Accompanied by his partner Julie, the Agenais Geoffrey Fillet took part in a solidarity trip to Nepal. He explains the principle of their intervention with the children of an ashram.
Pinching in the heart, knotted throat… “At the time, it was hard to leave the children”, confides Geoffrey Fillet, still moved by thinking of this moment. The children are those of the Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir ashram. It is located in the suburbs of Kathmandu in Nepal which, in the “70s” was a haven of peace for hippies.
Accompanied by his companion Julie, the 36-year-old Agenais spent ten days in this place surrounded by mountains last April. Accustomed to backpacking trips, the couple for the first time opted for a solidarity trip in order to “feel useful”, “to give meaning”.
“It’s not humanitarian work,” explains Geoffrey. There, the principle is to participate in the life of this orphanage”. Like the other participants, they called on an agency specializing in these journeys. If, in the overall price, an amount is allocated to the ashram, the main thing is above all to give of oneself.
The Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir ashram was founded by a character from a novel: Sri Aurobindo. Born in a small isolated village in the Himalayas, he left for India on foot one day without telling his family. To make a living. He is 12 years old. He roams. He is enrolled in the Indian army, becomes a wandering monk. Struck by the distress of the children, he decides to act. He returns to Nepal after many adventures. He founded this ashram which is autonomous.
Children of all ages, supervised of course, make their own culture. They have cows. They sell at the market. The atmosphere is very Hindu with songs, meditation, yoga in the morning.
“Here, there are not only orphans, explains Geoffey. There are also kids who are in misery. A former member of the orphanage is the headmaster of the school. “When we arrived, we asked him to find out what he expected of us. He wanted joyful frescoes so we improvised as painters”. Each “solidarity traveler” tries to bring his stone to the building according to his knowledge, his experience. The group’s handymen have, for example, helped repair wheelbarrows.
” What can I do ? Geoffrey wondered. Paris firefighter (2004-2011) and professional firefighter (until 2019), still a volunteer firefighter, he created Krisis Conseil last September. Based in Agen, unique in Lot-et-Garonne, this firm aims to support municipalities, inter-municipalities and industrialists in dealing with a major risk.
“It was their first first aid session and it will probably be their last”
With this fiber, Geoffrey naturally considered raising awareness of the correct behavior to adopt in the event of an earthquake. Nepal was shaken by a deadly earthquake on April 25, 2015 with a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale. There were around 10,000 deaths. “When I asked the site manager, 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 notions. It was their first and it will probably be the last. Even if realizing this awareness in English was an exercise in style (he smiles), I wanted to give my all and make sure to take maximum pleasure at their side during this moment of sharing. »
More than a month after this solidarity trip to a timeless country, Geoffrey notes that he has taken a lot of distance from himself. It relativizes. “And that allowed me to know that I wanted to get involved in humanitarian work. I am looking for an association, or why not create one, to carry out humanitarian missions of fifteen days, a month, earlier in the Asian regions, to transmit in schools, hospitals, all that is gestures of first aid and good behavior to adopt in the event of a major risk”.
Finally, he is now convinced: “We all have something to do on this earth”.
30 years of the ashram
During Geoffrey and Julie’s journey, the Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir Ashram celebrated its 30th anniversary. The participants, including Geoffery and Julie, took part in the event by performing “We write on the walls”, the Kids song to make the link with the fresco created (photo below). Geoffrey invites those who are interested in this experience to get to know the Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir Ashram.
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[VIDEO] VIDEO. Lot-et-Garonne: the solidarity trip to Nepal of an Agenais couple, to “feel useful”
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