India is one of the rising stars of global development; however in spite of their economic boom, it remains home to approximately 1/3 of the world’s poor, according to some estimates. Our in-country partner, ALMA, is a Christian organization that was founded in 1984 to serve the needs of the Yanadi people in the Nellore area of Andhra Pradesh. The Yanadi have been historically oppressed and marginalized and many in this area have recently been selling their own women out of desperation. ALMA, among other things, has built orphanages for Yanadi children. It was at one of these orphanages, that we helped build a multi-purpose basketball court for the children.
The American team who adopted the project was a volunteer team based in Vancouver, WA, some of whom have been involved with ALMA in the past. The group stayed at the orphanage, sleeping on the veranda with the children. The court was completed in 4 days of hard work in intense heat, reaching up to 115 degrees! Afterwards, the team participated in a camp, worked with ALMA in some of their village programs and took part in many cultural activities, including being guests of honor at an Indian wedding!
The week was absolutely life changing for everyone on our team, which was made up of ages 15 – 64 year olds. At the end of the week when we were conducting the sports clinic it was an amazing gift to hear the children’s laughter amongst the balls bouncing on the new court! What a great pay back for the efforts of the preceding days.
On the last day of the build when we had one of the hoops up, and after the sports clinic was done we were sitting and eating lunch and the kids were out playing on the court. The sound of the basketballs bouncing was one of the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard, and that’s why we built the court. Those kids are learning new skills, and new ways to have fun. They probably won’t grow up to be basketball stars, but they will all gain joy from just playing and being kids. I’m so thankful for the work Courts for Kids does around the world; bring smiles to the kids faces I met will stay with me the rest of my life.
A special thank you to our court sponsors:
Keller Williams- Vancouver
Dr. Brandt Monfort