A Home of Hope in India - by Georgia Tyndale

HIV is the world’s leading infectious killer, leaving more than 36 million dead and another 36 million infected since it first appeared 33 years ago. That’s like wiping out the population of Australia one and a half times over.

In the heart of south India lies a place where statistics, stigma and disease do not dictate outcomes. Chandrakal - Home of Hope was established for the sole purpose of caring for HIV positive orphans.

Chandrakal’s doors officially opened in 2008 with only 7 children, but news spread quickly around India and within a year they were at full capacity with 60 children. How the children got there is a story of it’s own. Some children were left at the door with no papers or identity, others were abandoned at railway stations. One boy was left on the side of the road with only a sign around his neck saying “Chandrakal”.

Walking into Chandrakal you immediately feel so far from the desperate images of HIV/AIDS we are accustomed to. The walls are covered in colourful kids paintings, and the sound of laughter and singing fills the place. Children run to us, tugging at our arms to play with them or show us their new bollywood dances. There’s a sense of camaraderie and kindness about them - always including everyone and looking out for the younger kids. These children have a deep anchor of hope, and boldly dream of their future ahead.

When my good friend and talented children’s photographer Bec booked her flights to India to visit us, I reminded her of a conversation we’d had over a coffee a year before about making a coffee table book together. We chatted about how endless causes and calls for donations can leave us feeling apathetic and disconnected from whatever we are meant to be giving to. We saw the potential to raise awareness and funds for a great cause in a relatable and creative way – by delivering a quality product that our friends and networks would actually want to buy.

Chandrakal - Home of Hope was the perfect first project for us. The book captures the smiling faces and stories of the children, and conveys the strong sense of hope, strength and zeal these kids have for life. Embodying Jesus love itself, this home doesn't just sustain life, but fosters the fullness of a God-given life.

As well as making the perfect gift for your family and friends this Christmas, by buying Chandrakal – Home of Hope, you’ll also be giving the gift of education to the kids of Chandrakal. The books are available for purchase at www.brightbeings.org - one for $30, two for $50.

Georgia Tyndale has spent the last 18 months in India working for an anti sex trafficking NGO called Red Alert. Originally from New Zealand, Georgia moved to Sydney to finish her masters in Business, and spent her time at C3 City Campus. Last year she finished Bible College and followed her passion for travel to work in India with her husband Liam.