onsdag 9 december 2015

Christmas party at Taj West End

Christmas party with Swedish Chamber of Commerce - to benefit victims of sex trafficking at Vidyaranya's Ujjawala shelter

Me and my colleague Raji
On the 5th of December we had the opportunity to fundraise at the beautiful and notorious five star hotel Taj West End, to benefit victims of sex trafficking at the NGO Vidyaranya's Ujjawala shelter. This opportunity was given to us thanks to Swedish Chamber of Commerce. The party had a Swedish Christmas theme, and was hosted by Johan Andersson (from Centigo), and Kaveri Sinhji (from Bluefoot, which is a top ranked tourist tour agency on TripAdvisor). 

I feel very privileged and blessed that I have had the opportunity to grow up in such a beautiful and great country such as Sweden. Not all has had this blessing. Despite the fact that India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the country is facing tremendous problems with trafficking. Many victims that has been kidnapped, drugged, and raped feels that there is no hope, but there is. Thanks to organisations, such as Vidyaranya, victims can get protection and rehabilitation in their so-called Ujjawala shelter. 

As mentioned previously, Ujjawala shelters are part of a national governmental scheme, so most of their funding comes from the government. However, this is not enough. I strongly believe that we all should care, and be active actors in our surrounding communities, rather than just passive actors. If we do not care we only risk increasing injustices, such as when former victims are not getting vocational training, they are not being reintegrated, kids grow up poor and often sick ...  I truly believe that education (vocational training) and reintegration is the key to progression for these girls. 

There for, during my speech, I pledged for both short-term support, as well as long-term support. For example, the NGO has been given a pice of land, but we need funding for a new facility. We need help with vocational training and income generating activities, so that the former victims gets to be self sustainable and reintegrated. We also need help from a health perspective. 

During the dinner we managed to fundraise a total of 25 370 INR. Not bad at all coming from private donations. Thanks all of you who contributed and took the opportunity to be "gifted with the gift of giving". I feel very proud to be part of such a amazing organisation such as Vidyaranya. They have thought me a lot, and together we have achieved a great deal, but more needs to be done. For this, we need your help in the future as well. I hope
many of you will contribute with a Christmas donation so that we can buy the girls the most urgent basic items, such as sweaters, schampoo, amongst other things. Please send me an email should you wish you to contribute (petra-spencer@hotmail.com). 

Linus, Stef, Nisha and Johan 

Thank you kindly SCCI for this opportunity, and thanks to the media for coverage!

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