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|Maitri’s mission is three-fold:
- To help integrate clients into the mainstream of American society, so that they feel comfortable and become full participants in it. Maitri recognizes that the very social and cultural separation or isolation that it’s clients experience contributes largely to their problems, and is a hindrance to their solutions.
- To focus efforts on supplementing and complementing existing services, not on duplicating them. To this end, Maitri has developed close working relationships with mainstream agencies and organizations, as well as organizations working with similar ethnic groups.
- To work towards fostering self-reliance and self-confidence in its clients. We believe that a large number of difficulties experienced by Maitri’s clients arise out of a real or perceived situation of dependency. This philosophy is encapsulated in Maitri’s motto of “Helping Women to Help Themselves” and Maitris mission statement:
Maitri believes that the best human relationships are characterized by mutual respect, open communication, and individual empowerment. To that end, Maitri’s activities are designed to help South Asian women make an informed choice of the lives they lead.
- We are a free, 501-C(3) non-profit, organization helping South Asian women in situations of domestic abuse, cultural displacement, or unresolved conflict.
- We are non-discriminatory in our services with respect to gender, race, color, religion, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation and all classifications protected by applicable state or federal discrimination laws.
- We are not affiliated with any cultural, social or religious organization.
- We provide our clients with referrals to mainstream organizations, information and informal peer counseling.
- We help women by providing free transportation, translation/interpretation services, assisting the women to write their resumes, apply for jobs and look for places to live.
- We provide grants and loans to women in need for legal, counseling, rental and living expenses as well as for school tuition and driving lessons.
- We provide community outreach and education through South Asian and mainstream publications, relevant handouts (flyers / brochures) at community functions as well as presence at discussions/ panels/ conferences on domestic abuse. Our community outreach activities have now expanded to the point where Maitri is a recognized resource to be called upon by mainstream agencies including the San Jose Police Dept. We have proactively provided outreach in the home countries through popular publications, as well as T.V and radio shows. We run support groups for survivors of abuse as well as people still in abusive relationships seeking a safe place to explore their feelings.
- We operate a transitional home for women (and their children) who have left abusive relationships and are on their way to rebuilding their lives.
Who are we?
Maitri’s volunteers generally come from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the U.S. and speak many of the region’s major languages. All volunteers undergo an intensive 40-hour training at some of our mainstream partner organizations, which certifies them in the state of California to be Domestic Violence counselors. Their educational backgrounds range from scientific and engineering disciplines to social work, health, and the humanities. They all have one thing in common; a keen desire to help women in need.