Sakhi to conduct Secret Santa event for end-of-the-year joy


Jyoti Parashar (extreme right) with other members and guests of Sakhi at an event (Photo Supplied)

The programme, due to be held at 3 pm on Saturday, December 17, 2022, at the Balmoral Community Hall located at 258 Balmoral Road on December 17, 2022, will feature a gift exchange of value of $10 with fellow attendees.

Sakhi Coordinator Jyoti Parashar described ‘Secret Santa’ as a ‘year-end spread of joy.’

“It also aims to inspire us as Sakhis (friends) and discuss our 24-year success story in New Zealand,” she said.

About Sakhi

Sakhi was established in 2017 by a group of like-minded Auckland women to create a safe space for women, particularly those from the Indian community.

As well as providing care, support and inspiration, it creates opportunities for its members to partake in a variety of activities.

Ms Parashar said that often women in the community are silenced and discouraged from seeking help on family matters from outsiders.

According to her, from a small group of eight women, Sakhi has now grown to include 500 members.

“Many of them just wanted a friend with whom they could converse. We organised online games as well as chat sessions at which women could discuss their problems, accomplishments and inspirations. Our major goal was to provide a listening ear and to refer those in need to the appropriate professionals,” Ms Parashar said.

Sakhi delivered groceries and connected families to free food services for Covid patients, she said.

About Jyoti Parashar

Ms Parashar said that Sakhi considers providing mental and emotional support for women vital.

As a licensed social worker with 18 years of experience as a volunteer.

She said that when she moved to New Zealand with her husband and their ten-year-old son in 2004, she felt lonely and uncertain.

“I understand how difficult it may be for women who migrate. That is why we understand the trauma of women and we want to support them, create connections and build camaraderie. That was in essence the birth of Sakhi,” she said.

Other founding members of the Group are Aditee Naik, Lavanya Komal, Smriti Saini and Nadya Poonawalla, whom Ms Parashar met at the Bharatiya Mandir.

“Sakhi has been providing a forum for women to meet, interact, and empower each another. Our functional model is based on consistent social networking, community services, education support services, health programmes, and organising activities leveraging the Mandir’s network,” she said.

The Group’s regular health programmes include Yoga and Zumba, while workshops on Excel are of educational value.

The Facebook Page of Sakhi offers small businesses a free social platform to market their goods and services. A registered social worker is also at hand to assist people.

Sakhi organises both in-person and online events, with at least one meeting every month.

Further details can be obtained through email: bharatiyamndirnz@gmail.com or request to join their  Facebook page.

Malini is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Auckland.

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