02 May Randi Kincheloe Morrison – She is volunteering in Nepal
We’re inspired by this woman’s outpouring of love. We need more of THIS in the world! Meet Randi Kincheloe Morrison – She is volunteering in Nepal!!
“My name is Randi Kincheloe Morrison and I’m a massage therapist volunteering for Buds to Blossoms in Nepal. We’re visiting three different orphanages while here. Two of them do not allow pictures to be taken. We work with infants and toddlers at the first one, which we go to every morning. The first day was exciting, overwhelming, sweet, and a little crazy. There are 9 infants – one boy and eight girls. When they finish their bottles, we’re assigned to take off their night clothes and rub them down with mustard seed oil. It helps stimulate the lymph and is traditional in Nepal to massage into babies’ skin and on the soft spot of their heads.
The staff was a little hesitant for us to hold the babies for more than one minute at a time. They explained that it’s because they are so short-staffed that if we hold the babies and put them to sleep all day then there is only one caregiver at night for all 9 babies and she obviously can’t hold them all if they start crying at the same time. This (of course) pulled at all of our heart strings and after some talking with them, they finally agreed to let us do our work and the first night actually went great – after we left all of the babies slept great!
After spending the first part of the morning with the infants, we were assigned to the toddlers, who had just finished breakfast. There are 9 volunteers – and 27 toddlers (between 15 months and 3 years) running around, jumping, screaming, and wanting to be held. The first day with them was mostly about gaining their trust. Most of them have never seen foreigners, so they were just in awe and curious. There were times that I had 5 kids attached to me. They are all so very sweet and loving and starving for attention. The second and third day with these little loves went much smoother and they were calmer and could sit still for a little massage. The infants and toddlers are still so innocent and give and receive so much love! It fills my heart up! We go to this place every morning until noon.
The second place we visited was an orphanage for kids with physical disabilities, which we’ll be visiting every other afternoon. There are 54 children there. Most of them were abandoned because they had disabilities. The kids were super excited when we arrived because the director had told them we were coming. We learned a few of their stories, which I will share:
- There is a boy who lost an arm when his father killed his mother and then turned on him and broke his arm so badly that they had to amputate it. The father was put in prison, leaving the boy alone and disabled.
- One girl, who is actually 20, has to keep having her 18th birthday over and over or else she will wind up on the streets. She was abandoned at birth because she was born with no arms and very disabled short legs. She is super smart, speaks perfect English, and is more-or-less the mother-figure in the group.
- Another little girl who is six, but the size of a 3-year-old, was abandoned by her parents because she was different and they didn’t want her. Some of the kids were born in prison, but the orphanage went in and rescued them. They are considered poor and “untouchable” because of the caste system, which is why they are at the orphanage.
- There is also a little 7-year-old girl who has acid burns all over her face from her parents throwing acid on her so she could beg and make money for them.
Hearing these stories and knowing there are so many more that we don’t know, is hard to put into words. The volunteers went into this with open hearts, but the kids probably give us just as much (if not more) love than we give them. They are so happy that we don’t see them as “different” and just treat them as “normal” with no judgment. Seeing their excitement and happiness is the best thing!
The third orphanage we visit on alternate afternoons is one that houses kids with HIV/AIDS. This is where we experienced the most hesitation from the director, as far as us coming in. We have a strict dress code of long pants and covered shoulders and cleavage; and the men can only work with boys and kids under the age of 3. We have to inspect the kids’ skin before we start working to make sure there are no open wounds or lesions. There are 17 boys and 17 girls, with an average age between 6-12. All of them are double-orphaned which means both of their parents have died or given them up. Most contracted HIV from birth or breast-feeding, and just a couple were rescued from the sex trade. All are on medication and healthy right now. They are super excited we are here – they laid right down to get a massage! A few actually massaged us back and were quite good at it!
The volunteer group is amazing and is working together flawlessly – supporting, loving, and holding space for each other during this time. We’re giving all of the love and compassion that we can, as well as soaking up their amazing little energy. This experience has opened my heart, mind, and spirit to make room to heal and be healed by these children.”
Randi is one of the fabulous women we’re featuring in our Everything She Is series. We’d love to feature YOU too! Email share@sheiswithoutlimits
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