BUSINESS partners Colin Luthwood and Sam Moland had a life-changing experience as volunteers at a homeless children’s shelter in India.
The owners of Joondalup Martial Arts visited the Shikshan Gram Shelter for Homeless Children because they wanted to practise what they taught their students.
“A large part of our training syllabus for our kids is teaching them about respecting and helping others,” Mr Luthwood said. “We wanted to show our students and parents that we believe in what we teach, so we undertook the trip to help all the kids less fortunate than our own.”
The shelter, which houses, educates, feeds and cares for more than 150 homeless children, also has a martial arts school attached to provide life skills, and help prevent alcoholism and poverty.
Mr Luthwood said it was the best experience he had ever had in his life.
“It was fantastic, extraordinary, life-changing, amazing,” he said. “It shifted my focus from what I thought it was to be successful in life.
“I was chasing success in my business and financial freedom, and going to India made me realise life is about giving and connecting with people, friends, family, strangers – learning this has made me feel complete.”
He said they initially made the trip to help with the construction of the orphanage, but because of funding delays and damage from a monsoon, were unable to start the building works.
“Instead we helped by planting vegetables, teaching the kids martial arts, training with the martial arts’ instructors there and keeping the kids occupied with games,” he said.
He said their trip had inspired many at the club, with members donating old computers, cameras, bikes, medical supplies,, books, microscopes and martial arts uniforms to the orphanage.