by Anindita Dasgupta, Sakhi Media Intern ::
It was 19 years ago that five South Asian women from various backgrounds came together to address a serious need in the South Asian community. There were places within the community where South Asian professionals from all over could socialize, but there wasn’t a safe space where survivors of domestic abuse could turn to for help. These women created such a space, one that in 2007 — 19 years later — was able to respond to 727 new calls for help and play an instrumental role in improving language access in New York State courts.
On July 29th, Sakhi took time to celebrate its past by honoring hard-working board members, while simultaneously looking forward by unveiling its strategic plan for the next three years. Amidst the intense humidity of the day, the reception inside the Sundaram Tagore Gallery served as the perfect inspiration.
The strategic plan was created by Sakhi’s Strategic Planning Committee with help from external consultants from Washburn Partners. The plan outlines specific strategic steps the organization will take in order for Sakhi to accomplish its strategic goals in the next three years. For a summary of the plan,.
After Sakhi’s supporters, board, and staff sampled tasty treats at the reception, Yvonne Moore, Executive Director of the Daphne Foundation, introduced Sakhi’s Executive Director Purvi Shah. Singing Sakhi’s praises, Yvonne recalled some of the organization’s most recent achievements. She described Purvi as a driving force behind these successes. “You have our total and utmost respect,” she said.
Purvi then introduced the strategic plan. She said that, after internal and external data collection and discussion, the Strategic Planning Committee came up with a goal-oriented plan with a focus on strategic issues and solutions. Purvi highlighted major components of the plan such as the organization’s new mission statement, a re-commitment to Sakhi’s integrated methodology, and plans for increased staff and services. Purvi explained that the plan would enhance Sakhi’s ability to be an even stronger community partner and to sustain unique local and regional impacts while drawing national attention.
“We’re looking at the big picture,” she said. “Not just the band-aid.”
Speaking about the Strategic Plan, Sakhi Board of Directors Chair Tamseela Tayyabkhan said, “Sakhi’s Strategic Plan will enable growth in direct services, especially in regards to economic empowerment and mental health services, communications, community campaigns, and policy work over the course of three years to strengthen Sakhi’s impact in the communities we serve.”
Purvi reminded the audience that Sakhi will be embarking on its 20th-year anniversary campaign over the next year and asked attendees to stay tuned for further details.
Purvi and Tamseela also took time to honor outgoing board members Sylvana Sinha, Sunita Subramanian, and Roopa Unnikrishnan, whose dedicated and visionary leadership helped enable Sakhi’s recent growth, impact, and forward-looking planning.
“I’m really excited that there is such a clear vision,” Sylvana said. “I’m also really excited for the economic empowerment programs. I think it will help to link between short-term and long-term goals and enhance capabilities to help these women since this is the piece that often keeps them in this situation.”