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Good Health and Well Being

It has been 1 week in India and I have learnt so much as an individual. Being a
leader for an international volunteer group is much different to being a
volunteer- there are different expectations, different responsibilities and
different experiences. Bearing all this in mind, I had the honour of speaking
with Father John, a man who set up the Morning Star orphanage for 105 boys
(at present) almost 30 years ago in Bangalore, India. Representing SERVE as a
leader in this global partnership has allowed me the opportunities to have such
amazing conversations with our partners. One of the global goals for
sustainable development is to promote Good Health and Well Being (Goal 3).
The following account of my experience in Morning star encapsulates this goal
through the meaning of a peaceful and inclusive environment. While
sustainable development may seem like a business term, sustainable
development has occurred here in morning star through ways of human
compassion, capacity building, international partnership, solidarity, love, family
and desire. While Health and wellbeing are not fully reached by any means
here in Morning Star, it is important to acknowledge that they do try focus on
health, happiness and wellbeing to the best of their ability given their
resources. At Morning Star you are always greeted with a smile, a hug and
everyone wants to dance, laugh and enjoy each other’s company- I have
learned the value of the riches that come free in life- love, laughter, time. The
wonderful young people at Morning Star have thought me this!
The discussion I had today with John really brought my attention back to
awareness. He spoke about desire and the power that has on our mental state
every day. Desire may seem like just a word but when applied to human
nature, it has a special meaning. The boys in Morning Star have all the
necessities of life, they live basic but they are happy. They desire sleep as they
get up at 5am every day to make their beds, clean, prepare breakfast and go to
school. They desire food because they don’t get a lot of it. They desire an
education because of the lack of opportunities available to them.
In Ireland we desire wealth, material objects, the best car and the best house
(and I am sure India people desire this too) because the desire for basic needs

for the most part are so readily available- sleep, food, shelter and education. I
emphasise’ for the most part’ because we have to recognise that while I feel at
a local level in Ireland, there isn’t much desire for basic needs, it must be
acknowledged that there is actually a large percentage of our country who
desire food, shelter and education- I feel food, shelter and education is a global
issue, not everyone is accessing these basic needs worldwide, maybe this
should be addressed as a global issue as oppose to a local issue within each
country. Food, shelter and an education is not readily available to everyone in
Ireland which is why every country must engage with the SDG’s because every
country needs improvement, there is no perfect country.
However, it is more apparent in Ireland that we have more opportunities and
they can therefore be taken for granted very often. I know in Ireland it is a
struggle to motivate a high percentage of young people for school and
education- we spend a lot of time trying to get people to engage and
participate, I have yet to see this be the case for any child in Bangalore.
Through sponsorship and donations, John and Joy in Morning Star have
created, with the help of people a self-sufficient and sustainable orphanage
which has been running for 30 years and has been built on the foundation of
peace, love, happiness and inclusion- no child is ever turned away in need of a
home. Boys living with disabilities are also taken in and they too are
empowered to help in the orphanage with their abilities and are empowered
to become self-sufficient and independent young men. Striving to achieve
good health and wellbeing for a place you can call home to over 100 young
boys is one example to show the work being done to try and achieve
Sustainable Development Goal number 3.

About Author:

Name: Sarah Gallagher
Award: Silver Award
SDG: 3