Global Activism: LIFT-USA making a difference for families in India

March 28, 2013

(Courtesy of Reese Mugerditchian)
Wedding of Ambika, a LIFT graduate, whose education gave her leverage to negotiate her dowry. Fr. Jamels in upper right, Reese Mugerditchian in center.

Reese Mugerditchian heard Father Jamels James on Global Activism, in 2010, talk about his group, Leading India's Future Today (LIFT). The NGO provides education and leadership training for children from various religious and social castes. It changed her life. Since then, Reese has been to India several times to work for LIFT. Mugerditchian and Dan Quinn, director of Operations for LIFT USA, are back from recent India trips.

You can see Reese and hear more about the work of LIFT and LIFT-USA at the 2013 Global Activism Expo on Saturday April 6th at the UIC Forum.

Reese said the Expo had a profound effect on her:

"In 2011 while driving to an appointment I listened to an interview Jerome McDonnell had with Fr. Jamels James. I've always had a passion for the children of India and dreamed of getting involved with an organization there. Something in that interview spoke to me. Luckily the [Global Activism] Expo was coming up and LIFT was planning on being there. After the Expo I attended a LIFT meeting. Fr Jamels asked me what had motivated me to come to the meeting, I told him I wanted to volunteer in India. And just like that he extended the invitation for me to visit LIFT. I'm not sure what I expected from my trip, I knew I wanted to volunteer, lend a helping hand - find a way to contribute in a meaningful way. I found so much more. The students of LIFT are amazing young adults. They are fiercely dedicated and joyful even though their lives have given them every opportunity to give up. These children are talented leaders and are making such a wonderful impact on their community. I really believe that they will be part of a great social change in India. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for worldview and WBEZ. Your program is doorway to the world for all of us dreaming to get out there and make a difference. I have since been to LIFT 4 times. Each visit allows me to connect with more of the children, learn their inspiring stories, and encourage them to continue their hard work."

Here's a video of two LIFT students talking about the program.