A Home away from Home

ROPIO Foundation, It’s not just an Organization , it’s a home in itself- A family of 21 kids (17 boys and 4 girls) and one adult, the head of the family, Murphy Raphael John, Who dedicated his life for us and continues that way till date. Our family is so big that people get skeptical just by our sheer number, but we have a tendency of attracting people very easily. Whenever a new volunteer or a kid comes, they don’t want to leave. We are such tempting lot that they literally refuse to go home. This is one of the most beautiful things about our family.

We organize workshops for our kids or send them to different places to attend workshops and learn from them. Such as those of PRAVAH’s  like “In-Side-Out”, where the kids learnt how to make and use puppets and some of them learnt how to make comics, through which they created awareness on various issues which affect our society, like killing of a girl child.

We had a dental camp where the dentist came and checked the teeth of all the kids and gave them advice on oral hygiene. Amaani did an awesome workshop with us, which was held by Lavanya. She introduced the ‘Seven Wonders of World’ and explained about them. After that she asked us to make an Eighth Wonder of The World from our own imagination.

Those who are interested in the arts and painting are sent to ‘Flavors’ of Art’ to build on their skills. We also go for exposures to big companies to meet their employees and get to know about corporate life. For instance-we have been attending programs with Thought Works, which is an MNC based in Gurgaon. They organize get-togethers two or three times in a year. Sometimes they come to our centre and sometimes we go to their office or they take us out.

We have had interactions with foreign students. The first was when a bunch of foreigners came from Eastern Mennonite University. They were 30 of them and were with us for 2 days. We had so much fun together. The second time was when a group of people came from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. They were with us for a week and we learnt a lot about how we function and offered various suggestions to better our foundation. The third and last was when we had an event called ‘National Children’s Parliament, Delhi chapter’. That time few interns came from AEISEC. They were from different countries-Taiwan, China, Egypt, Netherlands and Germany. We bonded well with them and some of them still call us or stay in touch on facebook.

We went to Nainital in 2012 during the summer vacations. We had a 2 day trip. It was a legendary adventure for us.

We have a good relationship with DEEPOSITIVE Foundation. We help them in their workshops-such as Santa Workshop and for Diwali “token of love”. In Santa’s workshop we distributed 1,00,000 gifts in the city and in Diwali we  distributed 10,000 Diyas. All of that was a good experience for us.

When the Joy of Giving week comes we go to L & T (Larson & Toubro) company to celebrate the week with them. We play interactive games with employees and they also contribute towards us in cash as well as in kind.

We do events to raise funds and awareness. Events such as Udaan, Artees -Wild Within, Joy of Giving week and National Children’s Parliament- Delhi Chapter. During NCP we met many new students and people. It was for creating awareness among school students and kids about their rights and responsibilities. Here we had the honour of meeting a minister, Dr. Mihir Shah, a member of Planning Commission of India. Till date we have a good relationship with him.

I like the space ROPIO because I like my life with it. I love living here and being a part of it. I started here as a kid when I was in the 9th. I really learnt a lot here. Now I cleared my 12th and I am helping the organization in its steps ahead.Now I am doing B.A. Sociology(Hons.) from B.R.Dr. Bheem Rao Ambedkar University. I teach the kids English and Geography.

I love visiting various places. I like to meet different people. I never leave any chance where I can go out and meet new people and get to know how they became what they are, how much they suffered and worked hard to achieve their goals and over here I get that chance to meet so many different people. ROPIO Foundation, it’s a life full of joy, fun and drama. Each one of the kids have different skills and are unique in themselves. Everyone loves each other a lot. I get love in truck loads. All of us are so attached that whenever anyone has any problem then others come to her/his aid. I have so much to say but I can’t explain in words. All I can say is that- I really love my family in ROPIO Foundation.

I am glad because I have such a precious thing in my small life.

Akash Thakur

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