A New Light in Kalighat

Posted on September 04, 2013, by Erica Saleh, Half the Sky Movement

In the summer of 2012 Breanna Reynolds and Kyle Vaughn were both part of the American Councils for International Education’s India Summer Teachers program in Kolkata, where they had the opportunity to teach in Indian schools and partner with Indian teachers on various projects. As the two teachers got to know each other they realized they shared similar ideas about the power of education and creativity to invoke change.

Photos courtesy of Kyle Vaughn

When they weren’t teaching, Breanna and Kyle volunteered at New Light, a community development projectin Kolkata which was featured in the Half the Sky: Turning Opression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide documentary. New Light offers shelter, educational opportunities and healthcare to survivors of trafficking and children rescued from red-light areas. During their visits to New Light, Breanna and Kyle were awed by the beauty, intelligence, and hope that the children of New Light possessed. 

Photos Courtesy of Kyle Vaughn

Inspired, they approached New Light founder Urmi Basu about a book idea: they wanted to introduce the world to the children of New Light by collecting their stories and portaits, and sharing their artwork and writing. Urmi gave her blessing, and the two set to work. The resulting book, A New Light in Kalighat, gives a personal glimpse into the beauty of New Light and the children who reside there.

In an effort to inpsire others and to share Urmi’s amazing work, they have made the e-book available for free online; view it here.

To stay updated on the book and ways to support this project, visit Kyle's blog.

Learn more about Urmi Basu and New Light.