When I told my friend, Diane Shields, that I was going on a cultural exchange and mission trip to India, her immediate response was to encourage me to take items from Women4Women-Knitting4Peace to India. It turned out to be a lovely thing to do. I was traveling with ten other women to Southern India. Our leader, Dianna Brown, has spent much time in India and has many unique associations there.
We arrived in Kochi in the state of Kerala. The Cultural Academy for Peace is a vibrant organization that focuses on disadvantaged women and improving village life. They operate a Women's Shelter for abused women and children. We met and interacted with many of the women and children at the shelter. I delivered prayer shawls and peace pals dolls to the shelter. They were much appreciated.
Later we traveled to the Blue Mango Trust which is near Bodi in Tamil Nadu. This wonderful place provides a safe haven for women. They run a sustainable business providing work, child care, lunches, breaks, yoga and transportation for marginalized women who are disabled, deserted, widowed, or living with AIDS. Here we delivered peace pal dolls to the child care center.
It was an honor to take these items of comfort and present them in India.
Many thanks to Diane Shields and the knitters of the Oakmont Presbyterian Church and to Women4Women-Knitting4Peace.
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