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The true Islam…

09.01.2009 in Uncategorized

I don’t have alot of time to post but I wanted to relay the experience I had yesterday at the Muslim Festival for Maharram. Salma and Shayma took me to the burial place of prince Alil where the main ceremony was being held. We started to go inside they prevented Salma and Shayma from entering because they were female. That left me., so I decided to dive into it head first and all I have to say is WOW! 

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Ek Aurat, ek larki – One Woman, one child

09.01.2009 in Uncategorized

Yesterday was a different kind of day here in Calcutta. I took a few of he volunteers to a lecture by Catharine MacKinnon, a feminist legal scholar and activist. To be honest, I feared that a lecture might be dull compared to the dervishly intense living we have been experiencing all week in the shelter homes and red light areas. However, Catherine spoke with such conviction and passion that it just blew me away. She has spent the last few weeks researching and meeting survivors and victims of brothel slavery through our partner agency Apne Aap – in the red light areas of Calcutta, and in Forbesgunj – a remote region of Bihar in which an entire tribal group is forced into intergenerational and systemic prostitution, starting around the age of 10.

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A day of inspiration, joy and hardships on the sacred Gangees River

08.01.2009 in Uncategorized

Did I fall asleep at all last night? I think not. I dozed on and off as I imagined sacred spirits surrounding me, protecting me with a circle of fire, glowing embers warming my heart. I awaken to reality, to the sound of little children chatting as they wash. A simple, straw house across the road from me nestles itself contently, filled with noises and bustling as the Indian family prepares for their day. The fire is burning in the firepit, I imagine it is boiling water for eggs from their chicken. The mother sweeps the dirt outside her home, with her bundle of hay tied together into the shape of a strong broom. Laundry, bright and colorful, waves its gentle greetings on the line.

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Google Trends – Measuring Social Impact and the Abolition Movement

08.01.2009 in Uncategorized

With the Jan 11 Human trafficking Awareness Day fast approaching, I thought it might be useful to address the question "what is the awareness level of human trafficking/slavery and how has it been changing". How has the abolition movement been doing? I am aware of no decent surveys that measure, let alone show trends in slavery awareness so I have to look to other tools to try to get a sense on how things are going. Antidotal observations include : there are certainly a lot more non-profits dedicated to abolition, there are lot more books available, and there has been a lot more press. But what about the public? What does the public know and do they care about slavery?

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Everday gets better and better….

08.01.2009 in Uncategorized

I just got back from attending a lecture given my Catherine Mackinnon at the American Center in Kolkata. It was one of the most passionate and heartfelt lectures I have ever heard. For those of you unfamiliar with Catherine Mackinnon (and if you work for TBS you should be ashamed if you dont know her – lol)…allow me to school you….

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India, please wait for me

07.01.2009 in Uncategorized

My sleepy eyes are half closed but my heart aches for expression tonight (or should I say this morning)! With a myriad of plugs and adaptors precariously dangling from the surge protector, tangled up wires like long black snakes winding around my legs and hundreds of tiny mosquitos buzzing around my body, Becky’s laptop at the Destiny Center is working tonight! The wild dogs continue to bark outside my window as the clock behind me ticks quietly with a rhythm I am content with. India brings peace to my soul.

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Train to Varanasi

07.01.2009 in Uncategorized

Wednesday night around 11pm? Quite exhausted, but feeling touched by the gentleness of the children and love they crave from us as we work with them in such simple ways.

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January 11 – Human Trafficking Awareness Day

07.01.2009 in Uncategorized

Awareness is not enough – we need action and results!

I’m willing to bet that if you asked your socially aware friends to name a few leading abolition groups that they would not have a clue. If you asked about AIDS, or homeless, hunger, housing or any number of other causes the typical person will be able to name a charity that is fighting the issue.

But human trafficking and slavery? Most people don’t even know it exists let alone know what they can do about it, or who the leading abolition groups are. We have only begun to raise awareness so let’s all make sure that when we tell our friends about slavery, we also tell them what they can do to support abolition or become an abolitionist.

If you are not yet an abolitionist, please, use the January 11th Human Trafficking Awareness Day as your first step in learning about slavery and how we can end it. Learn about and tell your friends about leading abolition groups like Free The Slaves, Anti-Slavery International, International Justice Mission, Polaris Project, ECPAT International. Read a book on slavery. Sign up to host one of our Awareness Events in your home or community. Commit to doing something!

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Social Enterprise – what does it mean?

07.01.2009 in Uncategorized

I’m blogging about this because I know I will be frequently using the terms ‘social enterprise’ or 'social entrepreneur' in my blogs and I wanted to be able to define what I am talking about. As someone coming out of the business/financial world I find it a bit strange that I even have to do this, but these terms have been defined and used in so many different ways in the nonprofit world they are almost in danger of losing meaning.

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painting toward empowerment

07.01.2009 in Uncategorized

this morning as i sat in relative peace with Sarah at the Destiny center to do a little early morning blogging (it remains a struggle to find a regularly working internet connection), we both were

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