Out of the difficult and uncertain lock-down times, we have been blessed by a new collaboration with Deepam therapy centre.
You can get an overview of this collaboration here:
In August 2020, during Covid-19 lockdown, our European volunteers had returned to their respective countries and we were short of hands on the farm.
Leo, an occupational therapist who had been volunteering with us some mornings while Deepam, the therapy centre where she works, was closed, initiated a project between Deepam and ourselves where the older students with special needs could come to the farm five mornings a week for vocational training.
The project started with just two Deepam students and now has 15 young people coming throughout the week, plus ten Deepam team members rotating to support.
The Deepam team have contributed greatly to the farm’s work, especially when we were short of volunteers, and have also contributed invaluably to the energy and richness on a human level.
In return, the students have gained new social contacts, vocational skills, therapeutic opportunities and increased self esteem and pride in their ability to contribute to their communities. It’s been great to see their progress as they develop their basic farming skills, holding and navigating wheelbarrows, mumptis, watering cans, pruners and so on – working with everyone’s strengths to complete the work. The variety of tasks offer different challenges to improve their manual & spatial dexterity, as well as building attention-spans and general fitness and wellbeing.
You can see a little video of Akash’s wheelbarrow journey in this video:
As a token of our gratitude, the students also receive vegetables each week from us to take home to their families. We would love to be able to support those young people who are interested to take up agricultural work in future as we really value their efforts and the beautiful atmosphere and space for growth they bring to the whole team.
This collaboration has touched all who have been in and through the farm during this time and continues to be a blessing that we hope to continue into the future.
If you would like to know more about the important work that Deepam does for disabled village children,
visit their website https://www.deepam-auroville.in/en/homepage/.