On 20 August 2022, the students of Bless Club visited Don Guanella Aged Home, a haven for physically and mentally ill men and the destitute.
Founded by Preethi Nivas Trust in 2008 starting with 6 residents, the old age home is almost 15 years old now, caring for over 40 men and counting.
Surrounded by great, big trees, green bushes, and beautiful flowers, being at Home felt like being in another world altogether. We were happily surprised to see a rabbit enclosure and many hens running around, making nature truly come alive all around us. The students were given a full tour of the grounds, including the Prayer Hall, the dormitories, the indoor and outdoor kitchen, the dining hall, the basketball court, etc.
The Father briefed us about the history of the Trust and the Home as well as a quick summary of the activities that take place daily.
Timely meals and medication are provided to the residents. A team of doctors voluntarily treats the residents, free of cost. They give prescriptions and perform minor surgeries when required. Children from the surrounding slums come to the Home after school and spend some quality time with the residents. Volunteer teachers and PU students come to teach these children and help them with their homework.
The students of Bless Club interacted with the residents on a personal level, interviewing them about their stay at the Home and their past. After nearly an hour of listening to interesting and insightful life stories, we played a fun game of Passing the Parcel, wherein the residents sang and danced, showcasing their talents. Out of curiosity, we asked them how it makes them feel when students come to visit them. They replied enthusiastically saying, “We feel young again!”
In the end, we served biscuits and tea and bid our goodbyes, promising to visit that wonderful place again soon. All around us were happy, smiling faces. As we stepped out, we reflected upon a sentence we heard that fine morning. In Father’s own words, Don Guanella Aged Home truly is “a Ministry of God”.
– By Himaja N
Bless Club President