When there was nowhere to go, she became a stream and began to flow.
When there was no one to turn to, she turned to herself and began to grow
These lines aptly sum up Zahra’s journey with Touching Lives. Not that she was an aimless wanderer before she joined Touching Lives. She had goals and was academically strong. By the time she finished graduation she already knew she was going to Canada to pursue a Masters in Social Work. But then, the puzzle still seemed incomplete for her. “Where were the missing pieces?”, she wondered. Fortunately, after graduating in Sociology, she found the time to figure it out. Her admission for Masters got delayed by a year. Now, like many twenty-somethings, she could have spent the year partying or making money. Some extra cash couldn’t hurt after all. But Zahra was not just any 20-year old. She was/is an individual with great potential, a creative mind and a sensitive heart. Somehow, it seems only natural that she found herself at Touching Lives.
It has been nearly a year since. Speaking to Zahra, toward the end of her internship tenure, is most overwhelming. She vividly remembers her first visit to the Touching Lives Learning Centre, “On my first day at Touching Lives Sonia didi (our founder) gave me a tour of the entire Learning Centre.”
Each class felt special. And the beginners class was even more so- all the children came up to me and shook hands with me. They were so cute! It was totally disarming.”
During her internship tenure, Zahra shouldered a multitude of roles. Her internship encompassed mentorship of the Trasnsit class, and writing and editing for the digital-media and publishing projects. Each role was different and had its own learning curve. Zahra worked closely with Tanvi, Transit mentor and PR in-charge and Tanvi has had the most wonderful time working with her, “Zahra has been a joy to work with, right from the start. In fact we felt like soul-sisters to each other. The connect is very strong. Our thoughts are wonderfully in-sync at all times and work was just effortless.” Another colleague, HR-head Aditi cannot stop praising Zahra, she says, “I have seen Zahra grow in each and every role she has taken up. Even as a person, she is so polite and soft-spoken, no matter whom she is speaking with. Her sincerity comes through in everything that she does. I have rarely seen her take a break for herself.”
Zahra’s dedication has impressed everyone here at Touching Lives and is certainly one her greatest strengths. Communications head, Ankit believes that to have this unwavering commitment, and to serve and contribute even more than what is expected – requires a certain energy and purity from within. According to him, “To have such a strong and good work ethic, and to do it voluntarily, is phenomenal. It asks for a lot of self-motivation and discipline.”
A lot of Zahra’s friends and acquaintances had questioned Zahra for working in an NGO, that too as a volunteer-intern. But Zahra is surer now than ever that working at Touching Lives was one of her best decisions yet, “At this crucial time, I wanted to give myself an enriching experience. Money was never the main objective. I wanted to find my expertise. Trust me, here, I have found everything I needed. I have learnt that there is nothing more joyous than giving with an open heart. A whole new Universe opened up for me here, a Universe that is sure to stay with me forever. As I prepare for my journey ahead, I carry these fond memories and more, a seed of a new beginning. I have the strong urge that through me, Touching Lives will find a new sprouting in Canada.”
What could be better than this Zahra? What could be more meaningful than a journey that extends beyond borders. What could be more precious than this ‘connection’ that lasts forever and ever?