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Chasing Misery: An Interview with Entrepreneur and Humanitarian Vyshakhi Kashinath

Vyshakhi Kashinath works with the Women and Children’s Aid organization, she is one of those people, and her unyielding dedication to humanitarian work has positively impacted countless lives. Her rescue missions and commitment to human trafficking have been a world of unfairness, such people are striving to help others. Hence, a focus on resolving – rather than just responding to – conflicts; and attention to issues like economic stimulus are traditionally considered outside the scope of humanitarian action. Today, we bring you an exclusive interview with Vyshakhi, where we discuss her important work, its motivations, and its impact on humanitarianism. As an entrepreneur, her achievements are commendable, and she is expanding her business in Canada in the hospitality industry.

Q: Thank you for your time today. Why don’t we start with your background? What got you into humanitarian work?

Vyshakhi: The pleasure’s all mine. Well, as far back as I can remember, I’ve always felt a lot of empathy for people who happen to be less fortunate. I was born and raised in a middle-class family with just my mother as a breadwinner. My family provided me with values such as kindness, service to others, and compassion. So, when I got older, it became clear I wanted to help marginalized communities by putting my skills, resources, and privileges to good use. Eventually, this led me to a career in humanitarian work. Even though my background was different, I was influenced by my peer group, who were all passionate about service.

Q: That’s very admirable. Could you share more about the humanitarian work you do? What specific areas and organizations are you involved with?

Vyshakhi: My humanitarian work has been quite diverse. I’ve worked on projects focused on alleviating poverty, assisting refugees, facilitating access to healthcare, and providing disaster relief. In addition, I’ve been involved with local and international organizations, such as Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders, the United Nations Refugee Agency, and many others. They gave me unique opportunities to work on the ground in many different places around the world and make a difference. 

Q: What would you say is one of the most impactful experiences you’ve had in your career as a humanitarian so far?

Vyshakhi: two of the most impactful experiences that come to mind are WCAO was involved in rescuing 68 trafficked women in the Philippines. It was the most crucial rescue I was interested in. The process took over three months. I was also involved in a project that provided emergency relief to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. We set up medical clinics to provide healthcare to thousands of refugees running from violence and persecution in Myanmar. The Rohingya people were so inspiring due to their strength and resilience, and these are the two I’ll never forget it. That’s just one of many fulfilling experiences that have left a lasting imprint on me. 

Q: So amazing to hear. What challenges have you faced in your career as a humanitarian?

Vyshakhi: One of the main challenges of humanitarian work is that you often must be in stressful environments with few resources to rely on. Conflict zones or disaster-stricken areas lack clean water, food, and healthcare access. On top of that, there’s the issue of language barriers, cultural differences, and the struggle to navigate complex political landscapes. 

Such challenges require you to adapt, be resilient and flexible, build strong partnerships and networks, be innovative, and stay positive. Moreover, you must get close to local communities to understand what they need and work with them to make the most impact. 

Q: What’s the motivation behind your humanitarian work? What keeps you so dedicated to it?

Vyshakhi: My motivation and dedication to my humanitarian work stem from the profound sense of purpose and fulfillment I feel from positively impacting the lives of people in need. When I see the smiles on the faces of the people we can help, or I witness the progress the communities make, it strengthens my belief that humanitarian work can create significant change. 

Additionally, I experience unwavering support from the people I work with, my loved ones, and my mentors. Being surrounded by and working with like-minded people with the same passion as me allows me to continue working with as much drive as ever. 

Q: What do you think the future of humanitarian work looks like?

Vyshakhi: In the future, I will continue my humanitarian work focusing on creating sustainable and long-term solutions to the issues vulnerable communities face. I want to empower them by providing resources and tools so they can become self-reliant and more resilient. This includes healthcare, education, opportunities, and advocating for policies to address the causes of poverty, inequality, and injustice.

Technology will also become a significant component in improving the impact and efficiency of humanitarian interventions. Technology can make a massive difference in how humanitarian work is done, from facilitating data-driven decisions to providing remote healthcare services and everything in between. Finding new ways to integrate technology into humanitarian work is very exciting for me.

Lastly, I want to continue inspiring people in humanitarianism so they can find ways to make a positive impact. Focusing more on education, raising awareness, and advocacy is an effective way of building a more compassionate world where vulnerable people are treated with compassion and action is taken on their behalf. 

Q. In regard to your business ventures in hospitality, would you elaborate?

Vyshakhi:- my partner and I have owned a steak house in Alberta, Canada, for the last three years. We just renovated and extended the capacity inside and patio to facilitate more guests. We also opened a burger shack in Alberta as well in one of the largest outlet mall. We are very proud of our achievements so far and looking into expanding to other places. 2 new locations are in progress.

Q: Before we wrap this up, what advice would you give to people who want to have a career in humanitarian work?

Vyshakhi: Great question! I advise people who want to pursue humanitarian work to ensure they feel a genuine passion for helping people. Also, it’s essential to educate yourself on the issues you’d like to focus on and the challenges and ethical principles of this type of work. 

Gaining practical experience is critical, so seek internships, volunteer, or collaborate with local organizations. Use that opportunity to learn from more seasoned colleagues and the communities you serve: Foster adaptability, patience, and cultural sensitivity. 

You also want to build a strong network of like-minded people who can provide support when needed. Humanitarian work is quite a journey, so commit to learning from every step and every tumble. But, more importantly, learn how to listen to the communities you serve and prioritize their needs by collaborating closely with them. 

Final Words

If there’s something we can learn from Vyshakhi, genuine passion for what you do will contribute to making the world a better place in more ways than one. To keep an eye on Vyshakhi and her work, follow her on Instagram. 

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