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Michelle Stevenson

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Anne Frank

I write this in the hope that my firsthand experience in one of OneAction’s humanitarian projects may spur others to jump on board.

In April 2012 my daughter and I arrived in Patna, capital city of Bihar State, India, headed for the holy town of Bodh Gaya on a pilgrimage hurriedly arranged on account of my gravely ill father. Being my first trip to India, the dusty road trip from Patna to Bodh Gaya was very confronting. The heat, dust, noise and squalor was almost unbearable.

That evening, rather unplanned, we ended up having a great conversation with the manager of the guesthouse and another guest who we later came to know as Jan Isler, the most amazing young founder of OneAction.

The next couple of days took us into a most incredible journey. We were invited to visit a nearby school OneAction supports and somehow we became spontaneous volunteers. We witnessed the cooking of the inaugural meal of their One Meal a Day program. We discovered firsthand how ridiculous it was that just fifty Aussie dollars could buy enough food in India to feed 250 hungry impoverished children. We discovered how you can cook and feed 250+ people using one rusty knife and the headmaster’s desk as a chopping board. We saw how something as basic as hunger can be satisfied with so little. We saw the children’s smiles, hope in their eyes for a future just that little bit better. Importantly we saw how it is possible to bring about action in such a fundamental and direct way. Sadly, also knowing their hope is not possible without our helping hand.

I live in beautiful Melbourne Australia. They have just voted my city as the world’s most livable in 2012. But a little bit of me remained in India. It left an indelible mark. I was only there for 4 days. It might as well have been 4 months or 4 years. I found humanity in the land of the Buddha. I am inspired. I know others will be too if they saw what I saw.

May all beings be well and happy.

Michelle Stevenson