To Sweden, With Love

I would consider myself incredibly lucky to work for an organization that cares so much for the communities they reach out to. Operation Smile does not monetarily support Pratyasha Foundation but in their own way, they have made this all possible. If I wasn't here with them, none of this would have started. Even the founders of Operation Smile know about Pratyasha and love it. They love that a community as a whole is changing lives in many different ways. They recognize that the need here is vast. The constant flow of volunteers coming through our surgical center provides many helping hands. Yes, there are many people that come through and help but the volunteers that come from Operation Smile Sweden have a particular place in the hearts of us and of the kids in Lakhtokia.

It all started with Gunilla, a nurse anesthetist from Stockholm, who happens to be a volunteer and board member of Operation Smile Sweden. She has been to Guwahati several times and in January 2012 she came with me to the slum for the first time. Ever since then, every single volunteer from OpSmile Sweden that comes here to the center (and there are a lot) arrives already having heard about Pratyasha and they come ready to help. Sometimes they come with donations, I can not even imagine the over weight charges they incur, clothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, hats, shoes. They come to give their time all week at the center and then they desire to give even more, using their free time to help in the slum. Every. Single. Volunteer. They're not asked or expected to help with us too. They just desire to. They have somehow come to love these children before even meeting them and when they come back, they come even more emotionally invested in our kids. I have never met a person from Sweden who does not have a huge heart and who has not positively affected our project.

Gunilla, Louise, Lousie's whole family, Ulf, Andrea, Rikard, Michel, Olivia, Jorund, Liisi, Petra, Annki, Birgitta, Chris JJ, Peter, Chris C, Ellinor, Patrik, Ingrid... and so many more. You have each contributed in your way and give us the drive to always move forward. You fill us with motivation and you often leave me humbled by giving so much when you have so little time.

So I give a simple Thank You to anyone and everyone from Sweden and the surrounding area who have supported us because I simply do not have any other words... you leave me speechless.

"Undrar just vart livets räls tar oss båda...Tacksam för allt jag har.." 
 "I wonder where the rails will take both of us. Grateful for everything I have." 

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