Year Joined MKLM: 2011
City: São Paulo
Focus: Justice and Peace, Human Rights
Project(s): Caritas Refugee Center; Institute for Land, Labor and Citizenship (ITTC); Casa de Clara, Center for the Elderly
People Served: Refugees, Foreign women in prison, Elderly
Projects’ Goals (3 different Projects/Populations/NGOs): To protect and defend the rights of Refugees, Foreign women in prison and the Elderly. To provide services and support to the people served, and build public awareness of the reality and challenges faced by these oppressed populations, with the hope of breaking down prejudices and improving their situations.
Siri (as she is called in Brazil), currently serves three marginalized populations in São Paulo, working with teams at three Brazilian faith-based NGOs.
Caritas Center for Refugees protects and defends the rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers (from over 80 countries), who had to flee their countries because of persecution, armed conflicts, violence or violation of human rights. Siri serves on the team at Caritas that provides social assistance, including access to housing, healthcare, education, documents and basic necessities. Siri seeks to build bridges across cultures, languages, religious beliefs, ages, races and gender.
Working with ITTC´s Foreign Women in Prison team, Siri provides individual counseling to imprisoned women, which includes legal counseling, advocating for their health and other needs and establishing contact and facilitating communication with their families. The team collaborates with public defenders, consulates, prison administration and other organizations to address the needs of the detained and defend their rights. Siri listens to the needs of these women and offers faith, hope and compassion during a very difficult time in their lives.
At Casa de Clara, a day care center for the vulnerable elderly, Siri works on programs that empower the elderly to defend their rights and build their self-esteem through participation in exercise, dance, music, arts and crafts.
Siri shares: “Wherever there is a refugee, a prisoner, a homeless person or a person in need, there is Christ himself awaiting our visit and help. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve the poor and the oppressed (it’s what my heart has always wanted to do), and for the gift of witnessing God’s loving presence in each person.”
Siri was born and grew up in Bombay, India, where she studied and worked in Law, Business Management and Economics. Prior to joining MKLM, she lived and worked in New York, NY, where she practiced International Financial Law. Siri has a Master of Laws degree from New York University Law School, and a Master of Commerce and a Law degree from the University of Bombay. Siri provided pro bono legal services and volunteered at the Meatloaf Kitchen in New York City.