This is Taslima’s story, told through the eyes of the Aruna Project Founder, Ryan Berg.
Each quarter, in the same office, I gather the newest artisans and share about the heart of Aruna and our future direction. I share that the company is made for them and by them. It is made for them as a means to step into freedom, to rediscover their value and the liberating power of choice, to receive the benefits of sustainable employment and to lift their eyes to something greater. It is made by them as they take dignity in the quality of their work and ownership of the vision for quality products and freedom for hundreds more.
As a few of the new artisans shared their thoughts and hopes, Taslima sat quietly – until the end.
Then, she spoke softly, staring into her folded hands on her lap.
With my limited Hindi and her soft delivery, I was not able to understand.
She raised her head, eyes fixed on mine.
She spoke more confidently, she began to smile, then tears filled her eyes.
She stopped short, wiped her eyes and looked at Seena with a final sentence.
Then, she looked back to me in silence.
Seena translated for me:
“Ryan – Taslima said that five years ago, you came to her brothel room. You spoke to her about hope for her future. You spoke to her about creating a business for her. She never forgot that. Now, she says she is filled with such joy to be sitting in this room, talking about this company, being able to hope again.”
Help us bring hope to others like Taslima.