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Monsoon is gently and sometimes, not so gently, sweeping Kolkata. The trees have lost their dusty covering and are embracing the showers, finally revealing their lush beauty that has been hidden for so long.

We all get dusty and covered in the grimy circumstances of our situations from time to time. The harsh reality that surrounds us clings to us making it hard to see beyond the difficulty, the pain and losses that come with the lives that we live. I’m not just taking about us Kolkata folks, but all of us, living the human experience.

We can’t see beyond to the rain. We can’t see beyond the circumstances to the possibilities of what might be waiting in the next season. We can’t always see a reason to hope.

Hope almost seems foolish. To hope means to live like there is something beyond the present reality and the present reality is often so very consuming. If we at Sari Bari, always lived in the consuming reality of everyday we would not be almost 100 lives soaking in the refreshing rain of freedom. Instead we have chosen to live betwixt and between, Hope and the present circumstances. Our feet planted in what is and our dreams reminding us of what might be.

There is in our midst a tangible reality of Hope being lived out everyday. Everyday the women of Sari Bari come to work and pick up the Sari’s before them and make something new. Everyday some understands what it means in be free in a deeper way. Everyday, even on the funeral days, we live in a reality of family being created out of community. Everyday is an opportunity for what we hope for become a reality.

After almost 8 years of Sari Bari providing opportunity to women in the sex trade and to women vulnerable to trafficking, we know better than to lose hope. Hope sustains us and compels forward movement. The impossible is possible if we just wait long enough. You could not have convinced us that three women would become 100 women and staff in three manufacturing units…yet now that is the reality. Or that we could not make enough sari blankets and bags to meet the demand. Hindsight gives us encouragement to Hope, because we have experienced and seen it grow feet in both small and large ways.

Over the next year the Sari Bari blog will be featuring Voices for Hope. Friends of Sari Bari who are making an impact, seeing the dreams for their communities come true, who will share their experiences of “making hope tangible” twice a month in the year to come. We hope you will join us on the journey, and shake of the dust off with us to embrace the rain.

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In July you can look forward to hearing from Stephanie Pollaro, Co-founder of ISanctuary and Kristin Keen, Co-founder of Sari Bari and Founder of Rethreaded in Jacksonville, Fl.

A voice for Hope,

Sarah for all of us at Sari Bari