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We are the world

When you reach out to others in need

When you reach out to the world

You really do have a satisfying life by helping others

Laura Bush

Outskirts of Trivandrum, India

The smell of pizza filled the air. Rama, Mani, Mohan and Karthi had placed an order and were waiting at the table. This was a monthly treat for the 4 friends. They would bring their hand made candles to the delivery point of the Ahavah online shop and treat themselves to a special meal before taking the bus home. Sometimes it was a long crisp dosai, sometimes ice cream, this time it was pizza! All 4 of them had contracted HIV AIDS and had grown up at the Safe Haven Childrens home. The nuns there had taught them to make these beautiful ornamental candles. Once they had mastered the art sister Mary encouraged them to start their own business. Now they were doing well. They could eat good meals (which they took turns to prepare), pay for their rental accommodation and sleep in peace.

The pizzas were very tasty. They had ordered a butter chicken and a classic garlic prawn. Peace and joy were written all over the boys’ faces as they tucked in!

Bengaluru, India

Rita sat sipping coffee in the balcony of her apartment in Bengaluru. Rita was a graduate of fashion design and it was her passion. As a young mother with 2 toddlers, she started a small business in one room of her flat with one tailor. This gave their family an added income, kept her busy and her talents were used. As she walked to check on the children and prepare Amit’s breakfast, she admired her own cushions and runners with elegant Christmas themed embroidery. Her bowl of apples on the table matched the runner! She smiled a smile of contentment.

Gujarat, India

In a little village in the slopes of Gujarat Rani finishes working on yet another woolen shawl and packs it carefully to be picked up for Ahavah. Her nimble fingers are tired but her heart leaps with joy. She wonders who will enjoy them and to which corner of the world it would travel. Rani was married off as a young girl, her husband and children were her life. She loved the quiet time she spent using her creativity to make the shawls. She was saving up to buy a special nose ring for herself soon!

Auckland, New Zealand

Thangam was in Auckland finishing her Masters in Architecture. She was a Chennai girl and this was her first Christmas away from home. She was working part time now and so she decided to order gifts for her parents. Browsing the Ahavah website she decided on the Christmas gift box. A couple of tree candles, a red runner with delicate embroidery and some pine leaf ornaments. ‘Amma will be thrilled’ she said to herself ‘it will be a nice surprise for both of them!’

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.

-Normal Rice