Volunteer Ishrat Mira-Jahan speaks about her experiences with Sakhi
My name is Ishrat Jahan, and I am a proud Sakhi volunteer.
I came to Sakhi as a sympathizer and supporter of the work to end domestic violence in the South Asian community. I also personally connected to the work as a result of my own experiences with violence.
I was very happy to find an organization that truly cares about the work it does and is dedicated to providing services to women in need.
In 2010, I attended Sakhi’s volunteer training program. At the training I learned a great deal about the way the legal system intersects with individual survivors of violence,
what options women have and a great deal about what abuse is and how it works. I particularly enjoyed hearing the presentations given by the Assistant DA of Manhattan and Safe Horizon staff.
What I really took away from the training and still use are the lessons I learned about self care. I realized how important it is to be aware of our own mental state while we work with survivors of abuse.
I also created bonds and friendships with other women who attended the training.
As a survivor of abuse myself, I felt it was unfortunate that I did not have access to Sakhi’s services when I was in need. But it is exactly that, that has fueled my eagerness and dedication to do what I can to help survivors of domestic violence.
Through various volunteer activities, I had the opportunity to interact with the women Sakhi serves. I felt so ecstatic when I learned that many of the women who came to Sakhi gained so much
by simply reaching out. The women I spoke to were able to find a safe space to discuss their thoughts, learn valuable skills, gain self-confidence, and learn how to laugh again.
Sakhi plays a big role in the lives of the women it works with; by helping them overcome fears, educating them about all of their options, providing legal guidance and tools for financial independence.
I plan on continuing to volunteer with Sakhi and help it become a stronger and more resourceful organization. I strongly urge any one who is reading this article support Sakhi in its growth.