This post should have gone up a long time ago! All in perfection as it is said. Our website crashed and for almost a month we were ‘under construction’! But we are back now.
A few weeks ago we bid farewell to our dearest Carla: friend, mentor, fund raiser extraordinaire and above all the rock we needed to lean on. She came to us at a time when we needed her most and held our hands ever so gently throughout the makeover that was crucial to our existence.
The organic, from the heart, slightly topsy turvy organisation I had steered for a decade and a half had to be given a new image to meet the requirements of the world it had to now step in. It was the world of strategic plans, assessments, reports and projections in time – words we barely comprehended – and we were lost. Till date Project WHY had functioned in reverse mode: first the why that needed an answer and then the resources to meet it. In the new scenario essential for sustainability, we needed to first plan and then raise the money. Daunting to say the least. But thanks to Carla’s extreme patience and caring approach the transition was painless. The reason was that her heart beat for Project WHY and hence she never lost sight of its spirit.
We came close to losing her as the initial days were a bit choppy. We could not understand why she wanted to organise things. Mercifully the penny dropped in time and that was the beginning of the most beautiful relationship.
Through many meetings and workshops Carla introduced us to the demands of the outside world and slowly but surely we completed our makeover. I hope she is proud of what we achieved. She also was a star fund raiser who came to the rescue every time we were in need devising new ways of garnering support. Being a mean photographer she participated in the creation of a beautiful coffee table book on Delhi, the proceeds of which were donated to us. But that is not where it ended, she also commandeered the support of her family making Malte her lovely son one of the youngest donors we have as he set out to collect money with his Scout Cubs and come and paint our Okhla school. We were extremely touched when Peter her husband decided to forego his birthday presents and ask his friends to donate to his wife’s favourite charity.
Favourite charity! How lovely these words sound. And to return the compliment can we say that Carla was our favourite: friend, supporter, mentor and so much more.
We will miss her. We will miss her kind heart and her loving ways. We will miss her wise counsel. We will miss her presence.
I know she will be back! But till that day she lives in our hearts forever.
And I will miss my friend.
Auf wiedersen Liebe Carla! Till we meet again!