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17935 Sky Park Cir
Irvine, CA, 92614
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Blog

Filtering by Tag: love

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lindsey Malcolm

In a world where current events are turbulent and stability is wavering, we turn our thoughts to what we know. We know that this world is not as it should be. We know there are greater things that exist beyond what our eyes can see. Courage. Commitment. Dedication. Sacrifice.

At International Sanctuary, these traits are evident every day. I see it in the courageous young women that walk through our doors at our sanctuary in Orange County. I see it in the young women that embrace challenging concepts at our Academy in Mumbai. I see it in our dedicated staff who work tirelessly to provide avenues for lives to be transformed. I see it in the commitment of our volunteers and interns that faithfully serve each week. I see it in our supporters that give sacrificially.

During this season of gratefulness, we choose to focus on these things. Rather than highlighting the evil that drives us to do the work we do, we celebrate the unifying force of hope, the confidence of faith, and the power of unconditional love.

May you experience truth, peace, and hope this season! 

Written By: Wendy Dailey, President & Co-founder

Sustainable Recovery and Self-Love

Lindsey Malcolm

As a community, we’re working towards extricating the trenchant remnants of abuse, neglect, subjugation, and psychological torment that mar our participants’ lives, even after rescue. We’re fighting for healing, for self-love and trust, for faith and peace of mind, and for protection against the recurring waves of terror and psychosomatic tolls that trauma can induce. Recovery from trauma is fundamental for sustainable freedom from trafficking, reintegration to society, health and wellbeing, finding fulfillment, and obtaining self-efficacy. 

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At iSanctuary, we tailor trauma-informed programming to the specific issues that our participants are dealing with. It’s vital for us to make space for our participants to speak and give insight into their feelings, thoughts, and experiences with iSanctuary. In order to create effective aftercare resources, we need to know what each woman needs to disengage from the long-lasting repercussions of her trauma.

Recently, we asked the iSanctuary artisans how they know they are loved. Do they believe that a pathway to self-love could be a link in the journey of recovery? If they discuss the authentic connotations and experiences that inform their notions of love and self-worth, what emerges? How would they articulate their feelings of belonging, worthiness, beauty, and purpose?

These are their words.

“I am loved because… my friends and family celebrate me and support me in many things.” –Sujata

“I am cherished because… I have a happy community that cares for me, gives peace, and protects each other.” –Anandi

“I am treasured because… my friends and my boyfriend treat me really well and love me so much. They check in and ask me how I am doing all the time, so I know they care.” –Priya

“I am beautiful because God made different faces for everyone, and I know He made my face and looks after me.” –Vrinda

“I am radiant because I have strength. When I was at the beach with my friends, in my fancy clothes, laughing together, I knew I was radiant and I knew I was strong. My friends support me and I felt the shining kind of beauty.” –Pari

The resonant current in these snippet stories of rebuilding self-love, finding a route to healing, and overcoming trauma is the transformative power of community. Their words illustrate the significance of friends, family, and supportive spaces that foster resilience and affection and spirited individuality. Our infectiously affectionate community enables healing through shared work, collective goals, compassionate listening, profound friendship, and support. This unity precipitates liberation from the after-effects of trauma. In all of our customary, day-to-day rituals—sharing curries and roti at lunch, teasing each other in Hindi and English, lingering in rapt conversations, energizing one another through collaborative design, and triumphantly embracing when any person succeeds in a task of any size—the value of community is evident. In our humble, hectic, bustling, witty, sensitive, dogged, beautiful studio, jewelry means freedom.

The Day to Day

Lindsey Malcolm

Some days you spend checking quality control on products, reviewing impact metrics, and typing minutes from the most recent staff meeting. And some days India puts a satellite in orbit around Mars, which leads you to discover that one of the girls in the office didn’t know that there were other planets. So instead of checking products, you spend the next hour trolling YouTube and Google Images for pictures of the solar system and videos of Neil Armstrong moon-walking. Go figure.

Being part of the lives of the iSanctuary young women, in such a consistent way sometimes means filling in the gaps where they have not previously had teachers, mentors, or sisters (Example: Space 101: Introduction to the Solar System). In some ways, this is the most difficult part of the job because it’s time-consuming and unpredictable. It seems like the days with the longest to do lists are also the days where someone has a serious problem with a roommate or needs help with logic homework. (I have NEVER taken a logic class. Sorry honey, but this homework is just as indecipherable to me as it is to you… What does “indecipherable” mean? Oi…) But on the other hand, sometimes it means you get to have great conversations about healthy dating relationships, or why eating street food can make you sick, or whether or not aliens are real.

The best part is that it works both ways of course. Not only am I able to offer my perspective into their lives, but they offer their perspective into my life as well. A life skills coach comes in once a week to spend time with the ladies in the office, and she spent time recently teaching them the importance of good nutrition. Meanwhile, the other interns and I had developed something of a bad habit of eating Maggi for lunch (the Indian equivalent of Top Ramen) on a fairly regular basis. After their nutrition class, the girls were quick to point out to us that this was incredibly unhealthy and that we should be eating only whole wheat grains as well as fruits and vegetables. I am happy to report that our eating habits have actually improved since that day.

It can be quite easy in the flurry of filling orders, market runs, and creating reports to forget the larger picture of what we are here to do - bringing wisdom, worth, and dignity. But I love the day to day moments because they are so vital to teaching and developing the characteristics we desire to instill in the young women of iSanctuary. These human interactions, the relationships with each other, are what make us who we are. 

- Written By: Erin Arendse, Program Liason