In Transition

Kalam is going through growing pains of sort. We’re growing – we’re transforming – we’re consolidating – we’re expanding – we’re changing.

First – we’re moving beyond The Daywalka Foundation. After being a housed in DF – an international non-governmental human rights organization – we’re moving out into the world on our own as an independent, local Indian organizations. At an administrative level, this means undergoing the bureaucratic legalities of registration . So, we’re talking to a lawyers (Maiytree and Dhiraj – good friends of Kalam), writing our by laws and drafting our Trust Deed. This also means we’re looking for new office space. Another friend of Kalam’s – Ujjal-da (who I never knew was a real estate broker) is taking me along his motor bike on rainy monsoon afternoons to inspect potential office spaces.

Second – our staff is also evolving. Bishan – our full time Program Coordinator since 2004 – has moved onto Seagull Foundation for the Arts. Of course despite his official departure from Kalam’s field, he’s still with us as a Trustee and as a Creative Advisor. Along with Bishan’s evolution in Kalam, there is another significant internal progression.: former participant and youth staff of Kalam – Nargis Khatun – will be joining us full time as our new Program Assistant. Her experience as a former participant and as a Youth Social Worker will be fruitful addition to Kalam’s work. And as for me – Sahar – I’m going to be here on the grounds with Kalam through the next couple of months going through Transition Times and then will eventually return to Seattle for my very intimate, long distance relationship.

Of course, despite these gentle and significant transitions – our work carries on: Footpath Poetry is making its presence in 10 different tea stalls along the city, as well as public walls and boards throughout the streets. Second Sunday – our casual youth poetry hang-outs is growing with participants, and conversations with new partner NGOs are underway for a fall series of Writing Out workshops.

We’re growing, changing, twisting, turning, moving, and working.

posted by Sahar Romani 

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