contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

17935 Sky Park Cir
Irvine, CA, 92614
United States

(949) 752-7788

india.jpg

Blog

Traditions

Lindsey Malcolm

For many families, Thanksgiving is a celebration built on traditions. Whether it’s Grandmother’s dressing, the family Turkey Trot, or all of the cousins packing up the leftovers and heading out for the Black Friday early bird specials, the anticipation and joy that comes with each ritual is a great way to kick off the Holiday Season.

Some of the International Sanctuary staff and volunteers shared their favorite Thanksgiving traditions:

“Our family goes around the table and we all say one thing that so are very thankful for in that year.”

“My mom and grandma always have a glass of sparkling wine with raspberries the night before while cooking!”

“My family immigrated from China to the U.S., so Thanksgiving for us means the whole family getting together to cook - everyone bringing their favorite recipes and we all create unique, Chinese dishes. Last year, I made the turkey and, instead of traditional stuffing, we filled it with rice and veggies. It was so good!”

“I grew up overseas, so we would always invite other military members over to our house for Thanksgiving, especially those who had just arrived and their families hadn’t come over yet.”

DSC_0163.JPG

Thanksgiving is an American holiday, but at the heart of it lies family, love, and peace, the very things our girls are discovering within the walls of our Sanctuaries around the world. It is not uncommon for these young women to share meals together and bond over the joys and struggles of everyday life. For some who did not have family or friends before International Sanctuary, they now have a safe, loving community where they belong.

What are your traditions? Head over to our Facebook page and share your favorite Thanksgiving activities!

The Gratitude Series: India

Lindsey Malcolm

It can be hard to be grateful for growth, especially when it’s filled with challenges, discomfort, and “try-agains”, but when it comes to the progress that’s coming out of the Mumbai, India Sanctuary, it’s almost impossible to be anything other than amazed.

We launched The Academy in the summer of 2016. By recognizing each woman’s potential alongside her current limitations, we provide academic instruction and learning support that not only prepares our girls to reach educational milestones, but also encourages them to think critically, problem solve, and cultivate proactive self- development practices. Half of their workday is spent developing their academic abilities, personal strengths, and professional skills in structured classes; the other half is dedicated to applying their learning in the workplace where they are employed making jewelry. Though we thought we’d see a decrease in production, with focused intention, one-on-one check-ins, and daily goals, here’s what happened:

  • Jewelry production actually doubled
  • 2,106 hours of educational instruction were provided
  • Students’ English reading rose by an average of 5.8 reading levels (U.S. Common Core)
  • Students mastered 71% of grade 4 Hindi (per India’s State Board (NCERT) Standards)
  • 100% in The Academy feel they have what they need in order to study

“I used to think I was very dumb, I didn’t even know simply math. And then I used to get frustrated. But our teacher in The Academy would encourage me and give this look like ‘You can do it!’ It built confidence in myself. And now, I can do multiplication, division, medians and mean. Those subjects were very difficult for me, very difficult, but now I can do those things.”
-a student in The Academy

gratitude2-01.jpg

It’s hard for us to imagine life without the ability to read, write, or do basic math, but for so many that enter our Sanctuary, that’s reality. We knew we had to address this issue in order to give our girls their best chance at long-term success, so The Academy was born. We are enormously grateful for Pritish, our award-winning teacher with a heart for our mission, for the countless hours that went into the planning and execution to make this dream a reality, and for our volunteers who so joyfully give their time to students as they learn.

Did you know you can volunteer as an online tutor for students in The Academy? Once a week, you can give an hour of your time to help improve a student’s English speaking, reading, and comprehension. You don’t need any teaching experience, so if you’re willing to help, able to commit for 8 weeks, and ready to go through the orientation, email jackie@isanctuary.org.