Missionaries of Charity

Missionaries of charity, Calcutta

Kolkata, India. March 25th, 2010

Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of charity offer volunteer opportunities in the poorest parts of Calcutta and other cities for every visitor who is willing to help.

We donate food for the orphans resident at the center.

Name Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa), Calcutta
Aim The Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center is a non-profit organization established and directed by the religious family founded by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the Missionaries of Charity.
Since Mother Teresa founded MC (Missionaries of Charity) in 1950
Staff 40 sisters, 30 candidates, about 15 volunteers work here, they stay somewhere between 2 weeks and 6 months
Contact http://motherteresa.org/layout.html

Donation 5,000 Rupees (111 USD)

We don’t need to search long for a Cause in Calcutta. Everybody associates this city with charity, because it was in the streets of Calcutta that Mother Teresa began her mission. Now, more than a decade after her passing, her organisation, Missionaries of Charity, is represented in far over 100 countries. We visit the “Mother’s House” where we have a glimpse at her tomb, a simple marble square decorated with flowers. It is explicitly allowed to take pictures of the grave. We ask whom we should talk to if we would like to make a donation and wanted to be shown around, and they send us to another building.
It is one of the orphanages run by the organisation, and they are just enrolling volunteers. Dozens of foreigners have flocked to the building and await their turn patiently on wooden benches in the courtyard. Everybody is accepted here upon presentation of their passport. No need of police clearance, application forms and fees, proof of experience in interacting with ovc’s – it is working according to what we have in mind. The volunteers are sent to orphanages or centers that take care of the fatally ill and destitute in high density areas, where they help out with all daily chores and basically relieve the burden of the nuns.
We talk to some volunteers about their work here.

“The Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center is a non-profit organization established and directed by the religious family founded by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the Missionaries of Charity.

The Center’s aim is to serve as a centralized and authoritative source of information on Mother Teresa, to facilitate the spread of authentic devotion to her, and to safeguard her words and image from misuse or abuse. The founding of such a Center was first proposed by the Office of the Postulation of Mother Teresa in 2002 and is a development of that Office’s work of supporting authentic devotion and knowledge of Mother Teresa. “

We conduct a short interview with Eliza, a Canadian lady in her fifties volunteering here.

How did you find out about it?
-It is very well-known. This is my second time here, and I know about it through word of mouth.
How long will you be in India?
-This time I spend one year here, for travelling and meditation. It’s my fifth time in India.
What was your first experience like?
-Here in Shishubavan I worked with children for ten days, feeding and changing them, and giving physical therapy. My first time working for Missionaries of Charity however was in Khaligat, and that was a very special experience. I worked with adolescents there.
What is it that makes it special?
-The motto “do all you do with love.” They don’t ask special questions, no training is necessary, you are asked to do all sort of things. In Khaligat I ended up giving out medicine and massaging them.
Do you encounter any language problems?
-Often they don’t speak English, but we can use sign language. Or just hold hands, when emotional support is needed.
Have you done volunteering in other countries?
-No. It is not easy to find ways to do it.

Missionaries of Charity was originally published on Meandering home

February 3. Streetkids.

The plan is to organize an exhibition of the art created by the children at Muodjo. Potential benefactors will visit that display of the streetkids’ interesting drawings and might chip in. So Oswaldo and I take a bus to the city and look for materials. Since we can’t find them, we end up hanging out in the German cultural center where I talk to the local coordinator of DED. He seems interested in our story but of course doubts if we can organize it all by ourselves, “bypassing” as we call it, bulky bureaucracies.
It is a lazy day let me not pretend otherwise. Oswaldo takes me around Maputo a bit more and shows me a ruined grand colonial house. As I observe the dilapidated balconies I see a few children sneak into the building.
“They live here” Oswaldo explains.
Yes, they do, and now they come to ask us for something to eat. My friend gives them a few Meticaisand we continue. Even though I haven’t actually seen the living condition of Maputo’s street children, their sleeping places, their diet, abuse, sickness, I understand they are not living happy lives.
Oswaldo used to live on the streets himself, before he was rescued from the streets and brought up by missionaries. He was a good student and went on to study musicology, and actually earned a degree. Many of the projects at Muodjo involve traditional instruments from Mocambique or Zimbabwe.

February 3. Streetkids. was originally published on Meandering home

February 1. Rolling on to Maputo.

We take a comfortable bus to Maputo. The roads on the South African side are what you would expect in the European Union and as the road cuts through the large cultivated fields we realize that South Africa is a rich country with a poverty problem – not a poor country with a rich upperclass problem like so many in Africa.

The border imposes no burden on the traveler’s mind, it is rather easy to purchase our visas for Mocambique, and we continue with a smile having left yet another minor incertainty behind us. The bus drops us somewhere in the center and we walk a few blocks to get a grip of this new city. We try several atm’s and public phones to no avail. When we finally get hold of a working phone (the owner is a Danish ngo worker working on “concepts” who could not have shown less interest in Charity Travel), it is too late to ask our host to stay with her, so we leave things to luck which of course works out just fine. Some Spanish and German girls, working here as volunteers, know the location of the city’s sole backpackers dorm (Fatima’s backpackers) and we are safe for the night. The place looks like a typical South American hostel with playfully painted walls and curved furniture. The dormitory itself is merely functional, like some of the staff – we use this place only for sleeping.

February 1. Rolling on to Maputo. was originally published on Meandering home