Dear Friends of Offspring,
Over the past couple of months we have had some Offspring family visit us from Australia, here to add value to what we do through their expertise and knowledge. Our media boys sweated up a storm as we spent many hours filming outside in the scorching Indian sun! But watch this space as their will be some amazing stories to come. We have also been lucky to have Lizzie (a law student) who has been interning with us for 3 months. Sadly, that is coming to an end but I thought it would be nice for her to share a few words on her time here in India. Enjoy…
I have been so grateful to have had the opportunity to intern at Offspring in Kolkata. This experience has not only broadened my understanding of sex trafficking but has also personalised the issue for me. By building relationships with both the trainees (trafficked survivors) and staff here, I am more inspired to fight against this injustice of buying and selling a human life. Learning firsthand about the harsh realities and complexities of human trafficking can at times be overwhelming; on the other hand, I have noticed, even in the short time I have been here, that we can make a difference… and that ‘every life is worth fighting for’.
I have been attending education classes with the trainees every morning to help support the Case Workers and it is in this time that I have witnessed how important education is in empowering these young women. I have learnt the importance of the trainees being able to have pride in what they achieve – whether that be learning something new in Maths, English, Bengali or Life Skills, or when they make a new Offspring product. I have learnt so much throughout this experience. Sitting with the trainees and staff in classes or whilst enjoying a cooked Indian lunch together, I can see that I am very blessed to have done life with these amazing people, even if it was only for 3 months.
High: Laughter. There is something contagious about laughter… sometimes we laugh and we don’t even know why. When I am sitting in the office at Offspring and I hear the laughter of the trainees working in the next room I can’t help but laugh too. Why am I laughing? I don’t know…but there is something truly special in that moment and in knowing that what we are doing here at Offspring is a cause of such joy.
Low: This seems to be festival season in India and although this can be fun it also brings with it some intense Kolkata traffic. A city bursting with 17 million people means traffic in Kolkata is usually busy anyway, but getting from A to B seems to take a lot more time and effort during these festivals. At least we are often entertained by Indian music and street dancing on the long drives.
Interesting: India is just full of interesting moments…but if I only get to choose one it would have to be Diwali. Diwali is the festival of lights and most of our neighbourhood is decked out in fairy lights at the moment for this festival. Standing on our rooftop watching the neighbours fireworks display was spectacular. The fireworks were so close I felt like I could touch them. What was most interesting, however, is that many of the exploding firecrackers sound like exploding bombs giving me the impression that I was stuck in the middle of a war zone. They seriously love their firecrackers here!