Learning Journey: Sheistah Bundhoo

Learning Journey: Sheistah Bundhoo

Date: March 25, 2020
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“To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness” – Mary Stuart

In 2019, I completed five years of service at Gender Links (GL). It is amazing how time flies as I unfolded this journey to allow for self-growth, development, discipline to reign my being. As philosophical as it might it sound, GL has allowed me to be what I am today in the best possible way.

I remember, back in May 2019 during a conversation with Anushka, we were questioning our shelter’s location, accessibility and accommodation factors and it all connected in helping us make sense that we need to start looking up for a bigger space. The expansion of our area of work through the incorporation of our halfway home project has been the talk of the town. But, why not? After all, we are the first halfway home for young adults in Mauritius and we take pride of calling this project our own. Finding a bigger space to accommodate 25 people at one time was edgy. It was exhausting to negotiate rental prices, understand building design concepts and measurement, permits challenges, registration papers, fire and emergency plans and other technicalities. But amidst of all this, we were about to expand our safe space allowing people to breath, to live, to grow, to have a support and this was all that mattered.

The moving out experience with the relocation of our office and halfway home was a massive step forward for all of us. I have been able to reinforce relationships with several local donors. I had to boost up efforts in reaching out for donors to help with the renovation work for the new location in St Pierre. Like all other team members, we geared up to make it happen. We had to be patient, to take it step by step but without letting the passion loose. August 2019, the new location was ready and we move in with such a pride along with all our residents. That moment was what mattered the most. It is gratifying to come to office each day welcomed by happy children living their lives to the fullest.

Year 2019 also reminded me of the tough time I had with my health. I suffered from menorrhagia and the struggle to be back on my feet was real! From mood swings, to anxiety attacks, fatigue and shortness of breath, I could literally feel everything drain out of my body. This experience taught me the importance of taking care of myself and my mental health. It was the first time I actually took my whole sick leave days to recover. The support I got from the team helped me arise and resume back work healthily.

Sheistah Bundhoo, Mauritius Programme Officer

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