You are with us.
You have “oohed and aahed” at the rich colors of saris carefully woven together to create beautiful pillows, napkins, and bucket bags.
You have recognized and valued what it means and what it takes to partner with women in their freedom journey.
You have journeyed so far with Sari Bari. “Thank you.”
Beth, former Director of Aftercare for Sari Bari in India, was helping to clean at the start of the day, filing a gap when a woman of Sari Bari had not come to work. When the other women arrived, they jumped in to help as well. Beth says, "... I passed one women smiling as she descended down the stairs disposing of a large bucket’s worth of yesterday’s trash…when I said to her, ‘you don’t have to do that’ she shrugged me off, saying ‘What is it to me, we’re all the same, I can do this work.’” In India, this is an important value to note, because the remnants of the caste system still cling to everything. She was saying nothing is beneath me, we are in this together.
Two things struck me. First, “We’re all the same.” We share value. What a simple truth about what it is to be human, we share our humanness and our unique value as human beings. A truth I can easily forget even unintentionally. It’s not a conscious thought, but in my approach to my world, I can focus on my own existence so much and forget about the world of value and connection all around me — extending around the globe. In our same-ness, we journey together. And in our difference and uniqueness, we journey together. We survive, each depending on the other. We struggle. We fall. We rise. Together. We are intimately connected by our shared humanity.
Second. She chooses this work. In fact, she chooses to go above and beyond. She can choose. She can push. She can heal. She can grow. In my inability to see how we are the same, it is easy to elevate my impact and my role in all of this. Just as I can, so can she! Just as I try, so she tries. Just as I succeed, SHE is victorious.
When I understand what this wise woman already knew, I see my greater opportunity, not to save someone or become a hero, but to participate in our greater, shared work of freedom. This is why I partner with Sari Bari. This is why I give. This is why I care. I believe in the value of WE. I recognize our united efforts for what is right and good. That is who WE are, and whom I will participate in efforts to become, TOGETHER.
We invite you into this journey — not because of what you can do for the women of Sari Bari, but because of what we become together through our shared journey of freedom.
Will you journey with us?
Executive Director, Sari Bari USA