Together with her partner Julie, Agenais Geoffrey Fillet participated in a solidarity trip to Nepal. He explains the principle of their intervention with children in an ashram.
Pinches in the heart, knots the throat … “At that time it was hard to leave the children”, confides Geoffrey Fillet, still moved by thinking of this moment. The children are those from the Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir ashram. It is located in the suburbs of Kathmandu in Nepal, which in the “70s” was a paradise of peace for hippies.
Accompanied by her partner Julie, the 36-year-old Agenais spent ten days in this place surrounded by mountains last April. Accustomed to backpacking, the couple chose for the first time a solidarity journey to “feel useful”, “to make sense”.
“It’s not humanitarian work,” Geoffrey explains. There is the principle of participating in life at this orphanage ”. Like the other participants, they approached an agency specializing in these trips. If in the total price an amount is set aside for the ashram, it is primary above all to give of oneself.
Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir ashram was founded by a character from a novel: Sri Aurobindo. He was born in a small isolated village in the Himalayas and traveled to India one day on foot without telling his family. To earn a living. He is 12 years old. He roams. He is enlisted in the Indian Army, becomes a wandering monk. Struck by the children’s distress, he decides to act. He returns to Nepal after many adventures. He founded this ashram, which is autonomous.
Children of all ages, of course under supervision, create their own culture. They have cows. They sell in the market. The atmosphere is very Hindu with songs, meditation, yoga in the morning.
“Here, there are not only orphans,” Geoffey explains. There are also children who are in misery. A former member of the orphanage is the principal of the school. “When we arrived, we asked him to find out what he expected of us. He wanted happy frescoes, so we improvised as painters ”. Every “solidarity traveler” tries to bring his stone to the building in accordance with his knowledge, his experience. The group’s handymen, for example, have helped repair wheelbarrows.
“What can I do? Geoffrey wondered. Paris firefighter (2004-2011) and professional firefighter (until 2019), still a volunteer firefighter, he set up the Crisis Council last September. Based in Agen, unique in Lot-et-Garonne , this company aims to support municipalities, intermunicipal and manufacturers in dealing with a greater risk.
“It was their first aid session and it’s probably going to be their last”
With this fiber, Geoffrey, of course, considered raising awareness of the proper behavior to be adopted in the event of an earthquake. Nepal was shaken by a fatal earthquake on April 25, 2015 with a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale. There were about 10,000 deaths. “When I asked the person in charge of the place, he told me that there was an earthquake every 70 years and that they will prepare in 2085”. So he turned to first aid courses. “It was a pleasure to pass on these performances. It was their first and it will probably be the last. Although realizing this awareness in English was an exercise in style (he smiles), I would give everything and make sure to enjoy maximum joy by their side in this moment of sharing. »
More than a month after this journey of solidarity to a timeless country, Geoffrey notes that he has taken a lot of distance from himself. It relativizes. “And it allowed me to know that I wanted to get involved in humanitarian work. I’m looking for an association, or why not set one up, to carry out humanitarian missions in fifteen days, a month, earlier in the Asian regions, for to transfer in schools, hospitals, everything that is a gesture of first aid and good behavior to adopt in case of a greater risk ”.
Finally, he is now convinced: “We all have something to do on this earth”.
30 years of ashram
During Geoffrey and Julie’s journey, Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir Ashram celebrated its 30th anniversary. Participants, including Geoffery and Julie, participated in the event by performing “We Write on the Walls,” the Kids song, to create the link to the created fresco (pictured below). Geoffrey invites those interested in this experience to get to know Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir Ashram.
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