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Ashchee, dear survivors, ashchee!

15.07.2010 in Uncategorized

It’s 5am as I write this blog, sitting in Smarita’s living room. The crows are already starting their morning rounds and the sun is shining through the windows. Any other day I’d actually enjoy this moment. But I’m leaving in an hour, and don’t have the emotional strength to appreciate the natural beauty.

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Salute to Becky Bavinger!

15.07.2010 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.

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Inspiration

14.07.2010 in Uncategorized

 After a laptop crash, repair and ultimately a replacement, I’m back in action as a regular blogger for TEN. Please forgive my absence. And know for certain that the “India girls” (as my children call them), the cause, the inspiration were always on my mind, even when I couldn’t get the words to you. It’s good to be back.

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Who is the boss here?

12.07.2010 in Uncategorized

One of the major goals of the jewelry program is to help facilitate financial independence for the girls and women who work with us. We invest in them with skills, training, and income. They dedicate themselves to learning and developing their impressive talents so that they have the skills needed to secure a good income for themselves.

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Progress and Personnel

04.07.2010 in Uncategorized

Dianna Badalament, our International Jewelry Program Director, is being featured in two jewelry trade publications this summer, highlighting her recent training trip to our new metalsmithing program in Calcutta.  In addition to her work for Made By Survivors/TEN, Dianna creates and sells exquisite jewelry through her own website, DiannaBDesigns.com.  Dianna’s time in Calcutta was extremely productive and essential to the progress of the program – it was also a challenging time because she went in the hot season and worked many days in 110 degree heat, or hotter!   She also had to get creative because we were still in the process of acquiring some of the necessary tools of the trade for the studio.  It was challenging to find everything we needed in country.  We were expecting to start with 10 trainees, and instead 20 girls signed up, so Dianna and Paul had to split the trainees into two teams, and Dianna created curriculum each day for the two groups, while also training Paul and the other staff to oversee.

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How do I say goodbye?

01.07.2010 in Uncategorized

In two weeks from today, I’ll be leaving India for good. Well, at least for two years. Over the last few months the women at Destiny and at the shelter homes have made some forelorn comments, "Becky di, you’re leaving and then you’ll forget us." But I keep ignoring it and responding that I don’t want to hear anything about me leaving until the day I actually leave. This past week has been especially hard though, because I’m going on a jewelry trip to Delhi and Jaipur tomorrow and needed to say goodbye just for a week.

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A Sense of Style

18.06.2010 in Uncategorized

I am continually amazed by our survivors ability to design and create incredibly stylish, cute, sassy, beautiful, and meaningful jewlery. Two professional jewelers have been helping us with both training and desings. You can read posts by each of these amazing women on this site. They have come up with some amazing peices. But, they have years of practice. What inspires me is how our surviors, who are all fairly new to jewlery making, can come up with designs that often rival those of trained professionals.

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Making Jewelry and A New Life

05.06.2010 in Uncategorized

Hello, there! My name is Sally. I am here in Kolkata filling in for Paul for about two months while he is back in the US. I’ve been here for two weeks now and am already blown away by the women in the jewelry program. On Friday, we spent some time sharing our stories with each other. I told them about my parents (a teacher and a pilot) and my sister (a student at Stanford). They in turn told me their stories– tales of a childhood entirely different from my own.

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Teenagers are people, too.

04.06.2010 in Uncategorized

The start of the Made By Survivors jewelry program at the Women’s Interlink Foundation’s Child Care Home (CCH), brought a small degree of anxiety for me with regards to teaching. I was a little concerned about the fragility of the slavery survivors and if they would like learning to metalsmith. After a week of being with the average 17 year old (there were a smattering of ages from 15 to 24 years old and all the girls ages are just a guess), I was very pleased with their interest, kindness and vibrancy.

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Warrior Divas – Fighting Slavery with Martial Arts

25.05.2010 in Uncategorized

There are so many ways that people can use their unique gifts and experiences to fight slavery!  I am continually inspired by the creativity and diverse approaches that volunteers are bringing to this cause. One of the latest and coolest efforts – Warrior Divas: The Emancipation Network Project -  is dedicated to helping survivors of human trafficking through martial arts.

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