Since we featured the voices of our Mumbai staff to give you a peek into the inner workings of our India office, we wanted you to hear from the young women we serve. We sat down with the students and artisans participating in iSanctuary programs to talk about their biggest challenges and achievements right now. The following is a glimpse into the hearts and minds of our brilliant participants!
Challenge: It is a hard challenge for me to accomplish my project in three hours since the Academy has started. And I had some work and was thinking, “when it will get finished?”
Victory: But finally I got finished those projects so that is my victory. So I will call it a victory and a challenge.
Challenge: Production is hard because new models have come and that gives me difficulty because I have to learn new designs. Otherwise, everything in work is fine.
Victory: I’m always on time for school. I’m happy that I never miss class because we have to come early in the morning. And at first I was thinking, “Oh my god, I have to get up early” but it never gives me difficulty. I’m proud to never miss class.
Challenge: My challenge is to finish a lot in one week. I am just trying to finish everything.
Victory: I like to work hard and there is a lot to do so I am happy.
Challenge: It’s hard for me today because of the new models (new jewelry designs). So this is a lot of pressure for work.
Victory: I’m lucky to have work to do, because lots of people don’t have jobs, so I’m very thankful for that. Every time I feel down about work, I say “don’t be sad,” because you have lots of things to do in your future.
Like the stories of the staff, our participants show common themes in their descriptions of challenges, as well as shared themes in their narratives of celebrations. Our community thrives on the collectivity of hardships; we help each other get through tough times through empathy, mentorship, laughter, listening, creating safe moments to talk, and building spaces for growth and learning.
And while we prosper in the collective resilience against shared battles, we also grow from our differences—the unique nuances that disrupt the temptation of complacency, push us to see another perspective, and humble us in the wake of victories and challenges we might not have acknowledged. The mélange of voices and experiences push us to challenge assumptions and strengthen us in the lessons we learn from each other. Our individual experiences compel each of us to face variant challenges, but the beauty of the iSanctuary community is that no matter our differences, we rise up together.