[Ed: This letter from Nirukshi to Alia is Nirukshi’s blog post for October. We hope you find it as touching as we do!]
By Nirukshi de Lanerolle
Being the most senior member of the staff of Emerge, I have been so privileged to have worked with you during the past 7 years. When I think of how we started, I find it so amazing that we have come so far, I always tell the girls in the shelter and the PE’s how I used to cut the beads and put them into the bottles and worked until the wee hours of the morning doing work for Emerge, work which is now done by many. I can remember how I used to keep the accounts; pages of folio paper that I used to attach together with all the monies spent during a whole year which I used to hand over to you once a year when you visited Sri Lanka. It was truly a joy for me to have been a part of you and Emerge and the amazing work we started with these wonderful girls.
I remember when you had to leave Sri Lanka and there was no one to run the programme, I volunteered to run it for you while I was working at Sarvodaya. I didn’t know anything, but with your guidance and the lengthy emails and the Skype chats, I managed to master it. I always loved the way you used to ask me for my opinion before taking any decisions and you respected my opinions and I thank you for it. Though I worked with other shelters at Sarvodaya, the girls at Ma Sevena had a special place in my heart; I enjoyed every Monday morning when I visited them and they used to rally around me to get their beads. I was then the ‘Shopkeeper,’ and I can’t imagine how I did it with the all the mothers and the babies around me as well. We were one big happy family!
It was truly a pleasure working with you Alia. You have been a great inspiration to me and all the other team members of Emerge Lanka Foundation and we admire you for your strength and all the work you have done for all of us and the amazing girls we work with.
Thank you and may God Richly Bless you in your future endeavours!
Love you loads,