Colleen Larsen AIESEC intern, U.S.A.

“Working at Jeevan Jyoti has been one of the best experiences of my life. I am truly amazed at the sprit and enthusiasm within each child I’ve met here despite the gravity of their souroundings. Learning and growing with them during my time here has left me completely convinced that their potential is boundless with the involement of Jeevan Jyoti in their education. However the positive effects of this organization do not stop with the success stories of the children. The positive presence radiated by Jeevan Jyoti Charitable Foundation truly is a light in the darkness for the entire community. The center is commonly known as a safe place where many come to seek refuge. I honestly couldn’t imagine the area without it.”

More on Colleen’s spiritual take on Jeevan Jyoti!

                                              Derek Vollebergt
AIESEC intern, Canada

My time at Jeevan Jyoti has been an incredible experience. I have always believed I have had a good sense of perspective, but working here has expanded this even more. For example we give meals to these kids, usually one a day. One time that remains with me was when one of the kids began putting some of the rice from the lunch we provide in his pocket and I told him not to do that. Then one of the other helpers told me that would be the only meal he would receive that day, and it would potentially be used to feed some of the other members of their family.
To put things in perspective, lunch for 15 students costs approximately 120 rupees. Which in Canadian dollars for me is $3. To think all the money I waste on non-necessities could feed these children for weeks on end.
Many times people are afraid to donate to a cause because they will not see the benefits. But let me tell you, I can see them clearly. And you can continue to see them by following this blog.
The kids here are amazing, I hope we can give them equal footing with the more privileged children in Indian society. Especially for the young girls, that if nothing is done will likely end up like their mothers. That is a very scary thought.
The kids love coming here, it is one of the only places they receive positive attention, opportunities to grow and sanitary conditions.
Please think twice about buying that extra beer at the bar, that new shirt or shoes, or buying a second new cell phone in the past year. These kids need the help right now

Sushmithaa N.D was part of the delegation of five school girls from Ooty who came to visit JJCF-Pune Center for a day. They were led by Rebecca Parks of "Sisters Internatinoal." Sushmithaa N.D was inspired as a result of the visit to collect funds for JJCF-Pune.

Looking back in time, I have learned a lot of things during the time I spent collecting these funds.  I visited many houses, spoke to a variety of people and shared with them a little bit of knowledge from the trip.  I met new people and made new friends.  I persuaded many families to help and they actually did.  I live in an apartment so I know a few of them but studying in a boarding school I had missed many faces.  But now I've learned about them in just a month and how willingly they help. After all what do you expect from a friendly neighborhood that would love to help anytime.  There was an important part of the contribution from many youngsters who were in their teenage basically my friends who went to the same coaching class I did and felt the urge to help somehow with whatever little they could put in.  I told them about how Jeevan Jyoti, an institution that inspired me to volunteer for the collection and had taken immense pleasure in serving God's children.  Then I told them about "Sisters" (International) who played a big part in taking me on this trip and making me see the other side of the world.  One thing I really learned on this trip is 'If you need to serve, you must not be judgmental.' I really thank everyone who helped.

I consider this visit as a higher calling. Social serving has been my long time wish.  I have always wanted to serve and this thought, I had obtained from my mother who always finds a way and a place to help.  In the future, I wish to help many more places this want and serve the Lord!

Verna Chowdhary
Mahima Foundation
Motihari, Bihar

It was a long overdue visit to ‘Jeevan Jyoti’ cause Dr. Ruby and I have been friends a long time, and though I’ve loved and appreciated her work, I was skeptical for it was different from the vision God had given me for Bihar (a much easier work with widows and orphan children). My fear was would I be emotionally affected just looking at lives so traumatized…selfishly, this is what held me back until I made a firm decision and there I was at Jeevan Jyoti.

How can I describe it best? A haven from the storm outside; a place of refuge for those who would opt for it. A little home with a big heart!

As the children came in, “Dr. Nani” affectionately acknowledged each child – from the 16 year old to the 5 year old. I could see the bonding, and what was unique was that they were themselves, no act in front of ‘visitors’.

They talked, teased each other and got a little noisy but Ruby was calm just threw a word of caution now and then but accepting them as they were.  They shared with me their experience of being slain in the spirit as Ruby prayed for them (in their words ‘A to Z all of us went down!’) As for the women, the two helpers were so clean, well trained and efficient in their work giving out drinks and goodies to the children – not grudgingly or sparingly but freely the way Ruby does things. You could see their lives are changed and how they are growing in faith. For the other woman sitting with us spending time at the home meant loss of business and yet she sat so happily and peacefully. She knew she was loved and that someone genuinely cared for her.

Sitting there I was so comfortable, the presence of the Holy Spirit so tangible. I wondered why I had not visited the place earlier. For; in that place of lawlessness, I saw an abundance of God’s grace…! I came away edified and blessed with a new touch of the Holy Spirit spurred on to do my work better and the way God wants it to be.

Mike List
Freelance Musician, U.S.A.
December 10, 2009, Michigan.

Approximately one year ago I was in India.  I was there to study tabla (an Indian drum) and to do some charity work later in the trip.  A mutual friend connected me with Dr. Ruby in order to introduce me to another tabla player in Pune.  When I met Dr. Ruby she told me about the work that they were doing and a few weeks later I visited the center and took lots of pictures. (the kids like having their picture taken….and they like seeing the picture soon after!) Later in my trip, as I was deciding where I should spend my time volunteering and I kept looking at those pictures.
I am glad I worked with Jeevan Jyoti.  After spending time with the kids and seeing them in an environment where they were loved, it made me think that kids are kids regardless of their situation.  I would only catch glimpses of the reality of the pain in their lives.  I would wonder why a girl was standing off facing the wall softy whimpering.  I would ask what a child said about a mark on her arm and find out that somebody hit her. Perhaps one of the reasons one of the kids was so clingy was that she was abandon on the streets and I would actually give her attention. After I left one of the students was tested to go to a boarding school and was found to be HIV positive.    And yet, they were still kids.  If you give them cake and ice cream and play one their favorite songs they dance around and have a good time. (their favorite song at time was “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire!)
It is easy to have compassion for the kids because they did not choose the situation that they are in and it is an obvious injustice.  Initially I didn’t have a lot of compassion for the adults in the area, but once I was told how many of them were forced into that life, it made me see them more like those kids.  Jesus didn’t excuse the actions of the “sinners” he spent time with but I think he had an understanding and love for them that allowed him to not judge and to ultimately sacrifice for them.

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