Who we are
Growing up in South East Asia leaves in one a lasting emotional footprint of the devastation of poverty. Poverty is visible in many aspects; children begging on the streets, stray dogs hungry for scraps, women and children trafficked across the border to neighboring countries. In 2000, I went with my father to visit Nepalgunj, a border town between India and Nepal. I remember being shocked, angry and disheartened at the sight of a 13- year old village girl being rescued from trafficking by the police. I could not understand why and how such a horrific incident had taken place. All I knew is that people needed to take a stand against this injustice. This incident has left a lasting impression in my mind.
In college, some years down the line, I volunteered and interned at many non-profits. While interning at YMCA, Minneapolis, and volunteering to build trails in Smokey Mountains, Tennessee, I met many people who worked hard to make a difference in the world. Their desire to do good and make a positive difference in the lives of others was very inspiring to me.
After graduation, I teamed up with a local NGO, SAATHI, and applied for a USAID-IRD grant. The grant allowed me to provide knitting training to women in rural areas who have been subjugated to trafficking, domestic abuse and poverty.
Our dream to uplift a group of women neglected by society is finally taking shape. Although this project requires hard work our will to succeed is such that we have overcome many obstacles and have, in fact, expanded our program to include women in other locations, provide education scholarships for 20 children and trying to find new markets for our hand knit produce.