan was always extremely grateful of the help we provided them with, and they were aware of the problems they had, but they did not want to fix them in the long run. However, here in India, the entire community seems invested into the idea of improving in the long run. Here, members of the community itself volunteer to help the NGO, and they are an active part of improving their lifestyle. They are also exceptionally aware of the progress they have made thanks to the teachings, lessons, and meetings organized by Smile Foundation and their project Swabhiman. They recognize how their lives have been improved, how they used to lack knowledge and now they have it, and have the ability to share it with others as well.

The children were remarkably excited at almost all times, and their general excitement and joy was contagious. They seemed like they had no worry in the world, and there was only that moment they were in. It was also great to realize that everything that is improving now will eventually have an impact on their lives when they are older, and if progress continues at this rate they will see the fruit of the effort of the current volunteers, and they will get to enjoy its results. They kids were also the best at surpassing the language barrier, since my knowledge of Hindi is practically non-existent and not everybody knows enough English to communicate their thoughts. Nonetheless the children were persistent and tried different ways to make me understand until I got it. Their attitude in general was wonderful.

In conclusion, this will not be my last visit, and I hope to come back soon.

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Author

David Martori

David visited India for a brief time, and during his time here, he interned with Swabhiman team of Smile Foundation.

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