As the New Year begins to unfold, I cannot help but reflect on Anchal’s incredible growth and accomplishments in 2012. What began as a small project conceived in a RISD studio in 2009 has grown into the incredible life changing organization it is today.
Last year Anchal was named Dining for Women’s featured program in October, granted Google’s Alumni Impact Award, launched the Didi Connection campaign with actress America Ferrera, and celebrated our partner’s feature in the documentary, Half the Sky. We also made tremendous progress in India. We brought 15 part-time artisans onto full-time status, 4 artisans were promoted to leadership positions, the project launched our educational workshop series, and activated the children’s scholarship fund.
Though highlighting our year’s successes is important, it is also imperative that we remember the challenges. Starting a grassroots non-profit like Anchal presents consistent roadblocks. Not only did our team face professional trials, many of us faced personal challenges as well. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma just over a year ago and underwent 6 months of chemotherapy. Now officially cancer free, I am convinced that channeling my energy into Anchal during treatment helped me arrive at the point where I am today. The personal challenges did not end there, Devon’s mother was also diagnosed with cancer last year and our team in India lost a very dear friend and employee, Omkar.
After facing the last year’s trials, I have come to recognize the most valuable lesson, perseverance. As they say, nothing good comes easy, and our struggles have shaped Anchal into the resilient organization it is today. During my personal cancer battle and questioning Anchal’s future in the beginning of 2012, I realized that it was all worth it this fall when we launched the Didi Connection. I truly believe that Anchal has created a global sisterhood passionate about making a difference for women across continents and seas. Its effectiveness stems from the realization that all women are sisters and that we can do something to change a fellow sister’s life today.
None of what we have achieved this year would have been possible without the support of our amazing team, volunteers and family of supporters like you. You have given your dollars, love, words of encouragement, and so much more to our organization and artisans. Thank you!
It has been an incredible experience to share our journey with you and we are glad you have come with us. We cannot wait to see what this year has in store.