By Arooj Aslam, Emerge Volunteer, October 2015
While running through the monotonous routine of the for-profit corporate world, I had been feeling increasingly inclined towards investing my skills and efforts for a meaningful humanitarian cause which would make a real difference for real people. At the same time, my creative energies felt dampened engrossed with the usual mundane tasks and a round-the-clock city life. Emerge Lanka Foundation was suggested by my best buddy – tying together three aspects I am immensely keen about: future welfare and betterment of young girls, my passion for fashion accessories and Sri Lanka, a land very close to heart!
Though my experience with Emerge was short-lived due to a limited holiday, it was the fulfilment felt in each moment of working with the team that made it truly complete. The Colombo team is passionately knit together, has an excellent synergy and brings a vibrant energy to each day. Despite the differences in native language, it was extremely smooth to gel together as I was surrounded by warm smiles and an ever willing attitude to assist me and address all my queries and questions. Lunch hours were a jovial affair, interacting with the cheerful team members discussing local beachside delicacies and cultural hotspots! I had the chance to work closely with Mumtaz Faleel, Country Manager, and Kaavya Pathirana, Communications & Reporting Officer – both of whom equipped me with little details on Emerge, sharing their experiences and enthusiasm towards the cause.
I am glad, in the few days I had, I was able to work towards re-designing some of the corporate documents for Emerge Lanka Foundation for internal and external use by collating together the latest updates on program details and also keeping in mind the brand identity of Emerge as a non-profit entity. This was an excellent beginning as it gave me a holistic view of Emerge and their community impact programs which are designed for the shelter girls. Reading through the blog posts and browsing the community impact facts & figures made me realise the determined approach required to keep pushing further in order to improve the current situation and provide a self-sufficient future to the shelter girls.
However, what indeed left a lasting impression was scouring through the various pictures of the shelter girls working with the Emerge team over the years – their young hands designing beautiful beaded jewellery, grasping education and crunching numbers, growing with dedicated mentors, building their own community and also raising their babies, while they still have a child like innocence within. Though I did not get a chance to visit an actual shelter, the research on the information available made me aware of the daily and long-term challenges faced by the girls and the undying spirit of Emerge to make each day better for them while grooming them for a promising tomorrow.
I feel optimistic that the new profile presentation and documents shall project a stronger identity and added value during external engagements for Emerge, bringing in further support for their work ahead. Reflecting back, I strongly believe the sincerity of each team member at Emerge is creating results manifold. While I still aim to contribute remotely, my few days at Emerge have very fondly enriched me on a personal level – a moving experience I will definitely be returning for, and for a longer period, especially to interact with the shelter girls!