It's not uncommon for people who work with survivors of trauma to express amazement at the profound capacity survivors can display for compassion. We saw this in our office this last month after the devastating earthquakes in Nepal. India and Nepal share a geographical border. They also share a long cultural history and many persons of Nepali origin live in India. When news of the earthquake broke, many people here were deeply affected, including some of the ladies in our office.
After the quake, several of the ladies came to members of our office staff asking how they could help the people of Nepal. Some wanted to give money. Some wanted to donate clothing. One woman wanted to get on a train and show up in Kathmandu to help wherever she could. We were able to spend time with the ladies looking for and thinking about good organizations or groups of people who would be able to use their donated resources. In the end, a church that a couple of the ladies attend took an offering and those who wanted to give were able to do so there.
The women working in the iSanctuary Mumbai office saw the devastation. They felt sorrow and compassion. They wanted to help. Their compassion for other people, in spite of (or some might even argue because of) all that they have experienced in their lives, is inspiring. I am humbled by their desire to give, when they could easily say to themselves, “What could I possibly do in the face of this?” And it reminds me, when I am tempted to say the same thing of human trafficking, poverty, and violence, that all acts of human empathy, however small, still matter.
- Written By: Erin Arendse, India Program Liaison