Monday, March 16, 2015

The Heart of Maitri

I have been with Maitri for close to two months at this point and have been grateful for the experience this internship has given me to learn about another culture and to meet amazing people. The individuals I work with in the office are dedicated and passionate people- and that was the main thing that stood out from this visit to celebrate Holi with the widow mothers at one of Maitri’s facilities in Vrindavan. Throughout the day I noticed several beautiful moments taking place quietly on the side in the midst of the celebration. I witnessed one staff member kneeling down and listening to the stories and concerns of a small group of widow mothers. She was completely focused on the woman speaking and it was evident that although this staff member could not “fix” everything for this woman, it was perhaps just as helpful and healing for her to take the time to listen and to care. Amidst the colors and the flowers I noticed another staff member who made sure to reach out to the widow mothers standing shyly on the side during the dancing to make sure that everyone felt welcome to participate. From dancing alongside these women to serving them a special holiday mid-day meal to just taking the time to offer them a hug and a smile- every interaction was helping to create a picture of what could be and what should be- a society where those who are oppressed, marginalized, or simply forgotten are reminded that they have rights and, just as importantly, that they matter. The dedicated advocates at Maitri are working to make this a reality.

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