Jane'alam Sheikh grew up in Kolkata, India. As a young boy, he saw people starving and suffering in the slums of that city. The experiences of his youth gave him a heart to make a difference for people living in poverty. He co-founded Pursuit International, an organization working to empower people restricted by physical and spiritual poverty to pursue a life of hope and purpose.

 

 

Pursuit International: https://pursuitinternational.org/

Pursuit International Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pursuitint

Compassion International: http://compassion.com

Compassion Australia: http://compassion.com.au

 

 

(Transcript is a guide only and may not be 100% correct.)

Emily Olsen:

Wherever there are shadows, there are people ready to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. This is Bleeding Daylight with your host Rodney Olsen.

Rodney Olsen:

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Today’s guest is inspirational. After overcoming so much in his own life, he’s now making a difference for others. I can’t wait to introduce you, and as always, please share this episode with others.

 

Jane'alam Sheikh grew up in Kolkata, India. As a young boy, he saw people starving and suffering in the slums of that city. The experiences of his youth gave him a heart to make a difference for people living in poverty. He studied in the UK, graduating from Manchester University with a Masters in Business Administration. He then co-founded Pursuit International, an organization working to empower people restricted by physical and spiritual poverty to pursue a life of hope and purpose. It's an honor to have him join us on bleeding daylight, Jane' thank you for your time.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.

Rodney Olsen:

I want to know about those slums in India that I mentioned. Can you give us a bit of an understanding of what life is like for those living in a slum?

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Yes. you see I have experienced poverty first hand, but I was also born into generational poverty. My mum grew up in poverty. My dad grew up in poverty. My mum grew up in a village that there was no electricity, no school work and kids from the age of six or seven will work in the farm with their parents to make sure there is enough to eat. My mum was 14 when she got married, not because she wanted to, but that's what happened to a young girls there. They have to be married off early and she was 15 when I was born. She was 17 when my sister was born. So my mom never really got to experience a childhood and obviously I was born into a slum in Calcutta. It was kind of a refugee slum. When in 1947, India was broken into three smaller countries, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and it caused massive civil war and stuff.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

And many people lost their home and became refugees in India. And they found this little open space when they came and started living in slum dwellings. So that's where my grandparents lived. That's where my father was born. And that's where I was born. Just to give you a little picture it was a community of roughly about 10,000 people in about one square kilometer area. You know, our typical house would be eight by 10 foot in area, families of six or seven would be living there. There was two toilets and then one tap for the entire community. As girls, boys, men, women, we used open drains as toilet. I always say one of the first things that poverty did for me and my people in the community was it took away dignity from our lives. So yeah, that's where I was born.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

You know, you had to collect buckets of water every day for all your years. Cause the tap around a couple of us in the day and we would wait for our parents to come home who goes out every day, looking for jobs. And the days when they wouldn't find any work with men, that we would go to bed hungry. So I grew up in the midst of diseases like malaria, dengue, diarrhea, because when it would rain, the community would get flooded. And you can imagine with the open drains used as toilet, the flood is not just rainwater the sewage and faeces floating around. So grew up in the midst of hunger, starvation, but also suffering from all these diseases because people couldn't access medical care. Yeah. So as a kid I felt very hopeless and scared to be very honest because you don't know what your future holds. You see people suffering and dying and that makes you feel scared. Let's say poverty is an injustice. It takes away hope from your life. It takes away dignity from your life makes you feel there's nothing you can do in your power to change your circumstances.

Rodney Olsen:

I suppose that growing up we only know what we only know. So this was your experience, right from the start. When do you first remember realizing that life wasn't this way for everyone and that you were living at disadvantage because of poverty?

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Yeah. I mean, I experienced that quite early because like any place around the world, India, more so is a land of extremes. There were places which was not poverty stricken. You know, you see high rise buildings and children going to school and people going out to eat and restaurants, the extremes of life of privilege live and, and life in poverty was quite evident as it at an early stage, which was also quite disempowering because you know that there's nothing in your power to take you out from where you were. I was about five, six years old when it was very clear that our circumstances limited us and kept us in this trap because there was no opportunity to get education. You will always dependent on hand to mouth, you know, depending on work that was available for your parents, there was a cost system. So you came from a certain place. So you are not able to get to white collar jobs, let's say and there was discrimination. So it was pretty evident from early on that this is what is our story going to be. We are stuck in here and there is no way out.

Rodney Olsen:

There's this sense of being stuck and I'm wondering within that, knowing that this is a generational issue and that this has continued for, for generation after generation in your family, was there a sense that, well, this is what it's like? This is all there's going to be? Or was there a sense of injustice that rose up within you trying to find a way out?

Jane’alam Sheikh:

A bit of both, actually one of the worst things of poverty is it makes you believe there is no hope. I always say living in poverty is like living in a well as a frog. You know, the walls of injustice are so high that you don't see any other possibilities. So that was, there was a sense of dread that this is how my grandparents live. This is my, how my father grew up. This is how I grew up. This is going to be my reality. But also there was this frustration that you knew, well, if you, if only you could go to school, you can have education. You can then work your way out, but there was no opportunities. So that was the big frustration that there was no way for us to access that and make a difference by working hard. So there was a sense of that this is going to be stuck in here because we can't access anything that would empower us to change our circumstances.

Rodney Olsen:

So really the systems that existed were against you. What can you do when there are systems like that and what actually happened for you because obviously life did change for you. Where did that change?

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Unfortunately, I'm talking about 25 years ago. You know, the challenges for the Indian government was huge. There was a huge population of people living in poverty and the government is trying to support in ways they can, but also as a developing nation, it has its challenges at this corruption in the system, there is limitation of resources. So yeah, you were disadvantaged by the lack of support from the system, but yeah, you're right, Rodney, if you see me, you don't, you wouldn't say I grew up in poverty. Amazing things happened when I was about five, six years old and it was all because of what local people decided to do for its local neighbors. There was a church community in Iraq, slum and they saw what was going on for generations in this community. And they wanted to help. And one of the things they wanted to do was bring empowerment in the lives of people and children in that community.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

So they partnered with this international development organization called Compassion that works in partnership with local churches and really local people who understand the local issues and the best way to address them. So these people we knew from this local church came to our families and said, we want to help you guys. We want to help your children. Would you allow us, allow us to help you? So our parents were very excited. The city of what, what, what can we do? They said, well, we're going to bring education for your children. We're going provide healthcare services and food service food produce. So you can feed your children essentially. What happened when I was five years old, I got sponsored through compassion and to the work of this local church, which meant I became the first child in a community of about 10,000 people to go to school for the first time.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

And it was incredible. It's not something that my parents thought would happen in my life. Obviously all, all parents have hopes and dreams for their children. And all my parents wanted was that my sister and I would be able to have a different life than what they've experienced, but they knew they couldn't make that happen in their own. So my parents were delighted when they found out I was going to be going to school. I remember my dad was more excited than me. I received a, the school uniform pack and my dad opened it up and he was so excited and he was confused. See this piece of rope, which he thought rope was actually my school tie, but we have to go back and ask the people in the school. How do you put this on? So I don't know if you have this Rodney where you live, but we got a tie with the hook that went on my shirt collar. School was incredible.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

One of my, one of my fondest memories of my childhood was teaching my parents how to write their names. You know, it was education brought empowerment, you know, teaching my father, how to write his name, teaching my mom, how to write a name. My family knew immediately that things were going to be different for the future, because education will put me in a place where I could access those opportunities. I could get a job. I could work myself out. And my family out of poverty. I remember getting very, very ill when I was a child because of malaria and diarrhea and stuff. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say, I wouldn't be alive today, if I didn't have support from the local church with the sponsorship of Compassion, to go to the hospital and then access medical care. So that's when things changed for me by five years old, when some local people decided they want to help the children in the community and through the support of Compassion, lots of kids got sponsors. Yeah. So I was not the only one. I was the first one, but hundreds of other children got help and we started getting education and all the other support, which was really to empower us to change our circumstances.

Rodney Olsen:

You mentioned the excitement of teaching, both your father and your mother, how to write their own names. But I imagine that that would be bitter sweet because we expect it's the parents that hand those things down to the children. Was there a mix of emotions in that?

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Of course, that's the norm. You learn to do those things from your parents. And that's something as a father, as a mother, you look forward to, but that's the injustice of poverty as well. And that's a good example of, you know, how poverty limits you and how it takes away the joys and the little things in life that we take for granted really. But also it was exciting because my father knew his story. Wasn't going to be his children's story and an excitement, almost like my parents live their dreams and their hopes for their life through me. I remember when I was I used to have school exams. I was always a last minute guy. I mean, I somehow did okay. In school, but I would always have to put an all nighter before the exam. I didn't have it in me to should do regular revision throughout the time.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

But my dad I mean, he could not read and write the things that I was reading. He wouldn't understand it, but he was sitting next to me and just listen to me, revise. And I used to tell my dad go to bed. What are you doing? He was like, I love this. I love the fact that you are reading and that you are studying all this biology, physics, and chemistry. And it just made me realize that also for him, he was experiencing all those things that we all get to do. If we grew up, grew up in an environment like in England or in Australia or in America, or in most parts of the developed world that he didn't through me, he was living that for himself. So there was this great excitement for that. Yes, that sadness of, I didn't get that when I was a child, but the huge excitement that, you know, I can, my children are having it. And I know that it's going to be different for them in the life. So it was, it was very much a bit of sweet, more sweet than bitter. My dad was a person who, who lived in the positives in that he would expect a good things coming out of a situation, not dwelling the negatives too much. You can't really afford to when you live in poverty, if you hold onto the negatives, it probably will never be able to come out of a deep hole because there's so much negatives that you can latch on to.

Rodney Olsen:

It must have been quite incredible to be changing your complete mindset from that knowledge, as you say, from very young that this is what you could expect from life to suddenly have that completely turned around in your mind.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

It is very much a, a change in mindset around me. I think you put it beautifully there. I have the privilege of working to support people back in my community now and I always, with my personal experience and the little experience I've had of being involved in development work, I think the biggest challenge is the change of mindset in a change of mindset from, I can do nothing to help myself to knowing I have the potential, the skills that God has given me to change my circumstances. I just need the right opportunity and I need to give it my all and I can change it. So it overcoming poverty. The first step is a change of mindset and the worst thing that poverty does, as I said, it doesn't let you, it makes you believe that there's nothing good. That can come off your life.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

You don't have any skills. There's nothing you can do in your power to change the circumstances. So we have to, as a family, believe that change was possible. And I truly believe that in any circumstances now change is always possible. No matter how dark it looks, how difficult it looks, there is always hope for change. And also as a family, we believe that it's not just on our own strength. We are working. We have got people who love us well-wishers but also God works with us, you know? And and he works with us through difficult circumstances. So yeah, the first big mind shift change that we have to go through was that believe in ourselves, that change is possible and that we can come out of our current circumstances, that we can overcome poverty. And I believe know that's the biggest thing we need in our world is that believe that poverty is injustice and change is possible. We can overcome it and we must overcome it.

Rodney Olsen:

Most of the time in the developed world, we think of poverty as a lack of stuff is a lack of, of housing, of education, of, of all sorts of things that you've mentioned there. But you're describing something that goes way deeper than that. Do you think that's very difficult for a lot of people in, in the Western world to understand?

Jane’alam Sheikh:

I guess Rodney I've been have had some experience of the western world. And I feel like there's poverty in the western world as well. Exactly what you pointed out, not just physical poverty, but there's a poverty of the spirit and your soul. And I'll try to explain what I mean by that. You know, obviously we had less food to eat. We didn't always have new clothes to wear, you know, I grew up in a house that is smaller than my kitchen, now, kitchen I have in my flat in England. That's where I live now. It's bigger than the house I grew up in now with my mom, dad, my sister, and all. So yes, there is lack of material things that you need for everyday life. But the bigger poverty is of the spirit. It's of, you know, your emotion, that there is no hope that there is no change possible that you are trapped in this environment.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

And you see that sometimes even people with material, stuff, that there is a lack of joy in their life because it's some way or the other they're caught up in the cycle of, I don't see hope in my life. I don't see purpose. I don't know my purpose in my creator. If you know what I'm trying to say, that the biggest thing that we need to be empowered of is or rescued from is this property of the spirit. And that is the big thing that keeps you trapped in there. No matter how much material support you can have or give it won't make a difference. Educate. I want to say education. Wasn't what changed our life and food provision wasn't what changed our lives. Hospital care or medical support wasn't what changed our life. It helped us to survive better or change our life.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Is that the belief that was given into us, that there's a God who loves us and trust God to be with us both through our difficult times and through good times. And that God has given us the skills and potentials to make a difference in our life, in other people's lives. That was the game changer. You know, once people who live in material poverty once they then have that belief, things change for them. People who live in lots of material wealth, but there's a deep sense of spiritual poverty. Once you have that belief, things change for you. It's very much a spiritual battle, an emotional battle, rather than just a lack of physical things or material things in your life. I remember having some of the most happiest days of my life when we didn't have much when we would have one time chicken curry cooked by my mom because it was my sister's birthday or my birthday.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

And we would just celebrate with having some meat, no cakes, no buntings no parties or anything, but was a very joyful occasion because we shared what we had little with with the family. Some of my fondest memories was when my dad would come home and they would have had work and we would cook dinner. And then he would talk about his day. And he would ask me about my school day. And then we'll sit and chat as a family and eat together. We didn't have a lot to eat. We didn't have three course meal or anything. We would eat some Dahl and rice dahl is lentils, but then we'll have great time together as a family. And those are some of my happiest days of my life. So it's, it's not material that brings joy in your life. It's a family time to either relationship, positive relationship and, and hope and purpose that you have in your life. A God given hope and purpose. I don't know if that makes sense.

Rodney Olsen:

It certainly does. And you talking there about a change in mindset of the things that are important, but also that depth of faith that gives you that hope for the future, no matter what may come. And I'm wondering what part that faith continue to play, because I know that even though you are now on a very different road, you were getting education, you had food security and all those things. Life didn't always go according to plan. And there were still some difficulties along the way. You,

Jane’alam Sheikh:

No matter where you live, whether you live in Australia or you live in the slumps in India, I, life is never a linear path. Is it there's always ups and downs and that's life. I remember when I was in high school, my dad got a malaria and it got really bad, very quickly. He eventually died because of that. He called that multiple organ failure and I had to make a decision. I was the only, yeah, I was the eldest child in the family. I was also the only male child in the family. My mum has never had much experience outside the community and where we lived. So I had to make a decision whether I leave school and start working to support my family in the absence of my dad. And if, if I had done that I would not be where I am today, but there was people around us who encouraged me to continue to study and put our faith in God that he will provide.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

And he did, he did, my mom got a job and she excelled and she's such a talented, gifted woman. If my mom had good opportunity at school and of going to school and college and stuff, she would have, I dunno, I've been a very powerful business woman or something. There was a difficult times. My losing, my dad was one of them and we have to continue to fight and continue to believe that a good things will come out of some difficult situation. And I would love for my dad to be around today, but I know his passing away, give me a resilience and a tenacity in life to do things that he hoped and wished for us and make that a reality. And that helped me to go through some of the other difficult times. I remember when I finished high school and it was about to go to university.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

I was so scared. No one in my family has ever been to school, let alone university. It was a terrifying prospect, but I, to courage in the fact that, you know, my dad believed in us and my dad believed in me, and there are people who believed in me and it gave me a lot of impetus to keep trying. And if I have a difficult day, I wake up the next morning and I'll keep trying again. So yeah, life hasn't been, you know, all upward from then there was ups and downs, but what helps me personally I believe in Jesus, I, I believe God loves us all irespective of where we come from here. This unconditional love for us. He has got a great purpose for us. And when we work with him, you know, there is amazing things that he can do in us and through us. And that belief really took me through and he continues to take me through all my ups and downs in life

Rodney Olsen:

You touched a couple of times there on potential and perhaps untapped potential. You said that if you had left school to care for the family, then you wouldn't be where you are today. You mentioned how your mom got a job and that if she had gotten an education early on, it would have given her a very different life. I'm wondering about so many people, millions of people over the years who have lived in poverty, that there remains that untapped potential. Is that something that you're seeking to draw out of people in, in what you're doing currently?

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Absolutely. That's kind of become the vision for my life. You see we and this is a bit of a generalization, but there is this idea that people in poverty, they need to be given everything in their life. And and we do it out of goodwill, out of care and concern. We're always trying to support them, provide them with the need, but don't, we always overlook the amazing potential in the people. We see poverty as an issue as statistice, as numbers, as a resource draining problem. And but it's not, you see people living in poverty is the solution to overcoming poverty. I'll give you an example. You know, when Compassion came in and worked in our community, 15 years on the community is completely transformed. There's hardly many families living there anymore cause they empower the children there.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Then there are teachers, there are businessmen, there are local leaders that have come out from that community and, and they're not just helping their family, family, they're helping other people in poverty. So, so there's two things. One, you have to appreciate the tremendous amount of potential in the people living in poverty and true development will happen when you not just give stuff into the problem, but when you do things that truly empowers the individual to realize their potential. And for me, that's what I'm passionate about. And you touched on it a little bit in the beginning. The charity I started with my friends, our focus is how can we empower a person living in poverty to a belief that change is possible in their life. Secondly, believe that God has already given them all the skills they need. They just need the right opportunities and you combine them to potential and opportunity. Then the sky is the limit.

Rodney Olsen:

And you mentioned about how Compassion had helped you as a child, but you're dealing with people of a different age. So you're dealing with people perhaps in the teenage years. Is that correct?

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Correct. Yeah. Well, how pursuit really started was just to give you a little bit more background. When I finished university in Calcutta I studied business there and I was always keen on, I've been sort of a person who can't look at an issue and not get involved. And sometimes I get into trouble because of that, get myself into a sticky situation. And, but I guess that's how God made me. But the other thing is, for me, it's not just the immediate fix. I'm always looking for how you change the game for longterm, you know, more sustainable changes. And that was kind of what led to pursue today. And what happened was I finished my education in India. I was doing some work with the local organization, doing some microfinance work in some red light communities, you know, helping women there to set up businesses, to make a living for the family so they can come out of prostitution and provide the children for the children and for the family.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

And once I was doing that, I got an opportunity from Manchester University to do a master's program, which brought me to England. When I first arrived in England, Rodney, I was so confused. It was such a culture shock. Calcutta is like average, mid 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year. I arrived in England and it was like 15 degrees people walking around shirtless because it was summer and I was in three layers, so complete culture shock. And so I went there at uni, but I would go back home to visit. And one of the things that really bothered me was I was also quite involved in some of the children's home or orphanages in my community where in my area so there was some local organization that rescued children off the streets who have no family and we'll keep them in those homes.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

And growing up, I would go around, hang out with them and play with them. And they were very close friends. So when I went back, I tried to catch up with them. And what I saw was that they have to come out of the homes when they were 18 by law, they can't stay there anymore. And then they were out on this open world and which was scary and they didn't know how to navigate it. And more often than not, they would end up back into the environment where they were rescued the first place as it started off. As I know these guys, they're my friends. We grew up together. I've got such a different life. They're back into where they were rescued 20 years or 18 years ago or something. And that really bothered me. So it started off, how do we help those young people, what it has become now, what pursuit does is it primarily works with 18 plus young adults who have been raised in institutions.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

And we work through one to one mentorship program and providing them life skills, how to navigate life outside in the world, giving them employability skills. So we help them get a vocational training. Some of them would have had school level education and it would be very academics. It would help them to go to university. We get them into part time jobs to learn on the job skills and really want to one mentorship to support them emotionally, to learn how to navigate life in the outside world. The goal is to kind of provide them that family style support that you would get when you first go off to uni and for them to just learn to live outside an institution, but also gain the skills to sustain themselves outside an institution. So I, I think last, last year we helped at 16 young people go through training skills, training, life skills training, and one to one mentorship. And the goal is in two to three years time, they'll be able to live independently away from poverty and that vicious cycle would be broken for good.

Rodney Olsen:

Does it amaze you when you look back at that young boy growing up in the slum and not knowing any different to, to becoming that five year old who is sponsored and now being able to make a difference for others. Do you sometimes sit back and just amaze yourself with how far you've come?

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Yes and no. I feel like I've got a long way to go. You say how far I've come. That's good. Interesting. I do have to pinch myself to think where God has brought me so far. You know, my my mom, I'm able to support my mum to live in a place that she grew up sharing a toilet with the rest of the community. Now she has got a whole toilet herself. So in this little thing, she's got a safe place to live in. You know, my sister has been through university. I only supported her to go through school and then she supported herself through university. She's got a job now, full time job and amazing, amazing young woman now. So God has done amazing things in our life. And I'm married to an amazing girl. Naomi who's as passionate about Pursuit as I am.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

We started it together and we met in India as she came on a trip to, to work with the children and the children. So I'm actually where I used to go spend some time. And then I never knew that our paths will cross again in England. It's a long story short. Yeah. I have to pinch myself sometimes and and tell myself how privileged my life is now and how far God has brought me. But also there's an sense of responsibility now for whom much has been given, I think much should be expected. So I believe I've got a responsibility to multiply all that I have been given in my life. There are millions of children in India, living in extreme poverty in conditions, worse than me. I at least had a family and a roof over my head. There are children who literally live on the streets.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

In the rainy season, they'll be out shivering in the cold and there are millions of them, but then I had all these opportunities. So I always carry this sense of responsibility that I need to multiply what I have. I need to make a difference in someone else's life. And I believe, you know, anyone living in an environment that you believe you've got, you've got lots of blessing in your life. Never feel guilty. You didn't choose to be born in Australia, Rodney, and people in England or somewhere else, didn't choose to be born here. But then we've got all the resources and opportunities we have in our life, which means we should be responsible with it. So I feel like I've got a long way to go. You know I'm passionate about making a difference in the face of poverty, but I'm more passionate about how we help the people living in poverty to make a transformational change, not just in their life, but in their community.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

So how do you tap the potential that is in people whose lives are limited? Because of the circumstances, there are about 380 million children in the world in extreme poverty. So there's a long way to go, but together we can make a difference. I am to do what I can, even if it's changing more life, I'll do that and keep trying that for the rest of my life. But yeah, I do have to sometimes pinch myself and just think, you know, I live in a flat where I've got a bedroom and a guest bedroom and a kitchen that is bigger than my house that I grew up in.

Rodney Olsen:

You talk about those very changed circumstances in which you now live, and it's wonderful that your standard of living has risen and you're working to see the same for many others. But as you mentioned, India is a country of extremes where there are those in extreme poverty, but also those who are extremely wealthy and moving to the west, you've, you've also seen sometimes that extreme opulence does that sometimes concern you that some people simply are seeking after wealth.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

There's two things that bothers me. One that we sometimes get so sucked up in pursuit of wealth, that we define success in life and value in life, in how much wealth we have accumulated that we forget to enjoy the gift that is life it gift that is there to make a difference, not just in our life, but in others life. We miss that because if somehow it's become how much wealth you've accumulated as how successful you have been in life. Whereas I actually feel is completely the opposite. It's a trap that really saddens me. And I see a lot of that in the Western countries, not everyone, but I see a lot of that. There's a great sense of emptiness and a lack of vision and purpose in life that is just in pursuit of material wealth. But also also saddens me that there's such a lack of awareness, awareness of how life is for a huge chunk of the world of people living in extreme poverty.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

I've seen people truly caring and wanting to make the difference, but I also have seen so many people just not aware and not appreciating what we have and also not aware how people live. And I think the big, one of the big thing that I want to do in life is just create awareness, create awareness that guys, you know, you'd go on one less holiday in life is that's not the worst thing. You know, we're, we are living through a pandemic and it is hard. It's incredibly hard. We, our choices have been taken away. You know, we can't go see friends. We can't go see family. We are stuck in our house, but if you truly flip that on its head and think that being able to do that is a privilege in itself because for so many people living in poverty, the council's wise, violet, you know, they can protect themselves from the virus.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

You know, how do you do when you've got 10,000 people in one square kilometer area and that, you know, people living in extreme poverty, this has been their whole life. They never had a choice. They never choose to do what they want to do. You know, the choices have been taken away. So what's happens is two things. One we've got so caught up in the rat race of accumulating wealth that we forget to use the gift that is life for ourselves and for others. But also what saddens me is the lack of awareness that is there. In so many people about a, the privileges we have here, B the, the extreme different life that so many people live around the world. And I believe with the awareness comes change will happen because people deep down care, you know, we are wired and built to care for each other. If we know we will do something about it,

Rodney Olsen:

You mentioned the journey that you've been on by the help of Compassion and the local church and you've mentioned Pursuit International that you have co-founded if people want to get in touch with either Compassion or Pursuit International, we'll put the details on the show notes of this program. So just go to bleedingdaylight.net. But if people are interested in knowing a little bit more about Pursuit International, are there ways that they can help and how can they get in?

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Absolutely. I mean, I'm, I'm passionate about both the organizations, but we are going through some very challenging time at pursuit. You know, our main work is in India. And as you know, India, one of the many countries around the world that is going through this pandemic, and we know people personally cause life has been affected. The livelihoods have gone. They're struggling to keep themselves protected self isolate. So yes, we would love to get in touch with you. We would love to hear from you, tell you more can go visit our website, it's www.pursuitinternational.org. So it's www.pursuitinternational.org and you can find all the information you can support us financially. You can support us prayerfully or in any other way, you can you know, use your network, use the gifts that you have to bring hope in the lives of people we're working with. So yes, we would love to hear from you and any questions you have, there's a contact, email drop a thing we would love to hear from you. You can also follow us on social media. We have a Facebook page, you search Pursuit International or @pursuit, and you'll be able to find that we would love to hear from you and any support, especially during this difficult time, when we are trying to gather resources to best respond to the huge need that we all find ourselves in would be much appreciated.

Rodney Olsen:

It has been a delight to speak to you to hear of your story of the way that you've been able to be released from poverty, but also what you're doing now. And that comes full circle that you were given a hand up and you've taken advantage of that potential that lay within you. And now you're wanting to see that drawn out of others. So we wish you all the best for the future of Pursuit International and what you continue to do in the days to come. But once again, thank you for spending time with us today on Bleeding Daylight.

Jane’alam Sheikh:

Thank you so much Rodney, for having me. It's been a true pleasure and I've loved catching up with you again and just want to thank all our listeners and please now believe that we can all make a difference. Even if it's to one life, you never know what that one life can go on and do for the rest of the people in the world. So yeah, we believe that change is possible that we can overcome poverty.

 

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