On many of our exotic trips like Asia and India, a feature that our guests refer to as one of the most memorable days of their lives is the philanthropic component.
Since our inception, we at Brand g have felt that, as Americans, since we have so much, we owe it to the countries we visit to leave them just a little bit better than we found them.
And one way we do that is through what we like to call “ordinary miracles”. So, for part of one day during these 12 or 13-day vacations, we and our guests visit a school or village in need, and the magic begins.
One such experience was in the village of Barangar, India.
One of our guides in India is a gentleman named Sumit, who leads tours in this village. An extraordinarily kind man, Sumit took a young man named Kalyan under his wing – who was desperate to learn English – and paid for English lessons for him.
Grateful for the gift, Kalyan decided to pay it forward and open an English language school in his village.
Starting from nothing, Kalyan now has 300 students, ranging from young children to adults. But running a school is an expensive proposition, and even with Kalyan’s meager savings and additional funds from Sumit, the school was in rather dire straights.
In 2017 and 2018, after visiting the makeshift academy, Brand g guests stepped into the void and offered donations. And the school began to blossom.
Now, for the first time, it has electricity, windows, fans, doors, and desks (the students were sitting on the floor). It has been given a fresh coat of paint. And they can even afford textbooks. For these impoverished children, this school is now more than they could have ever imagined.
Kalyan sends emails regularly with updates and photos. Here is the end of a recent one:
This is a classroom that they and I have dreamed of. I would like to thank all of you. Without your help and support and love, we couldn’t have achieved what we have today. I feel like the luckiest one in the world who got to meet people like you all.
For just a small amount of money, we and our guests got to feel like Glinda the Good Witch, but without the ginger perm. It’s really quite amazing how, in a third world country, what we might consider “dinner money” can completely change lives.
We thank you, our wonderful, open-minded and generous travelers for your kind hearts, and for creating a miracle in Barangar, India.
As the song Ordinary Miracles says:
There are endless possibilities.
Right before our eyes.
See the way a miracle multiplies.