Stories to take to the world

Intern Farzana Neela reflects on her journey writing survivor case stories

I interned at ASF for 2 months writing survivor case stories in Bangla. During this time one thing consistently left me in awe–how survivors could narrate their painful stories and still paint half a smile across their face at the end and say they were doing okay. Genuine or not I couldn’t tell, and it wasn’t for me to decide either. I wrote as they told, peering over my glasses now and again reading their expressions.

The stories made it clear that they were pushed around by society like they didn’t matter or worse like they were a nuisance. How it scarred them and left them feeling empty and constantly at the brink of mental collapse. But they bounced back every time, usually because they had children to look after or more commonly because they were in search for the silver lining. Hopeful that this life was still worth living. I found myself teetering between tears and anger, anger at the perpetrators after each session.

I am alive today for ASF, survivors would chime in. A second home, they would say. After multiple encounters with survivors, it became apparent why they held ASF so close to their hearts. ASF’s services were of high quality and the only organization deeply concerned about their wellbeing.

I am truly grateful for the experience. I wish to take the stories of anguish, loss, and resilience I had gathered to the world in the hopes that it will teach the youth like myself to strive and have each other’s back through thick and thin.