Made by Survivors | Salute to Becky Bavinger!
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Salute to Becky Bavinger!

15 Jul 2010, by elance programmer in Uncategorized

This week Becky Bavinger, Co-Founder of Destiny/Reflections and TEN’s representative in India is coming back to the United States after 3 years of living and working in India. Becky has done an amazing job of positively impacting the lives of hundreds of people that she has come in contact with over the years and her impact will be felt for a very long time to come. Words can not express how invaluable and successful Becky has been and we at TEN/Made By Survivors consider ourselves lucky to have had her partnership. This weekend, as Becky takes the next step in her journey at NYU this fall, we want to take some time to honor her and the work she has done.

Over the next few days we will post salutes to Becky from colleagues and friends and show pics from Becky’s time in India. We encourage anyone that knows Becky to also add their thoughts and even some pics or videos that you have and we can share. If you have any pics you like to send please forward them to paul@madebysurvivors.com.

Becky, I know I speak on behalf on everyone in India when I say you will be sorely missed but never forgotten. We know you will stay in touch and we know you will be back, but there will be a void that no one can even come close to filling! Thanks for everything! 

- Paul 

Here is Sarah Symons, Founder of Made By Survivors on what Becky has meant to her.

– "She who believes in Freedom cannot rest"…. 

A Tribute to our own Becky Bavinger
by TEN founder and Director Sarah Symons

It has been my great pleasure, and unbelievable good fortune to have employed and worked closely with Becky Bavinger for the past four years. Becky is now beginning a new journey as a PhD candidate at NYU, but she will continue to be involved with our work. We just can’t let this amazing young woman go! 

Becky began working for us as Awareness Event and College Program Director in June, 2006, right after her graduation from Georgetown, and later became responsible for programs and partnerships in India, working together with Smarita Sengupta and our growing team in India.

Throughout her time with us, Becky’s determination, self-direction, people skills, compassion, problem-solving, creativity and professionalism have made a huge impact on the lives of our survivors, helping many to permanent, sustainable freedom and independence. 

Words cannot express what she has done for this organization.

I have rarely known any person with such a gift for relating to disenfranchised and traumatized people. Becky is able to create a wonderful camaraderie and equality among our survivors. She brings kindness, humor, and humility into every interaction, whether she is talking to a child from the red light slum, a trafficked woman, myself or another staff member, or with a major donor. 

It was due to Becky and Smarita’s initiative, fundraising, and sheer grit that we were able to launch our Destiny Center in Calcutta in 2008. Becky and Smarita have been responsible for the social work needs, education, job training, and management of scores of trafficking survivors at the Destiny Center and at five other Indian partner shelters. 

Becky has also overseen our growing school sponsorship programs in India, and has personally put several girls into school who would otherwise be trafficked right now. 

Prior to opening the Destiny center, Becky raised $10,000 for the start up costs, and then plowed through mounds of paperwork and bureaucratic obstructions (in monsoon season!) to find and rent a suitable space, secure internet access and utilities, and convince our partner NGOs to allow the survivors in their shelters to begin commuting to Destiny for work. 

Because we are a social purpose business on a modest budget, Becky has had to wear many hats during her time with us, and to do it all on a shoestring. It seems that no sacrifice is too great for her – she lives simply in Calcutta, and works 7 days a week for the benefit of our survivors. I can trust her for anything, and she has contributed as much sweat equity and love as any other person in our organization’s history.

Becky is greatly respected and loved by the leadership, staff, survivors and their children at all of our partner agencies. I am sure that many of these relationships will be life-long. Becky is a gifted counselor and I have seen her gifts in action with traumatized women, children and teens in the extremely challenging environment of the Calcutta red light community and in shelters with brothel slavery survivors as young as eight. She has been called upon to support and manage teams of US volunteers, and to oversee the volunteer teams at local shelters, as well as arranging their travel and taking care of medical needs, all the while continuing to manage production at the Destiny Center. In all these efforts, Becky works seamlessly, joyfully and without complaint – navigating social customs, language barriers, and the deep emotional issues that can arise from working with trafficked children and women. 

Becky is a force to be reckoned with in this world. I am very certain she become a leader in the worldwide human rights movement and my heart will always warm at the thought of her and our time together. 

Becky: your contributions are indelibly etched in every aspect of this organization. Thank you for all you have done! You will always be a part of this program. Any corner of the world in which you work will be transformed by your efforts and by the beauty and strength of your spirit. Namaste. 

Love, 
Sarah

For pics of Becky and comments from friends and family please visit www.facebook.com/bysurvivors 

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