In the slums of south-east India, one of our Partners runs a program in which women and girls are able to learn skills such as sewing so they can create their own business and earn an income. Prior to lockdown, six-month long vocational tailoring courses were run, we were seeing the lives of these women and their families change.
Now, with restrictions in movement enforced, many of these women who have been empowered to earn their own income are now using their new skills to give back.
Gowri is one such woman, as one of our first vocational tailoring students, she is committed to inspiring others to be empowered in a similar way.
Previously, her mother was the only breadwinner in their family, and as a result Gowri had to drop out of school and start working. The income she produces now contributes to the household income and helps pay for her sister’s school fees. She is determined that her sister won’t have to drop out like she did.
Gowri has now become an active community leader in our project during lockdown assisting to door knock in the slum as part of our Covid-19 awareness initiative helping educate the community on symptoms and protective measures. She has also been volunteering her time helping partner staff collect data for relief support as well as distributing food relief supplies to over 380 families in her area.
One of our enthusiastic trainees in our tailoring program is Lily.
Previously, a domestic worker, now is considered one of the most skilled trainees in her class. She has been actively continuing to learn sewing techniques through our online training videos during the lockdown.
Recently, Lilly organised her classmates and used this time to stich masks distributing them for free throughout their community. Many in the slum cannot afford to buy masks so Lilly’s initiative has helped many to stay safe and protected during this time.
She loves the work she now does and has found confidence in her new skills. One day she wants to empower other women in her community and teach tailoring.
It is humbling to see such women use their skills that with your support we provided and give back to benefit their whole community.
We are reminded of the verse from 2 Corinthians 9:11, “Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.”