I am overjoyed to announce that i have met my fundraising goal in raising $20,000 for Off the Mat, Into the World’s (OTM) 2012 Global Seva Challenge to help combat sex trafficking in India and worldwide!
Through the support of my friends, colleagues and the tireless work of other Seva participants, like myself who have volunteered their time and efforts in the name of service, OTM has raised close to $3 million since the Global Seva Challenge was started in 2007 for humanitarian projects in developing countries. Every year OTM has invited a group of Seva leaders to join the annual Bare Witness Tour. They have traveled to Cambodia, Uganda, South Africa and Haiti where they have worked closely with the local community to help construct birthing centers, schools and libraries, organic farms and gardens, a bakery, and much more. They have also spent time learning about the local culture and history, as well as working with children on skills such as yoga, arts and crafts, dance and drama.
This year as you are aware, we are focusing our support on the women and children of India, and the illegal 32 billion dollar sex industry that they have fallen victim to.
The 2012 Global Seva Challenge is dedicated to raise awareness of the root causes and impact of the global sex trafficking industry. we support organizations in India that are providing refuge, rehabilitation and economic opportunities to survivors, and empower survivors to lead lives with dignity and respect. In addition, Off the Mat will provide support for women and children living in rural communities as well as projects working to preserve the sanctity, beauty, and cleanliness of the Ganges and Himalayas.
THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE OTM 2012 SEVA CHALLENGE HAVE RAISED A RECORD OF OVER 1 MILLION DOLLARS TO END SEX TRAFFICKING!!!
I am both proud and humbled to be a part of this grass roots effort.
Between February 18-March 1, 2013, we will travel together with the co-founders of OTM Seane Corn and Suzanne Sterling to India and work in partnership with established local organizations to:
Learn about leadership & advocacy programs for sex trafficking victims at Apne Aap
Construct a new children’s study area at Ramana’s Garden
Build a composting machine at Clean Himalaya
Construct and paint a shelter for teenage girls at Sanlaap
Support Dance Movement Therapy and build a new ‘Center of Excellence’ at Kolkata Sanved
Help with construction, painting and get to know the women at Made by Survivors
Although the immediate beneficiary of this program’s success is India, the Global Seva Challenge also serves to build leaders, such as myself, whose impact will extend far beyond this year’s project. Through mentoring and training, Seva participants cultivate real world skills, as well as those learned on the yoga mat, to become a leading force in their communities and abroad. To my family, friends and community, I am eternally grateful for your belief in me, and for your financial and moral support. To be at this stage of my life, with a renewed sense of purpose, and to be able to serve those in need from that place, is indeed a joy and a privilege. I could not have done it without your support, and the OTM program.
I continue to follow my commitment to work to eradicate this unspeakable crime against humanity, and hope to be chosen to be one of the participants that continue to stay involved with our partners and projects in India for years to come. I will still be selling the Lakshmi Abundance gemstone bracelets i have been making all year and give the proceeds to one or all of our partners in India who are working tirelessly.
Please look for my updates on my adventures from India in February..
IN GRATITUDE AND LOVE,
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