Maximilian Schroff – Weekly Report No. 1
One week of India and I don’t know where to start my report. What means ‘India’, as I only have visited St.John’s, which is incomparable to the size of whole India, still I have learned so many new and interesting things. I could have dedicated my report to the local cuisine or the mentality or even comment on a “crazy” in a way Indian driving style. Therefore I will confine myself to the essential point and inform You about St.John’s.
At the beginning I have to say that I am very impressed about the work that is done here. It is the small but decisive difference between sympathy and empathy that makes this place so special. ‘Sanni Foundation’ just does not see poor and sick children/adults and feels sympathy by saying: ‘You poor little people, here you have money. Buy yourself something to eat, dressing and medicine.’ What is actually being done by many charity organizations (especially in Africa), which in turn entails that the people living there, are depending on the good nature of the Western world. And if one day no money will be brought by these organizations any more, then these people fall out of their spoiled life style (what was created by the Organizations) in even more extreme poverty.
In contrast the ‘Sanni Foundation’ supports a place that has managed to stand independently on its own legs. This is possible mainly due to the outstanding work of the Head of this Institution Father Jose (in cooperation with the ‘Sanni Foundation’) because he shows empathy to the residents of St. John’s not only sympathy. Meaning not only recognize that there is a problem, but find and understand the source of the problem in order to defeat it, so that the concerned people can resume a normal life in the long term.
For example, in St.John’s abandoned children infected with HIV are taken and they are not only maintained healthy (as far as you can be with HIV) but are also taught here. They are taught basic school knowledge (which is very important for their future), but also they learn about the Christian values that will accompany the kids in the adult life. Here is to mention that the caste- and class-thinking (language, religion, status, etc.) is mainly composed by the Hindus; therefore learning the Christianity provides enlightenment of certain degree, so that equality prevails. An example for this is the state of Kerala because here the share of Christians in the population is relatively high, so that here no one actually divides in cast or classes. However, this basically means that St. John’s has saved not only lives of 36 children, but also is giving them the opportunity to participate in the labor market or even to study in the future.
In addition, St. John’s has build a private hospital where poor people without any health insurance have the opportunity to get access to any type of medical help. That is encourages by donations from the ‘Sanni Foundation’ and the Catholic Church as this is two-sided positive, because the patients are healthy and therefore able to work more and thus earn more money. On the other hand, Indian doctors work here who earn money, which will most likely stay in their own country.
I hope that this report has given you a small overview of St. John’s and of course you can contact me or ‘Sanni Foundation’ for any questions.
Sincerely from India,