This month witnessed the first anniversary of Made By Survivors Jewelry Program with Rescue Foundation, Boisar, India. I was fortunate to be there to celebrate it with the girls at the shelter home. Tanya Lee, student of University of Geulph, Canada has come to India with her project/research on Rural Development. The first level of the research is to take interviews of the girls pertaining to their lives, their dreams, their goals in life and the jewelry program after which she could evaluate the impact of the program on their lives. I escorted her to the shelter home in Boisar by the end of October where we celebrated the anniversary on the 2nd of November.
The girls are busy working on the production of the Autumn Fall line and they have a deadline to meet so we decided to celebrate it only after the classes. With the help of one of the sports teacher at the shelter home, I managed to get a cake and some chocolates for the girls. The housemother and the sports teachers joined in as Tasleema, the supervisor of the Jewelry Program and I cut the cake together. All the other girls applauded and sang ‘Happy Birthday Made By Survivors’ together. It was followed by photo sessions and lots of chitchats. Tanya showed the girls photos of her home and her friends and talked to them about her life and dream as well. The girls were all chirpy and excited and proud that they have successfully completed a year in the Program. We were bestowed with wishes from Sarah Symons, John Berger, Paul Suit and Dianna Badalament. The girls missed Dianna as they remembered how she has taught them the skill of metal smithing with so much of care and attention and whatever positive changes they have undergone in the last one year, is because of her. They all are grateful and indebted to her to have spent so much of time with them and for becoming the source of inspiration to each one of them.
What caught my attention were the other girls who are not involved in the MAde by Survivors Program, grouped together, away from the studio to see us celebrating. I felt bad for them as I couldn’t afford to include all the girls in the shelter home in the celebration. But some of the girls wished and rejoiced with us. The others preferred watching us from afar. It was quite obvious the very next day when I went to take their classes; I was approached by 20 girls who wanted to join the program right then. They have noticed the satisfaction in their mates who have built up hope to lead a normal life and are looking forward to have a career out of Jewellery making. Their interest to join the program and have a better life defines the success of Made By Survivors and we hope that in due course of time we can make all their dreams come true.