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May Mentoring Memories

Read Fathema’s account of last month’s memorable mentoring session!

“I was introduced to Emerge by Bryanne. I joined the programme hesitant but excited. Excited because I was finally getting an opportunity to make a difference. Hesitant, because my work and days in general are quite chaotic and I travel so frequently that I wasn’t sure how I would keep to my promise of attending every session.

This is a recount of our last mentor session held in May.

When I arrived at the Home, most of the mentors had arrived and were gathered in the visitor’s room of the home, exchanging news, talking about the Emerge Video and Charu’s role in the video.

Although a few of the more familiar faces were missing we had 4 new mentors joining us and soon after they had introduced themselves, we were in deep conversation about all things random, from pets to kids. That was when Nirukshi announced that Mentor Charu had a new role and was now part of the Emerge Lanka team. Yay Charu

Everyone then trooped towards the large meeting room and towards the girls. I could feel my smile widening as excitement for another session ran through me. As the doors opened, a sea of smiling faces, hugs and ‘akki’ greeted us. I realise how much I have missed seeing them.

My insecurity about being accepted by them is always with me until one of them reaches out and grabs my hand. I look around and see NAT looking for someone, I hope it’s me. She finally sees me, grabs my hand and hugs me.

We were asked to come up to the platform and the girls were seated on separate tables. One by one, a mentor was paired with a child. Our activity for the day was to come up with new, creative designs for bracelets.

The anticipation to get started was tangible as we waited for pair after pair to make their way to the platform, select their beads and return to their tables. We were seated at the very end so the wait was long. When it was finally our turn, we ran to the front and after a lot of deliberation selected our 4 main beads and made our way back to our table with our pliers and square of velvet filled with beads.

Once seated RAS began quickly inserting bead after bead, her fingers so nimble, it was amazing to watch. After stringing through about 7 beads, she looks up and says, ‘now what?’….Thus began the creation of our very own masterpiece.

Although everyone was working diligently on their designs, there was never a moment of silence, as exclamations of ‘oohh, meka and araka’ rang out. It was so much fun. Memories of my own efforts at jewellery making with cousins and friends came back to me and I felt transported to somewhere amazing. The moment we completed our design we wanted to start on another. However time had flown as it always does when you are having fun and so we spent what little time was left showing off our piece, eyes shining with pride.

Bryanne went around taking pics of all the amazing bracelets the groups had created. The icing on the cake was when the girls gifted us, the mentors, the bracelets as keepsakes. Mine is on my wrist as I type this.

A loud rush of goodbyes and more hugs followed us out of the room as the mentors gathered to rehash the incredible two hours and go home.

Can’t wait to see what the Emerge team has got in store for us for the next!” Fathema Murtaza 31 May 2011

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