A smile is all it takes

Had you asked me 18 months ago if I ever planned on going to India, I might’ve said No. I’d had travel ambitions for Africa, South America but India had never crossed my radar. I look back at what had changes in those 12 months before I decided to go to India and realize how lucky I am to have been introduced to Moeloco and The Hope Foundation.

The trip was overwhelming to say the least, but it surprised me. I walked on that plane with no idea what to expect, slightly scared and anxious after all I had heard, but was nothing like I had ever imagined.

One part of the trip that really impacted me was visiting the hospital. Walking through the doors to the girl’s ward I had a wave of emotions run through me. We were greeted by 2 rows of smiling girls. To the immediate right a girl around 8, learning to speak English.

To the left a toddler found during the Durga Puja festival that had been taken into the care of the hospital. Both girls had the most beautiful smiles on their faces. We move on to meet a young girl age unknown, but estimated to be around 10, though looking at her you wouldn’t know it. She had been found, limbs twisted, wrapped in a plastic bag on the train tracks. Though physically she may have looked like a toddler, emotionally and mentally she was just like any other 10-year-old girl.

This moment was one of the most overwhelming; I can remember the sting of the tears welling up in my eyes. After the torment we can only imagine, she still lay their, joy beaming across her face and even danced for us. This is one of the many life-changing moments of the trip.

I have walked away with a whole new perception of life. I look around at the teens at my school and all around. I notice the main difference between the teens and children of Kolkata and Sydney. So many of the youth of today devote their time to social media. Their concern of followers on a social media platform can tarnish their self-esteem and affect their happiness. So many of the smiles and laughter I see of youth are at the expense of someone else, whether an unfortunate situation turned into a viral meme or someone tripping in the hall.

The Children of Kolkata are vastly different in this sense. Though what they have might not seem like much to us, to them it is their world and they are proud of who they are and where they come from. They embrace life regardless of what trauma they may have faced. Their smiles are far bigger and more genuine than the smiles of so many young people in Sydney.

I am so grateful for this experience and for the impact it has had on myself. These children are proof that everyone has dealt with some kind of pain, but no matter how big or small this may be, our happiness is not dictated to us by these events in our past. Our happiness is a result of who we are and who we chose to be.

Good Vibes and Abundance


Moeloco 14 years old teenpreneur ambassador

One thought on “A Smile is all it Takes

  • February 11, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Ali, I haven’t even met you yet – but heard so much about you through your mum & Kathy. You are an absolute inspiration for so many people!! And there’s no doubt you will live a life of abundance – you already are <3 <3 xxx
    Looking forward to meeting you in person one day soon!
    Marie x


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