National Geographic

Last year I was so lucky to join the "Ride the Van" project with National Geographic.
It was my very first time in the Indian subcontinent, and as a start I had the chance to begin with a very mystical and quite region up on the Himalayan mountains. For three days I visited as many schools as I could, in an area called Sitla, with a crew trying to open a window on my country, Italy, to many sweet little kids studying in humble schools and walking tremendous distances to achieve the knowledge they'll need in their lives. My approach was to teach them something about Italy playing with them games that kids play in my country, but also showing them some pictures I took personally for them about our everyday life, things that are obvious for us but not for them. It was amazing watching their astonished eyes in front of a picture of a building's intercom, or of a water fountain.
Each place we would arrive to, did welcome us as heroes and seemed like the children couldn't wait to ask us questions in their very polite and almost whispering way. At the end of each session we gave the kids who asked smart questions some gifts we brought from our country, to stimulate them to be open minded and hold their attention during the whole session.
They filled my heart with joy and pure sentiments, and all this happened in an environment blessed by a immense spirituality.
Beside all this, for National Geographic is also a great opportunity to provide school structures with desks and all the equipment they need to allow the kids to study in better conditions and make their days better. The classrooms I visited where filled with presents from "The Society", and environments that were once naked today have maps on the walls, blackboards and cozy desks to study on top.
I wish one day I'll be able to live such an experience again...and I wish everyone else could as well, in order to understand how lucky we are and how much we can do for countries such India.
Thanx NatGeo.

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