The aspect about Rising Star that leaves the biggest impression on everyone who comes here is probably the kids. They are so loving, accepting, forgiving. As the coordinator of education, I help volunteers tutor these kids every day. I spend a lot of time with them. I often look over the playground or the classroom and think, "Where would these children be if they weren't here?" Since they're all from families that are somehow affected by leprosy, most of them probably wouldn't ever go to school because of the social stigma. Thanks to Rising Star, they are learning English from Americans, learning to use a computer, learning to read and do so many things that will help them have bright futures.
Bhavana is perfectly shooting her hand up, as if to say, "I'm the girl Faith is going to comment on when she writes about this photo." She's so right. Bhavana is a brand new kindergarten student here who is SUCH a character. She's the one who doesn't sing the songs during circle time, but rather screams them at the top of her lungs as if she was screaming "FIRE!" She tries to trip kids as they run around the circle of Duck, Duck, Goose. She will pinch you to communicate since you don't speak her language. She'll steal your camera and run with it. But she also just steals my heart, somehow, through all of that. Today, knowing she wouldn't understand English, I said to her, "You are the sassiest 5-year-old I've ever met." She responded with the only English response she knows (which happened to be fitting),"Yes."