Saheli January Newsletter 2016
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Saheli Reflects on 2015! 

The year 2015 has come and gone and here at Saheli, Support and Friendship for South Asian Women and Families. We’ve been busy as we’ve expanded and accomplished a lot through our services. This year, Saheli welcomed a new Board Rresident and three new members to its Governing Board. In May we appointed a new Program Coordinator. In July, we moved into Saheli’s first office at 11 Bedford Street, right next to the Burlington Public Library where we have met for 19 years. 

Between 2012 and 2015, Saheli domestic violence advocates served over 577 survivors of domestic violence.  We’ve continued providing our Computer 101 Literacy Course in Waltham and Quincy. Through our Economic Empowerment Fund we provided financial assistance for nine women to have access to everyday needs like food and transportation, and for more women to enroll in driving and English language fluency courses. The Saheli Men Against Violence Program hosted an event with Corporate Cricket League of Massachusetts to engage men in anti-violence work. The Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health Program hosted events such as Resilient Teenager: Navigating Two Cultures and Motherhood: A Demanding and Invisible Journey. We have received support from the community through our ladies-only Mehndi gala, Nirbhaya gala fundraiser that gathered 300 community leaders together, and the 5K Walk Against Violence to mark Domestic Violence Prevention. None of this work could have been done without the support of our dedicated volunteers. In 2015 Saheli received two notable awards: the Asian American Commission of Massachusetts Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit Award. To read the full article, visit the Saheli blog

Saheli's Economic Empowerment Program: Financial Aid Available to Women 

Saheli welcome requests for financial aid from residents of Massachusettes who are South Asian. Awards are given to low-income women and/or women who are survivors of intimate partner and domestic violence, who are seeking education, skills, certification or opportunities to advance their careers such as English language fluency, driving lessons, computer courses, etc. 

A copy of the financial aid form can be downloaded at:

If you have any questions about this program, do not hesitate to send e-mail to

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Help us provide crucial services to South Asian women and families in need. 
Upcoming Events

Saheli Mehndi Fundraiser

Buy your tickets before we're sold out! March 20th at the Sons of Italy in Lexington, MA

Financial Literacy Workshop

Want to be financial independent? This workshop will provide basic tools to help you manage your money, explore different types of bank accounts, and practice budgeting your/family income and expenditure

Date: March 31, 2016 
 Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
Location:  Boston Public Library - Brighton Branch - 40 Academy Hill Road, MA 02135

Donor Highlight: Yogi Rana of Billerica

By Anita Ganesan, Saheli Volunteer  

Yogi Rana is the owner and one of the DJ’s of Boston Sound and Light Company, an Indian based entertainment and audio-visual company and also one of the key donors for the organization Saheli, Saheli, Support and Friendship for South Asian Women and Families.

“I have a motto wherein, you can only provide happiness to others if you are happy yourself. Five years ago I may not have had the financial capacity to help this organization, but I certainly donated my time in helping them with their annual charity functions,” says Rana about what made him start donating his time and money to Saheli.

He goes on to say, "I have personally witnessed Saheli working, and that’s when I had no association to it at all. After getting to know the board, the volunteers, and even the donors, I’ve realized that this charity is like a family. The message of Saheli is simple, innocent and for the good. More than helping women, it empowers all of us that represent the Indian community to respect and love each other."

To read the rest of the donor highlight (including a personal interview), please click here.

To get involved volunteering with Saheli, click here.

Volunteer Memory: Uma Venkatraman Shares her Saheli Volunteer Experience 

By Uma Venkatraman 

Annual Aravan Festival, which is noted as a celebration for trans and gender queer folks.One of my highlights of volunteering with Saheli has been working on curriculum development for workshops about gender and domestic violence. Curriculum development and facilitation have been interests of mine for the past few years but I was excited to learn how to discuss these themes within the South Asian community. Through my time with Saheli, I was able to not only have these conversations, but also to consider how to facilitate workshops and create interactive activities that addressed these topics. I specifically remember working on a gender workshop with a fellow volunteer, Janhavi, in which we aimed to discuss gender identity with members of the Saheli team. The participants in the workshop reflected on the way that gender was discussed in their childhood, the specific gender roles they were taught, and how their perception of gender norms has changed since then. I appreciated that we were able to connect gender issues with South Asian history and explore the way that gender is discussed in the South Asian community--and it was an amazing experience to be in a South Asian space where people shared personal anecdotes. I look forward to hopefully being involved with similar events in the future!" To read more, click here

More Saheli News at...

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1345
Burlington, MA 01803

Meeting Group Location:
Saheli Boston
11 Bedford Street
Burlington MA 01803

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