Recently Soma H., one of the founding members of our jewelry program in Kolkata, India, took the next step in her journey towards true independence when she traveled by herself, for the first time, to our project in Jalpaiguri to train our girls in the program there. She was VERY excited to have this opportunity and did an amazing job! Below are a few entries from Soma's journal made during the trip.
On 22nd of September at 10.55 pm as the train departed the station, my journey began. I was nervous because it was for the first time I was traveling all by myself at night. The train sped up and I was sitting in my berth with bunch of strangers in the bogie. I opted to call it a night and went off to sleep. When I woke up, I had reached my destination, Jalpaiguri.
24th of September was my first class with the girls. They were very excited to see me. I was little nervous so to loosen myself, I introduced myself as the trainer of the Jewelry Program and they introduced themselves to me. After a bit of chit-chat, I realized a thing which was heartbreaking for me. They seemed to be having issues with each other and they don't consider each other as friends which isn't a good sign for the program because team work is very important for us.
I didn't waste anymore time and started with my class. The girls had forgotten some of the lessons that had been taught by Nancy Aunty so I thought of brushing them up with the previous lessons. It was good to see that they were showing interest and concentrated during the class hours. There were two new girls in the team when I joined so I had to teach them from the very beginning. I realized that while teaching them I was actually taking my test as to how much I have retained the theory of Jewelry Making. I used to write notes everyday after the class and plan for the next class.
The girls and I developed a good rapport soon after I went. Some of the girls lagged behind the others so I gave them extra attention by teaching them one on one and spending some more time with them. I kept on telling them the story of my life, how I grew up at the shelter home, got married, had a baby and then I joined the program which changed my life completely. I think my story might have helped them to believe that life can surprise you anytime, you shouldn't give up and be hopeful.
By the end of my training period with them, I took an assessment of the girls after which I sat with each one of them to correct their mistakes. They kept on asking me when would I visit them next and I guess that answers whether my trip was successful or not. This experience will always be very special in my life not only because I traveled all by myself in my life, but I was given the responsibility of training girls at the center. I am thankful to MBS to have the confidence in me to send me as a trainer. I hope that I have been able to stand up to everyone's expectation. On my way back, in the train I had a mixed feeling. I was happy that I was going back home but I was hopeful too to go back to the center again.
Soma is Free Forever! She has a job as a trainer in the MBS Jewelry Programs and she is helping girls living in shelters (like she once was) become Free Forever as well. Please donate to Free Forever and empower more women like Soma.