As he walks down the basement to Foot Abduction Brace Centre, he is all with smile on his face and hands joined greeting everyone ‘Namaste’ and ‘As-Salaam-Alaikum’ (Muslim greeting in Arabic which means Peace be upon you) and seeing him everyone gets excited and greets him back loud and cheerful. A 17-year-old Taekwondo Black Belt, Benjamin Hoon Hyung Chapin aka Ben had come all the way from United States of America with his father Mr. John Chapin to volunteer in CURE International India, national office, New Delhi. Given a choice for taking up any kind of work they want to, Mr. John chose to analyse the nature of the work that CURE does and also share his expertise with us. Ben on the other hand chose to use his physical strength and work in the FAB Centre and learn to make shoes/brace. His enthusiasm and zeal to work on the preparation of the brace is beyond words. It was his last day at FAB centre and he had the task to prepare brace all by himself. He tried his hands on all the process of making braces, right from cutting leather, gluing, beating the leather, wood fixing and the finishing. Kartik who is an artisan in FAB centre said, “Ben is very hardworking and he has picked up the work very fast. I enjoyed working and guiding him in making the braces as he has the keenness to learn and execute it.” Kartik was a guide to Ben in FAB centre. Though Ben hurt his hand and got terrible blisters on his fingers but his spirit was high which did not stop him.
In a candid conversation with Ben, he spoke his heart out and says that he had a great experience staying in India and especially being a part of the CURE team and working in the FAB centre. But he also shares the concern that due to lack of education, people have to engage themselves in such works which is less paid. He also says that some of the works can be easily taken over by machines but just to give employment to the needy and the physically challenged people, this effort of CURE is commendable. Having spent around 20 days in India, Ben and John carries ample of experiences and memories with them form India.
At the end of our conversation he greets ‘NAMASTE’ with an appealing smile.

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