Community. Respect. Kindness.November 21st, 2022 | By Pushpika Freitas, President of MarketPlace
This year I am feeling extremely grateful that I was finally able to visit the staff and artisans in India after an absence of two and a half years due to COVID restrictions. During that period, we made use of Zoom and WhatsApp meetings, emails and early morning or late night phone calls. While we were able to make this work surprisingly well, remote work was no substitute for being there in person, hearing about the women's experiences and seeing the pride and joy on their faces.
I was thrilled to see for myself how the community not only survived the challenges of the pandemic but emerged even stronger than before. The women told me about how they had helped one another with work, obtaining daily necessities and keeping their spirits up. In addition, they aided others in their community, sharing limited food with those in need and helping them access medical information and daily needs. Many shared that their status was raised among family and neighbors because they were the only ones who were paid during the lockdown. I am thankful that MarketPlace was able to pay them during those days when they could not work.
Work has resumed now and the cooperatives are going strong. They even have new computer and organizational skills as a result of having to step up to deal with new situations. Being there made me appreciate their spirit and perseverance. I am so thankful for Community, Respect and Kindness which I saw in abundance during my trip to India.
Thank you for being a part of this community!
--Pushpika Freitas, President