Friday October 28th
Diwali celebrations still continue throughout the city. Every night people head to their roof tops or out into the street to set off an impressive display of fireworks. The city is truly a site to behold when everyone is lighting up the night sky with sparklers and fireworks worthy of a July 4th celebration in America. The festival season is winding down which means cool temperatures will soon follow.
Sunday October 30th
Program Manager, Chandreyi Basu leaves today for a 2 week visit to our jewelry program located in Boisar in partnership with Rescue Foundation. She's accompanied by Tanya Lee who is here for a few months evaluating our programs and providing us with us some useful data that details how effective our programs are. Tanya and Doel will be conducting interviews with survivors and staff to assess how the jewelry program has impacted each girls life and what potential opportunities it can provide them in the future. Chandreyi will be posting a blog update about her experiences at the program soon so keep an eye out for it.
In other Rescue Foundation related news, the human trafficking survivor that we transfered from Mumbai to our program in Kolkata in partnership with Womens Interlink Foundation is doing very well. She's beginning to adjust to her new home and has already made some new firends. She's forming stronger bonds with the Kolkata staff and is already looking forward to learning new things.
It's not all easy and smooth though. She still misses her family and is anxious to have a reunion with them. Plans have been arranged for her to reunite with her parents next week and allow her to spend some time with them. We will give you an update on how that goes. Due to the remoteness of her families home she will need to stay in the custody of Womens Interlink Foundation in order to continue with her work and get an education. However she will be permitted to see her parents throughout the year and she's already planning on sending them some of her earnings to help them out as they are quite poor.
Thursday November 3rd
Today the jewelry program received a visit from the MLA's of Kolkata ( Members of Legislative Assembly). Aloka Mitra, the Chairperson of Womens Interlink Foudnation (WIF), was aksed to show the visitors her program and how it has impacted the lives of the human trafficking survivors. There was a small room set up with items from many of the income generation projects that WIF sponsors and some of the girls put on a dance routine to show how their dance classes are paying off.
The visit was a huge success and many of the MLA's commented on how impressed they were to see the girls thriving and flourishing despite the challenges they have faced. There was even some talk of helping Aloka replicate her success in other parts of the city and based on the reaction of the people that would be in charge of making that happen, it looks like it just might.
It was a proud moment to see the girls talking to the MLA's about their lives, their education, training and jobs. You could see how proud they were to be able to say they had a job and earned a good wage. They were smiling and happy and you could see the spring in their step as they walked around with their heads held high. It was a good day to witness and was another example of how positive the jewelry program has been for them. It's amazing to have seen these girls go from wide eyed little girls kids, eager to learn anything to help them have hope for the future; to confident, proud women actually able to envision a future instead of hoping for one.
Thanks to everyone that has helped make that a reality for the human trafficking survivors in our programs.