Welcome to The Seeds Storyteller Series: Difference-Making During the Corona Crisis in which I’ll be talking with Ryan and April Berg, co-founders of The Aruna Project. We’ll be talking about their passion to ensure lifelong freedom, and employment, and empowerment for sexually enslaved women in India. Learn about AND be inspired and ignited by their vision and compassion to not walk away from the young women they met who suffer under the injustice of sexual exploitation.
In case you missed the livestream, check out the replay right here or head to your favorite social media platform: YouTube | IGTV | Facebook. While you’re there, subscribe to join the fun with us at Seeds of Exchange. Keep the convo goin’ in the comments below.
WHAT you can look forward to in this conversation:
– ARMCHAIR TRAVEL to Mumbai, India. Learn how the Aruna community is doing and how they have been impacted by the Coronavirus in India and in the USA.
During COVID19 we have remained committed to paying the Artisans that we currently employ even while our production unit has been closed for 6 weeks. Additionally, for those not yet free, we have been organizing food distribution in the brothel area to provide 2-3 weeks’ worth of food for the women going hungry. -Ryan & April
– STORIES TO INSPIRE your unique ways to be generous, make a difference, and serve others each day.
– DIG DEEPER and learn about some of the root causes of human trafficking and what can be done about it, together.
– HOW TO FIND PEACE AMIDST STORMY DAYS – Ryan & April will share some of their daily practices to still the noise and cultivate peace.
NUDGES to consider of inspired ACTion:
- SHOP for her freedom – buying functional luxury bags and accessories
- DONATE for her freedom – giving any amount helps bring and sustain freedom. Learn more about our Seeds of Exchange fundraising partnership in June, 2020, with Aruna here
- SHARE for her freedom – by following and inviting others to follow on social media helps to amplify the voices of the Artisans Facebook & Insta
- RUN for her freedom – participate in or host an Aruna Run and help bring freedom
MORE from April & Ryan, our storytellers …
What are 3 words that give you hope amidst these disrupted days of work, home, and community?
Grace Presence Community
What inspires you in the midst of these days of struggle?
Do you have a favorite quote or poem you’d like to share with folks?
The best is yet to come.
What is 1 act – big or small – you’d like to encourage folks to do?
Whatever your passion, now is the time to press into the needs of others and look beyond ourselves.
Given the current impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, how is your life (family, business, organization) being impacted? Share a ROSE (something blooming because of the Coronavirus) – a BUD (something new/good happening because of the Coronavirus) – a THORN (something challenging/painful/hard because of the Coronavirus).
Rose – In paying Artisan salaries (those who are freed) and providing food for women not yet freed, they have been overwhelmed that we would care and give when they have done nothing to “earn it”. Most of their lives have been characterized by only getting something if they give something first. That has not been the case now as we provide salaries and food and it is powerful for them to experience. Bud – We are working on some new product designs that we think will meet customer needs coming out of the “shelter in place” orders. Thorn – We have cut our budget by almost 40% and finding it quite challenging to balance cash flow and keep everyone employed and paid. For the Artisans losing a job puts them at great risk of being re-trafficked.
Is spirituality an essential part of your life, your work? If so, share a bit about HOW your personal faith influences and/or empowers your everyday life.
We believe that Jesus is who He says He is and that changes everything. We find peace in His power over all things, his wisdom in knowing what is best, and His goodness in doing justice and mercy.
ABOUT Difference-Making During the Corona Crisis …
Stories of community, compassion, and creativity in the midst of everyday life, today. We share these stories about everyday difference-makers with you in the midst of the Corona pandemic so you can be informed, inspired, and ignited to care for yourself and others in the midst of these disrupted and challenging days. Get ready to find a bit more of your story as you listen to the stories of ARTivists (artist-activists), students, parents, elders, entrepreneurs, and activists!
You are loved.
We belong to each other.
Let’s standTALL together and light up the world.
xo, Sarah Davison-Tracy, Seeds of Exchange