måndag 17 augusti 2015

Cocktail Charity Party

On the 14th of August a Cocktail Charity Party were held at Mövenpick Hotel, to benefit victims of sex trafficking at the NGO Vidyaranya's shelter for victims of sex trafficking.

As the initiative taker and hostess I opened up the event and gave a speech about human trafficking. In India there are millions of trafficking victims, and it is estimated that there are about 1.2 million child sex slaves in the country. Karnataka has reported the third highest number of human trafficking cases in the country (during 2009-2012). These numbers however includes all victims, not only sex trafficking victims. Bangalore seems to be both a supply, transit and destination area for trafficking. Traffickers includes school teachers, local leaders, family members, the police, and so on. Girls are being kidnapped, sold, drugged, raped and exposed to diseases. Many of them believe that there is no hope - but there is. Thanks to organizations, such as Vidyaranya, victims of sex trafficking can get adequate help, physically as well as psycho-socially.

A very brave former victim shared her story with us
At the event a former victim of sex trafficking Ms. Shilpa also gave a speech. She was very brave and shared her story with us. Even though Shilpa was 2 months pregnant at the time she was taken and sold to a brothel in Mumbai. Luckily she was rescued and rehabilitated by Vidyaranya. Today she, and her 5-year old daughter, lives at the Ujjawala shelter. She is also working as a social worker at the shelter.

Mr. M.C. Ramesh, Vidyaranya
The Founder and Director of Vidyaranya, Mr. M.C. Ramesh also gave a speech. So did Ms. Rajikala. A special thanks goes out to Mövenpick Hotel (and especially to Rahul) for their generous cooperation.

Thanks Katie Forsman @ Pie Design
A special thanks also to our sponsors Pie Design and Lotus Vibe. And also, thanks to INDPRO for their CSR-contribution. Last but not least, thanks to all of you who came and showed your support, and also for buying tickets, as half of the ticket fee went directly to the shelter.

In total, we managed to raise about 88 000 INR, and it seemed as though guest were enjoying themselves, as well as the food and cocktails. Mövenpick had been very generous since it was not only finger-food but actually a whole buffee dinner set up for us. It was a shame though that the invitations from SCCI did not make it out in time, but hopefully more people will attend next charity party.

Me and some INDPRO-staff
Bags sponsored by Lotus Vibe

onsdag 12 augusti 2015

Some more prep-work

I started to prepare for the upcoming charity event months ago, with establishing the right contacts, have meetings and discuss funding, logistics and program etc.  However, now some real prep-work needed to be done. Fliers and posters about the event have been handed out and put up, and additional marketing about the event in social media have been done. Luckily, a very kind person by the name Katie Forsman (at Pie Design) agreed to do the graphic material for the event. However, market the event in malls have not been successful, as it seems as though you are not allowed to put up posters in any of the malls here in Bangalore (not even with a bit of a "tip").

Also, Swedish Chamber of Commerce India (SCCI) and Overseas Women's Club (OWC) agreed to do emailers to all their members, so this should attracts some more people to come. The only company, so far, that has agreed to do a CSR-contribution though is the IT-company INDPRO, but I am holding my fingers crossed that there will be additional donations at the event, from both private persons as well as possible companies. But at least 50% of the ticket fee will go directly to Vidyaranya's Ujjawala shelter, so that is really good.

Some lovely ladies in Pebble bay have also donated some salvars and saris to the victim in the shelter that will hold a speech. Preparing the former victim, Shilpa, turned out to be just a little bit more tricky than I though, but I am sure everything will be fine.

Yesterday was for me, sorry to say this, but a real shitty day (and this had nothing what so ever to do with my shelter work). But after meeting the lovely Shilpa at the shelter I always realize that there is no need to be so frustrated about not very relevant issues in our lives. I hope my mindset one day can be as "at ease" as Shilpa, for example. But having said this, I still think that I will be as frustrated as always when locals do the photographing, grabbing and pinching.

Even though Shilpa has been through so much horrors in her life she says that she is happy and content with her life, but that she wants to help the shelter more. She is quite an amazing young woman, I must say.

Some of the clothes donated to the shelter

söndag 2 augusti 2015

Prep-work for our upcoming cocktail charity party 14 Aug

On the 1st of August I took two staff members from Vidyaranya's Ujjawala shelter to Mövenpick Hotel, in order to prepare for our upcoming cocktail charity party. One of the girls (who work as a social worker at the shelter) is also a former victim of sex trafficking. We spoke with Mr. Rahul who is the Director for food and beverages at the hotel, walked the premises of the hotel and later sat down and had some drinks and snacks. Shilpa (to the right in the photo) told me how she felt blessed by god. She explained that she was very thankful to the NGO Vidyaranya for have helped her and her daughter. We also discussed cultural differences, and how it can be indecent (for westerners) to show shoulders etc. but decent for indian women to show their belly and back in saris. We laughed quite a bit discussing these, and other, cultural clashes. 

Social worker Indira, me and social worker Shilpa

In the end, it seemed as both me and Shilpa are nervous about the upcoming event. But hey, what can possibly go wrong.. All we can do is do our best! If you are interested in the event, please visit this website: https://swedishcsrbangalore.yapsody.com/event/index/14769/light-up-a-life-cocktail-charity-party