More Testimonials from our Dear Sponsors
When we visited Shahla Ettefagh and the Mother Miracle School, we really did not know what to expect. But, as soon as we landed there, we knew our lives would never be the same again. Most amazing was how different the worlds of these children are inside the walls of the school versus outside the walls. Outside of the school, they live in extreme poverty without electricity, heat or running water. Yet, the school is a completely different place – it is a clean, safe environment that offers all the hope these children could ever wish for. Miss Shahla knows every single child and is very intimate with their family life; she knows their strengths and circumstances. Clearly she is not only the leader of this great place, but someone who is truly devoted from the bottom of her heart. She has made great personal sacrifice to be able to keep Mother Miracle as successful as it is, and is truly passionate about each and every child there. You can not leave Rishikesh or the Mother Miracle School without a more profound understanding of just how blessed we really are to live in a free nation with the right to pursue our dreams.
Tamara Darvis, Silver Spring, MD
Sponsored in 2012
When we first met Shahla, we knew we had met a deeply devoted and passionate individual. Someone who was going to realize her dreams, not just for herself but for hundreds, perhaps thousands of young, underprivileged children in India. After years of persistent struggle, incredible obstacles, many floods that would have dampened the enthusiasm of most anyone else, she has created a school that stands on its own as an example of what just one person can do with a focused mind, huge heart and constant service to her fellowman. Mother Miracle is a miracle. The buildings themselves are both tastefully decorated and designed to give the students a wealth of classes on a variety of subjects. The school itself is honored as one of the leading schools for the poor in all of India. Some of their teachers were their very first students who now have a respected command of the English language as well as the love of those around them. My husband and I have been friends of Shahla’s since the very first days and it is with great admiration and sometimes astonishment that she has been able to not only create but sustain such a project. If you go to Rishikesh, India, it would warm your heart to visit there and see for yourself the love, the respect, the joy that are the basis for this honorable school.
Durga & Vidura Smallen, Nevada City, CA
Sponsor since 2005
The Miracle of Mother Miracle is Shahla. Through her extraordinary love and strength we are seeing what only a mother can do: give LIFE where life was not and then cultivate that life until it blossoms in Grace. This is what we see in each of ‘her’ children: miracles of Love. Thank you!
Cecilia & Vivek Sharma, Gurgaon HR, India
Sponsor since 2007
My short 2 week volunteer work at Mother Miracle was a very fulfilling experience. Even though I was helping out in the administrative side and was less involved with the kids directly, I was touched by the amount of affection and respect I was getting from the kids. Also, what made Mother Miracle stand out among my other volunteer work is that the founder, the staff, and the volunteers were very passionate for the children’s education, well being, and discipline. Keeping in mind that these children are from a very poor caste the level of effort to improve their education, health and their chance of a better life in future is admirable. I look forward to going back at some point and be more involved in volunteering with the school.
Shahrzad Farzan, San Francisco, CA
Sponsor since 2014
We met our sponsored child, Laxmi, twice. We also met her mother, Rita Pandey. Someday we hope to visit again. […] We hope to help Laxmi and the school for a long time! We are VERY happy to help. I have Laxmi’s picture on my phone so I can see her every day! I know she is an excellent student and very smart. We are so lucky to be have met her and her mom.
One of the highlights of my trip to India was to be able to visit Mother Miracle and see the new school. It was such an inspiration to see how beautifully they take care of their children, and how the love is mutual. The students learn so much, not just in education, but in how to live as strong, healthy, and confident young people. I loved meeting two charming girls, and I think they could teach our American kids a great deal about life – what you teach them about values is something sadly lacking here. I hope I can pass on some of your messages to friends so that your circle of support will grow even larger.
When I visited Mother Miracle School and my sponsored child, we all visited the Swami’s Ashram. After Swami’s talk, I picked her up to touch the beautiful flowers (bougainvillea). She gently picked one then gave me half and she put her half on the lap of Shiva Statue then I did the same with my half. So powerful & devotional!! That experience will be in the forefront of my thoughts forever! You are doing such beautiful work, God’s work, Shahla. I know it must be exhausting and you wonder where you will get the strength some days. Know that you are making such a difference in these children’s lives! Thank you for all that you do!! Sending you lots of love and light! I hope to return one day.