Recently, the Open Gate International team received an invitation from Vision Rescue to travel to Mumbai, India in an effort to explore possibilities of helping vulnerable populations in that city.
Upon our arrival, we were met with the warmest of greetings and were treated to the highest levels of hospitality during our entire stay. The beautiful people of India welcomed us with open arms and we thoroughly enjoyed our brief, but fruitful time with them.
Even though we saw the deepest levels of poverty and a lack of basic needs being met in the poorest parts of the the city, we also saw determination and commitment in the eyes of the residents in those communities. The resiliency of these people and their refusal to accept things the way they are sparked the entrepreneurial pioneering spirit in our Founder/CEO Deidre Pujols.
After several days of site visits, meetings and collaboration, two much-needed projects between Vision Rescue and Open Gate International were launched. These two simple solutions when implemented fully will dramatically improve the lives of those living in the most desperate of circumstances in Mumbai. More information about how you can support these new endeavors will be available soon.
In a country where so many are marginalized, especially women and young girls, it is our hope to come alongside these vulnerable populations to bring encouragement and a new beginning towards a brighter future.
We also had the privilege of spending time with our friends at the International Justice Mission offices in Mumbai as well as attending their Human Trafficking Conference while we were there.
We were amazed at the extensive work IJM is doing and we applaud their commitment to getting justice for victims of human trafficking in that region of the world.
Then it was on to Thailand to celebrate the launch of the “Can You See Me?” campaign with our friends at A21.
We are so proud to come alongside this powerful organization as they continue to fight human trafficking on a massive global scale.
Deidre Pujols and Biju Thampy of Vision Rescue, Christian Elliott of A21 at the “Can You See Me?” Campaign launch in Thailand
Our last stop was Phnom Penh where we met with Agape International Missions to assist them in the layout of their new kitchen space and identify equipment needs to facilitate their future culinary arts program.
We look forward to the possibility of welcoming AIM’s chef for an 8-week internship here in the US in order for her to work alongside OGI’s existing Culinary Arts Program. Upon completion of her internship, OGI would return to Cambodia with her to insure the successful launch of their new program.