Meet Casey Sobota - Our Guest Blogger

Greetings from Mumbai!

My name is Casey and I just traveled from New York to India to spend a week visiting Seva Sadan in South Mumbai, thanks to the accommodating team at Commit2Change. I’ll be sharing a handful of blog posts while I’m here to chronicle my experience and bring to light the impact C2C is having continents away.

I was connected to Commit2Change earlier this year when my company granted me the opportunity to take a trip to a location of my choice to fulfill a personal passion or give back to a greater cause. Gender equality has always been a passionate subject for me and I saw this trip as a way to act on that passion on a global scale. Having some general knowledge of the blight and adversity girls face in India and feeling connected to India through several close friends living there, I did a little research and came across Commit2Change. Shortly after a few email exchanges, C2C presented me with the chance to spend my week at Seva Sadan, an Indian NGO that houses, educates and empowers underprivileged girls and women in Mumbai. With the help of C2C in NYC and India, I planned my time in Mumbai and here I am!

Monday was my first day at Seva Sadan. Waking up the morning of, I was excited for an enriching week, but admittedly nervous about what my visit would entail and how the organization and girls would receive me. However, I was at ease immediately upon arriving as the everyone graciously welcomed me and gave me a full briefing of the organization. Each person I met from committee leaders, to house matrons and teachers, to the girls, expressed nothing but excitement to meet me and an eagerness to share what life is like at Seva Sadan. 

I was pleasantly surprised to see the enthusiasm all of the girls, ranging from age 8 to 14, brought to all of their classes and group activities. They each were eager to demonstrate their English skills and tell me about the new skills they’re learning in after school tutoring.

I spent much of my first day learning about Seva Sadan’s history, mission and background as an NGO, as well as interacting with the girls at lunch and during breaks. I sat in on a few classes where I helped the students with English grammar questions and discussed the challenges teachers face while trying to instill a foundational knowledge of English so the girls can eventually find economic independence. After a day that flew by, I left feeling incredibly inspired by both the people who make Seva Sadan possible, and most importantly the girls that smiled all day and found gratitude in the experience they’re able to have at Seva Sadan.

Stay tuned for photos, takeaways from time spent with the girls and hopefully new perspectives on the empowerment of girls and women, while I soak in the vibrant energy of Mumbai. I hope you enjoy and follow my little journey!