Dear Friends of Offspring,
Well, it’s been another month full of those high, low and interesting moments! But a big part of it has been having two of our most involved Offspring volunteers in Australia (Board member and Events Team) join us and impart their knowledge, experience and happiness on us all here in Kolkata. Read a snippet of their time below:
Kerrie – To see the work of Offspring firsthand has been an incredible experience to say the least. In the short time I have been here, I have seen the tangible difference Offspring is making, not only in the lives of the trainees but also the staff. Each day they are given meaning, purpose and a sense of belonging. I have loved hearing the laughter in this place, seeing the trainees eagerness to learn, personally being taught the Kantha stitch (not that easy!) and being exposed to the vast sights, smells and tastes of India. I will leave this place forever changed and certainly challenged, yet encouraged knowing that I have the opportunity to be involved in something bigger than myself…something that is changing the futures of these beautiful young women!
Dale – Being my second time to Kolkata, I thought I’d be more used to it; however, it once again hit me like a tonne of bricks. The gratefulness I feel for my own life is overwhelming (to the point of tears). We have so much opportunity in Australia and we really take that for granted. Here in India, there is so much resilience and strength in amongst the many struggles people face on a daily basis. This is why Offspring feels like an oasis amongst the chaos. It’s a place of joy, learning, laughter and community and it was so nice to be back after 18 months to see all the programs in action. Even though I can’t understand most of what is being said, you can instantly get a feel for the personalities and characteristics of each girl making it all so real. Every story is different but each one has hope for a brighter future, and to know that Offspring is helping make that happen is truly inspiring.
Until next month, where we will have some exciting new things to share.
Every Life…Worth Fighting For
High: It has to be a ‘high’ having two of your best buddies come and visit you on the other side of the world. We’ve had so many laughs and I have loved showing them the Offspring Headquarters in Kolkata. The ‘low’ might just be having to say goodbye!
Low: Another goodbye was with one of our trainees on very short notice. It was difficult for our staff as she was the first girl with us, and then the first to leave. It also made it real to me how difficult it is going to say goodbye to each and every single one of them as they transition out of Offspring.
Interesting: I stayed with a few new friends in Kolkata one night…right on the edge of Sonagachi, South Asia’s largest red light area. At about 1am I got up and looked out the window as I saw women waiting on the busy street. I also saw a bunch of men encouraging cars to stop…these men were the pimps. To say it was ‘interesting’ maybe isn’t the right word; even though I was intrigued by the way things were playing out. But I do know that I absolutely HATED that I couldn’t do anything right there and then to stop it!