When Kim called a few week back to say he wanted to feature project why in his The Strait Times, I was surprised wondering what I had done to receive such an honour. I must confess that in the days preceding his arrival, I spent many hours wondering whether we would meet his expectations.
Kim landed with his photographer Fen and his warm smile was enough to set my mind to rest. It was a warm Sunday morning where we had to drive miles to meet little Utpal, and then go to a baby christening in the slum. As the day went by I knew that I had met another person who saw with his heart and that he would able to see project why as it should be seen.
Never mind the garbage dump in lieu of class rooms or the rather makeshift structure that we work in, Kim and Fen caught the love and passion that infuse our work, the smile of the special children as they dance and sing with abandon, the mischief of the boys who know that project why is the only place where they can claim their childhood and the hospitality of the humble rickshaw driver as he proudly serves them tea in his home.
We talked, or rather I talked and he listened, sometimes taking notes as I poured out my dreams, my hopes, shared my achievements and my failures not withholding anything as I knew that there was no need of pretending or shying about anything.
As I write these words, I have not seen what Kim wrote but the number of mails that have dropped in my mailbox and moved me to tears, are proof enough of the fact that the magic of Kim’s words has been the best ambassador of my dreams.