American Shelley Seale went to India to volunteer at The Miracle Foundation orphanage. She shares photos of her experiences, accompanied by excerpts from her book, The Weight of Silence: Invisible Children of India.

Before and after

1. "For every child fortunate enough to live in a home like The Miracle Foundation...there are a thousand more the orphanage cannot afford to take in."


Three girls

2. "They ask for nothing from me other than being here. [T]hey are just like other children I've known with homes and families of their own--except for their neediness, their raw hunger for affection, love, belonging."


Two India boys

3. "[T]here were stories behind each one of these children."


Green eyes

4. "I began to discover who the kids were--their individual personalities and dreams."



5. "'The meaning of life is to love all. The purpose of life is to serve all.' It was a simple prayer, reminding me that life need not be complicated unless we made it so."



6. "I desperately hope we will not be too late for these children.... We owe it to them and to the world. And ultimately, we owe it to ourselves."