Newsletter 'Bridging EAST-WEST' 2009/09

Dear friends and members of 'Bruecke Ost-West',

My summer-break has come to an end and I am back from India, with lots of news to share!

The last two months went by much too quickly, and yet I am happy to announce that I could realize all of my intended projects. It turned out to be quite a lesson of patience and endurance, as dealing with Authorities in India can become quite a challenge. Therefore I feel more than happy about all that was completed.

Let me tell you what we've achieved so far:

The project 'Eye Camp' worked out to be a great success!

Thanks to the generous donation of cash as well as glasses and spectacle frames we could organise and offer eye examinations, eye tests as well as hand out new glasses to '267' elderly people.

Three different old people's homes (in McLeod Ganj - Dharamsala, in Chaundra and in Spiti) have been provided with 145 spectacles, furthermore could we provide another 102 elderly Tibetans in Mc Leod Ganj and Hunsur, southern India with new glasses.

The Indian Optometrist who put new lenses into the donated frames, was extremely cooperative and accommodating.

The project with all those elderly people was very touching, filled with many unforgettable Moments. What moved me the most was the joy and gratitude we were met with, from each of them.

I will never forget the happiness in people's faces when they received their new glasses!

I also brought well needed medicine from Austria with me and could buy more in India so we could provide 114 people with medication for their painful joints as well as problems with their knees.

For one woman in Hunsur, in Southern India, who lost both of her legs in an accident, we could get a wheelchair as well as a sitting toilet.

One incident I would like to share with you a little more detailed:

Ama Pema (Mother Pema), 79 years old, lives on her own in a 'One room House' in Mc Leod Ganj. She has no children, therefore her neighbours help her as much as possible. She has no running water, no toilet, just this tiny house where she lives since her escape 45 years ago.

I was told that the roof of her house is badly leaking, which is particularly unpleasant during the Monsoon season. When I visited this lovely old lady I must confess I was pretty shocked. Everything in the house was wet, on her bed she'd put a huge pot to catch the rain! Seeing her unbearable situation, we decided to use the remaining money to have a new roof built for her.

To begin with, Ama Pema was very nervous as she watched her old roof being taken off. She was sitting in her tiny house and nobody could persuade her to step outside. We had a real race with the Monsoon going on, which luckily and thanks to the help of the kind Indian Roofers, we eventually won!

Meanwhile I tried to clean up inside as best as I could. Ama Pema, this beautiful old woman, was so incredibly happy that no words can measure up to her excitement and bliss. She described it to be a gift from heaven and she thought her house to be as beautiful as a temple now.

Additionally we can offer 22 elderly and ailing people monthly medical provisions until the end of the year and can afford to hire a carer for the old people's home in Southern India - and all of that paid by our foundation!

Which could never have been possible without your help and your donations!

For that I want to truly thank you, from the bottom of my heart!!!!!

Even though the foundation wasn't founded that long ago, already so much good could be done!

Again and again I come to the same realisation and truth - how easy it to be of help and how much joy it gives us, when we can offer it.

The effort pays off especially, if you see how you can improve the lives of these humble, fragile people, who so deserve our help.

In the meantime the foundation has become well-known in Dharamsala and Hunsur and receives increasingly enquiries and requests. That's why I hope for your ongoing support and help.

Please tell your friends and colleagues about 'Bruecke Ost-West' so more and more people get to know about it. I am happy to distribute our leaflets.

For the Christmas Holidays I am planning another 'Eye-Camp' project at an 'Old People's Home' in Dheradun. For that I would again need any used spectacle frames you can spare.

Any help and support is highly appreciated and I'd be delighted to welcome new members for 'Bruecke Ost-West'.

For now TASHI DELEK - Happiness and Blessings and lots of love,

Judith Judith Mauritz