Category Archives: Life

About anything and everything that’s close to my heart

Going on Vacation

Hey guys,

I am going on vacation for a couple of days and where I am going the internet connection is unreliable at best so although I will be writing every day that I’m there I won’t be able to publish any of the posts until I  come back home on Wednesday.

Hoping you’ll bear with me,

Your favourite blogger Nisha

My greatest passion

If you’ve been following on Twitter or if you’ve read my blog before you will know that I’m very passionate about and an NPO (non-profit organization) called the Water Project, Inc and it is my hope that after reading this post you will understand why and make a donation to my Firstgiving page – Firstgiving is a service that helps individuals and NPO’s to raise as much money as for possible for the causes the care about – all the money raised will be passed onto The Water Project, Inc as soon as the page closes on March 5th 2010. Here’s why I love The Water Project, Inc so much:

Who We Are

The Water Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that’s bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water.

What We’re Doing

We’re Providing Access to Clean Drinking Water, with Your Help!

Did you know that nearly 1 billion people don’t have clean, safe water to drink? We didn’t.

When we learned about the crisis, and that a few people can actually make a huge impact, we decided to get involved. Today we’re working in five countries helping hundreds of new people find access to water every week by funding water wells and other safe water projects.

How We Help

 

We tell stories. The story of water, the story of change, and the story of hope. These stories inspire people to raise the money needed to build wells and other water projects at schools, medical centres, churches and other public places in under-developed nations.

When people get involved and act, we’re able to connect them directly to the projects and the people doing the work. We show where every dollar is spent. We show the outcome. And when it doesn’t work out, we’ll show that too. After all, this work isn’t easy.

With monies raised, our partners in the field can do the digging and construction needed to provide clean, safe water efficiently and sustainably. They also mobilize, train, and follow-up with local communities, helping ensure long-term success.

We work closely with our partners around the world who identify, implement, report on and follow up on every project. That’s how we share the whole story with you and hopefully inspire confidence in the work being done and the impact it has.

Why We’re Doing It

We’re Christians and we believe Jesus makes a clear call to “provide a cup of cold water” and to answer the needs of those who say “I am thirsty” (Matt 25).

Our belief motivates our action. It doesn’t limit our reach.

That said, it’s important to note that we work with everyone, for everyone. Our belief motivates our action. It doesn’t limit our reach. It forms the basis of our integrity and the assurance that lives can be truly changed.

We work hard to help you help others. Our goal is to make sure your generous gifts are put to the best possible use. We want to see lives changed through hope restored.

We believe that providing clean water restores hope by enabling our partners to make a “whole-life impact” in the communities they serve through their broader development activity. We desire to see access to clean water enable schools to thrive, people to get back to work, farming to provide enough food to earn a living, and suffering to be alleviated as health improves.

We believe the issues facing Africa, India and other under-developed parts of the world are not simply today’s problems. We know that a lack of clean water stands in the way of tomorrow’s hope. And we’re sure that together we can change that.

Projects We Support

Using local labour and management, and donated funds, we help dig wells, build small dams, collect rain-water in large tanks, and filter dirty water with Biosand water filtration systems. We believe it is essential for assistance such as ours to be a help, not a hand-out.

Where We Work

The Water Project is currently focused on building a community of volunteers and raising money to construct water wells and rain water collection and filtration systems in communities throughout Kenya, Sudan, Sierra Leone and India.

Who We Work With

We’re empowering local NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and missionaries with an established presence in effected communities to do the work that’s needed to find and collect clean water. That means we send money and expertise to help local communities build their own long-term water solutions and then ensure they are trained to manage it.

We believe that our partners in the field know best how to help their own communities. Our part is telling their stories and inspiring people to act.

We believe that these smaller, more nimble, and locally-based implementation partners are incredibly effective and efficient at providing sustainable clean water solutions.

Are We a “Religious Organization”?

No. We are simply a Christian non-profit.

Religious organizations are organized and recognized differently than public benefit charities. The work we do through The Water Project is for the good of the general public. The reason we do this work is because we are Christians. We believe that important distinction allows us to work with people of all backgrounds and faiths for the benefit of all people. Our projects do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, ethnic or religious backgrounds. We serve others.

We believe that bringing water to those who need it most is a natural expression of how Jesus Christ teaches us all to live. We believe these essential, life-sustaining projects will help enable our partners to demonstrate what loving one’s neighbour is all about. We believe these water projects relieve suffering, open doors to education, stimulate economic development, and most importantly introduce a true and lasting hope.

So simply put, we follow the teaching of Jesus who has called each of us to act, in this world, for peace and justice by loving our neighbour — however, whenever and wherever we can.

We exist to see the world changed through this love. It is a simple message of hope in an increasingly difficult world.

Partnerships

In 2010, The Water Project will continue to significantly expand our partnerships. We’re seeking small and medium-sized water NGO/NPOs who see the potential value in working together to provide access to clean water.

Our desire is to form a consortium of groups and organizations that allows each to do what they do best. If you are great at raising funds, drilling wells, fixing hand pumps, organizing events, or any of the parts necessary to making this work a success, we’d like to chat with you.

How We Began

When we heard first-hand from our friends in Kenya about the devastating effect the lack of clean drinking water is having in communities where they work and live, we had to act.

We began our work to alleviate suffering in August of 2006. And what started with a few inspired teens and adults, in Saint John, NB Canada – now based in Charlotte, NC, USA – today reaches thousands of new people every day with a compelling call to action. The Water Project, to date, has helped over 60,000 people improve their access to clean water. All of us have experienced the impact a few voices can have. We know that every effort and contribution matters. That’s why we continue to tell others, so that they might do the same.

We are asking everyone we meet to come with us and work towards a common goal of seeing water make it to the mouths of the nearly one billion people throughout the world who today suffer needlessly.

If reading this blog post has made you want to help me reach my goal of raising $4 500 for The Water Project, Inc then log onto http://www.firstgiving.com/nishavarghese click the ‘give now’ button and make a donation.

Just feel it

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” (Eleanor Roosevelt) When I heard that the first time I was 13 and didn’t even care enough to find out what it meant but, today I can truly appreciate the wisdom of those words.

Everybody has had somebody in their lives who has – intentionally or otherwise – made them feel inferior and for me that somebody was the man who played a part in my creation – my father. I have always felt like my father was ashamed of me or was it my disability he was ashamed of – I could never tell which – but my point is getting him to take me out in public or even to visit members of the community was a mission – still is – but the final straw was one day when we came back from visiting my aunt’s house and my father wanted to drop by to visit his friends son – who was recovering from surgery – my father ordered me to stay  in the car –  as he always did when we went to visit people – but this time when we arrived back home I remember going into my room, lying on my bed and crying for the next two hours – I muffled my cry with the pillow and just allowed myself to feel everything that I had been suppressing all my life – and before I knew it, it was two hours later and I was all cried out and after I wiped away my tears with the left-sleeve of my t-shirt I decided that I would find the grace  to forgive my father for all the pain he’d caused me and give myself what he couldn’t – acceptance.

I believe that people with addictions – gambling, alcohol, drugs, etc – start out just wanting to numb themselves out in some way and what I realized that day while I was lying on the bed crying was that sometimes the bravest thing one can do is to admit that you’re hurt and cry because if you don’t let go of your pain – or whatever you’re holding onto –  it will rot you from the inside out.

March 5th 2010

I’ve often been quoted by my family and friends as saying that you are what you do and not what you say and that became a quote that I lived by since March 5th 2010 because that was the day I stopped complaining about all that was wrong with the world and started becoming a part of the solution.

As many of you know by now I started my Clean Water for All Campaign on 5th March 2010 – which would make today its six month anniversary. At the beginning of my campaign I thought that the most gratifying part of my campaign would be raising money for The Water Project, Inc – my favourite NGO – but I was dead wrong – the most gratifying part of my campaign is inspiring people to be greater than they think they are – I met a woman on Twitter (I won’t reveal her identity) who told me that she was so inspired by my story that she was going to quit her job in sales to start her own charity – words cannot express the pride I felt in that moment.

Everyday is like an empty page of a book waiting to be filled with joy, wisdom and love and even though not everyday can be March 5th 2010 you can turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary one by doing something for someone else without expecting anything in  return.

A gift from the heart

What do woman want is a question that men have been asking themselves for centuries now and even those that think they know the answer to that question sadly don’t have a clue so I am going to enlighten the male species because if I were a guy I would want someone to enlighten me so here goes:

Although woman may appreciate expansive jewellery and red roses from time to time ask any woman and she will tell you that the best gift she has ever received was a gift from the heart – something that took a little time and effort – a poem, a song, a sketch that you drew of her, a mix CD of her favourite songs, etc.

All a woman wants from her husband/significant other is to know that she is the centre of his universe and if you can make your wife/significant other feel as though she is the is the centre of your universe then she would walk through the gates of Hell for you without bating an eyelash.

What if that somebody is me?

Yes we can is a three word phrase that was coined by the now President of the United States of America – Barack Obama – during his election campaign. All of us can but how many of us actually do?        

Are you one of those people who watch the evening news and says “I wish somebody would fix that.” I was.  The next time you catch yourself saying “I wish somebody would fix that” I want you to have the courage to stop dead in your tracks and ask yourself “What if that somebody is me?” People who wait for the world to change may have easier life but the people who act to change the world will experience more joy than their hearts can contain – I know this from person from personal experience.

A leader changes the world and a follower waits for the world to change. Which one are you? It’s never too early or too late to lead because I truly believe that change = caring + action.

Heard and Understood

Have you even met someone that you just could not get along with no matter how hard you tried? I have. Have you ever wondered why you don’t get along with the people you don’t get along with? I was one of those people who thought it was the other person’s fault when I didn’t get along with him/her.

In the past I really thought my opinion was the only one that mattered and more often than not I thought my opinion was the right one and because of that I accidentally infringed on other people’s right to have believes and opinions that were different from mine and looking back now I realize that that was why I didn’t get along with many people back then.

All human being are different – we are of different races and religions – but all of us – regardless of race or religion – want to be heard and understood.

What I love most about me

We as women are often overly critical of ourselves so today I am going to list all of the things I absolutely LOVE about my myself not because I have an overly-inflated ego or because I love writing about myself – truth-be-told this is the most uncomfortable thing I have ever done but I do believe that when a woman knows her own worth she won’t allow herself to be treated with anything less than what she believes she deserves so here goes:

  • I am loving
  • I am kind
  • I am trustworthy
  • I am generous
  • I am caring
  • I am emphatic (almost to a fault)
  • I  am honest
  • I want the best for the world and the people in it
  • I am forgiving
  • I see myself as beautiful because God made me
  • I am inspirational
  • I am faithful to God
  • I am perseverance personified
  • I am smart
  • I am humble
  • I am compassionate
  • I am a great writer
  • I am a great granddaughter  
  • I am a good daughter
  • I am a great sister
  • I am a great niece
  • I am a great cousin   
  • I am a great friend
  • I am a great human being

I truly believe everything I wrote on this list to be true. If you had to create a list what would be on it. Try it and find out!

A thousand moments of kindness

Life is not the amount of breaths you take; it’s the moments that take your breath away.”Alex Hitchins (aka Hitch).  How many moments have taken your breath away today?

Today morning I wake up and went about my day as usual – ate breakfast, brushed my teeth and changed my clothes – then I emailed Brian’s mom Lisa just to see how she was doing – I wasn’t entirely sure how she would react and while I was typing the email I didn’t much care either all I knew was that she had lost her son less than a month ago and that she was probably feeling lost and lonely. A few hours later, Lisa sent me a reply – I won’t share the entire email – but five words in that email “Nisha! You made my day” took my breath away.

Lisa taught me that a great life is made up of a thousand moments of kindness so every time you open your mouth or type something on your keyboard keep in mind that you could potentially make someone’s day.

Recorded for posterity

When I started writing this blog I promised myself that I wouldn’t use it to comment on the lives of celebrities because I know that in spite of all our differences there is a deeper yearning in every human being to live a happy and fulfilled life but day before yesterday when I was watching the evening news and the story of Paris Hilton’s arrest received more attention than the FLOOD in Pakistan I was LIVID and knew that I had to give you my two cents worth on this hot topic.  

I’ve never met Paris Hilton so I will refrain from making comments on her character however I will say that all of us as human beings have done thing that we wish we hadn’t – I know I have – and keep in mind that Paris didn’t grow-up like most of us did and for that reason she probably has a sense of entitlement – all of us have been guilty of feeling entitled at some point in our lives – but I don’t think that Paris realizes that with a platform such as she as she has comes a greater responsibly to live her life with  dignity and grace because if she did I don’t think she would be making the kind of choices that she is making right now.       

Although I am neither an heiress nor a star of reality TV I feel a great sense of empathy for Paris because when I make a mistake – which I do on a daily basis – I can just learn from it and move on but when Paris makes a mistake – and she has made some reprehensible ones –   it is splashed all over the media and recorded for posterity so all I’m for is that you see her – not as an heiress of the heiress of the Hilton Empire or as a star of a reality TV show –   but rather as a fellow human being who has made a series of bad choices in her twenty-nine-year life.