Words fail me when I try to describe how amazing Kirthi Jayakumar is. I don't think that there are enough words in the English language that truly convey her brilliance, her tremendous compassion and empathy, her kindness, and her genuine concern for all of humanity.
I "met" Kirthi 6 years when she posted an announcement about the Red Elephant Foundation, an NGO that she had founded, on the World Pulse public forum. Curious about this organization, I wrote to her to inquire about the type of projects that she was working on. Little did I know that this first exchange would be the first of many, leading to a friendship that has lasted and strengthened over the years.
From the very start, I was in awe of Kirthi's ability to use her incredible creativity to foster peace and seek opportunities for dialogue. Since its inception, the Red Elephant Foundation has offered programs to promote peace building and gender equality in schools. It has lead trainings about the dangers of bullying and sexual harassment/gender-based violence. It has also provided wonderfully insightful materials and curricula on gender identity, sexual orientation, menstruation, intersectionality. ...And the list goes on. As an indefatigable defender of human rights, Kirthi has conceived of other ways to end domestic/gender-based violence by learning how to code and creating an app call Saahaas.
In addition, she has written countless articles on peace and gender equality as well as three books that explore conflict and puts a human face to individuals who experience war, persecution, and genocide.
Kirthi is such an empath that she always puts others first and listens with such compassion and care. When I talk to her, I always feel heard and appreciated. She brings out the best in everyone she meets and believes in all of us even when we doubt ourselves. She is my role-model, my soul sister, my mentor, my teacher, and my dear friend.
I would like to nominate Kirthi for the Ambassador World Pulse Spirit Award.