VOF Week 4: Healing, Peace and being Whole again
During the last few weeks, I’ve been reading the posts of others on Pulse Wire and I’m pretty amazed at the diverse views, beliefs, values and goals that are expressed. This is precisely why I first visited Pulse Wire, and then stayed on!
As a Christian who believes that God created me for a purpose, and that I need to live out my life according to his values, my personal vision is pretty clear: it is to serve Him. But over the years, he’s led me into a ministry called Kithu Sevana (meaning, Under the Shadow of Christ) where I volunteer my time to work with children, and now, increasingly, women.
As I look at Sri Lanka, it’s a pretty despairing view. We’re surrounded by violence, whether perpetrated by our government, terrorists, or other political groups that have replaced democracy with thuggery, violent intimidation and arbitrary killings. This violence has spilled over to every aspect of social life in Sri Lanka. It has affected the most vulnerable in our communities: children, women, older people. You may question why I lump women together with children and older people, and the unfortunate reality in our social structure is that women, especially those who are not financially or socially independent, are entirely dependent on the men in their lives.
The Kithu Sevana ministry works with both children and women who are affected by violence and abuse, and as I work with them, my vision is to see meaningful healing in their lives. My vision for Sri Lankan communities as a whole is to have peace and healing replace the hatred and bitterness that has embittered and trapped our people for far too long. And for the world? Oh boy, I honestly haven’t got that far yet – I figure I’ve got my work cut out with simply working on Sri Lanka’s problems!
I registered for the VOF by accident, and only thought through things when a reminder was sent in early March asking me to confirm that I really did want to be part of this process. Hardly puts me in a positive light, does it?! I was drawn to VOF through a link sent by a friend who knew that I have been looking for online communities that dealt with women’s issues. Sometimes, when you’re stretched for time, inundated with needs and pressures, the last thing you can think of is resources to guide you, voices to sustain you.
And that’s what I see World Pulse as being – a resource. And, as a correspondent, I would like to have the opportunity to be a resource by sharing my experiences and learnings. As a Journalist, I have always tried to do what an old-hand at the business once told me when I started out: your job is to hold up a mirror to society, to the situation or issue you are covering. And going through some of the online articles in World Pulse (I’ve never come across a print version yet!), I realised that I can hold up a mirror to the realities that I come across every day, replay the voices of women, teenage girls and young children whose stories I listen to every week.
Sometimes I find that women write with too much emotion, and too little objectivity or analysis, especially when they write on a subject or issue that’s close to their heart. I’ve come across that in some of the articles in World Pulse, but I’ve been heartened to find that there are also writers who are able to communicate on issues, sometimes on a deeply emotional level, while still retaining a voice that is objective, unbiased and forward-looking. I would like to be one such voice. And I would like to listen to other voices, because the vision before me requires much learning and listening before action.