On January 21st, 2017 thousands of people across the world marched for women's equality. While I didn't attend a march, I did wear my Malala X Toms scarf to support girls' education. Like any responsible millennial, I took to twitter and shared a photo of myself in said scarf.

A few days later Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala's dad, retweeted me.


Visit to read about how you can contribute to girls' education around the world. 

PS - how awesome are these quotes by Malala? She is wise beyond her years.

"I speak not for myself but for those without voice... those who have fought for their rights... their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated."

"Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world."

"Once I had asked God for one or two extra inches in height, but instead, he made me as tall as the sky, so high that I could not measure myself... By giving me this height to reach people, he has also given me great responsibilities."


  The journey from Mussoorie, where I'm currently living in Uttarakhand, to Dharamsala is nothing short of a grueling adventure. From Mussoorie, my friends and I took the public bus down the mountain to Dehradun, from there we caught the 12 hour overnight bus to Dharamsala. The ride was quite bumpy and there were several times I thought the bus might just tip over onto its side. Luckily, my worries proved to be paranoia and we made it safely.

I traveled to Dharamsala with my friend Tenzin whose family fled from Tibet when her father was 4 years old. Tenzin was born and raised in Tibetan communities in northern India, but has hopes that one day she and her family will be able to return to their home country.

Tenzin's family used to live in Dharamsala, so she showed us around town and took us to The Tibet Museum, Norbulingka Institute, and a few of the Buddhist temples. Learning about the history of the Tibetan people in Dharamsala was surreal. Dharamsala is the center of Tibetan culture and home to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Walking down the street and passing the older Tibetans left me in awe of their humble resilience. These are the people who have vivid memories of the violence in the 1950s and were forced to walk through the snow-capped mountains into India to escape.

If you're ever traveling through northern India, or India in general, I highly recommend a trip to Dharamsala. DSC_2029DSC_2035 DSC_2054 DSC_2098 DSC_2118 DSC_2122 DSC_2124 DSC_2132 DSC_2135 DSC_2142 DSC_2150 DSC_2153 DSC_2179

their stories

"We're not like these people. We shouldn't pretend we are. The stories these people have to tell, we're not entitled to them. . ." "You say their stories, it is a gift they give you."

"A gift, yes."

-Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed 


DSC_1590 DSC_1597 DSC_1612 DSC_1628

DSC_1583 DSC_1600 These beautiful young girls have come from unbearably horrific pasts. Some were born into the brothels where their mothers worked, and others were given as sacrifices to the temples for men to use.  They have been rescued from those hopeless situations and are being given a second chance at life.

As you can see, these girls are still very young. They are now living in an all girls home where they go to school, get medical care, and are shown the love and nurturing that they need to grow up feeling valued. They have joyful smiles and were so eager to love us when we went to visit them! They attacked us with hugs and a chorus of "Hello didi! how are you!?"

Each of them have a special story to tell, and it's our prayer that they grow up to become victors of their pasts.  Getting to know these children has been such a gift, and I share their stories in hopes that they will touch the hearts of others in the way that they have touched ours at Ashraya Mission.

If you would like to learn more about these young ladies and how you can help them, read this blog post on Ashraya Mission's site. Their home is currently undergoing some final, but very important stages of construction and you have the opportunity to help their house become a home.