2012 March

Hindi Practice

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Practicing my Hindi today with Ritu and Kulwant!

How are you?
Good!
How am I?
Good!
Send my love to your sister!
Ok!
How is the weather?
Cold!

A Birthday Wake-Up

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Wow! What a great surprise birthday wake-up from my lovely WORK+SHELTER ladies! They pretended to feed me Indian sweets and sang Happy Birthday. It was well worth the pain of waking up at 6AM EST. 😀

This past year was all about bringing the W+S New Delhi vision to life – a year well spent.

My wish is that in 5 years we’ll see 5 more WORK SHELTERs! Better get started!

Time for a Reunion!

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I’m so excited! I’ve arrived in Delhi and though it was only three months ago that I left, it seems ages ago. I’m here for three weeks. It’s too short for all my plans but lets see how much gets done.

First things first; a visit to WORK+SHELTER. The women greet me as a loved one coming after centuries. The warm and hearty hugs tell a tale in itself, the shine in their eyes, the smiles on their faces, all together so wonderful to meet up. Today, we are taking interviews and filming the story of WORK+SHELTER so that we can share it with stakeholders, family, and friends. Not a day passes by when Theresa and I are not working on this project to make it a long term sustainable initiative. What started as a recognition of an opportunity to put our dreams into practice has turned out to be a way of life for us both. By this I mean that this initiative has become an integrated part of our lives and is no longer just a project.

The marginalized  ladies start off during the interview in a very shy and timid way to give insight in their present situations. However, the more we talk about issues concerning them, the more open they become in venting their thoughts and personal situations. Because I don’t want to go into each individual personal life, I won’t go into specific details. However, the topics which they have to deal with besides earning an income (because the husbands are too lazy to work) include domestic violence, abuse, fights, and disrespect from their spouses.

This visit is also an eye opener in a very positive sense. There is a warm and harmonious atmosphere in the shelter, it’s beautiful and absolutely clean compared to the surroundings outside and there is a cheerfulness between the ladies. It is indeed a safe space where these destitute ladies can share their life stories and support each other whether it’s for work or for their mental health.

I’m really very proud of “our” ladies and I’m glad Theresa and I started this safe haven. May our dream support empowerment for more and more women come to fulfillment!

Signing off from New Delhi

Namasteji!

Namita