Tessa Suruchi Hoek

November 2014 to February 2015

In the summer of 2014 I set out to my country of birth, India, to learn about the country, its people and their cultures. I had lived and worked together with other didis for a few months at Bal Anand assisting with infant and baby care. In November, I went to Umang together with Alka didi.
Umang was a hidden paradise. There we were welcomed into a family of loving and caring people. Each individual resident has his/her own unique personality, talents and humor. The residents were very kind and wanted to share a lot with us. We would conduct workshops for the residents and help with daily tasks and activities.
In the Netherlands I was able to raise funds through various projects and was able to take the residents on various day trips outside of Umang. One year later, I returned to India on a journey in search of my ancestral roots. During my journey, I paid another visit to Umang and was welcomed with open arms and warm hugs by residents and staff. It felt like I was coming home.
Umang was and will always be a very special place and I hope to visit once more in the future.