India (MNN) — Women in India don’t have it easy. Besides the issues of poverty, malnutrition, and overpopulation, women lowest in the caste system often receive the least desirable jobs. Most don’t continue their education past elementary school.
But one organization is giving them the chance to thrive. This month, 70 women are set to graduate from a tailoring program sponsored by India Partners. The program teaches women various skills to help them earn a sustainable income.
“We currently have six tailoring schools in Andhra Pradesh,” says Donna Glass with India Partners. “When they go through this training, they learn not only just how to sew, but they also get business skills, how to market themselves.”
The program isn’t just teaching women important skills. It’s helping them find a sense of value.
“For many of the women [with] whom we’ve talked…it gives them a great sense of worth, that they’re going to be able to contribute to their family,” Glass says. “It gives them a sense of relief in many ways, that they’re not going to need to go out into the fields to work.”
But there’s something even more important the women receive at the program. Instructors hold daily devotions to make sure that every woman hears the Gospel.
“As the women go through the tailoring school, there are daily devotions,” Glass says. “Even if they aren’t Christian when they come to the tailoring school–and it’s not a requirement; it’s open to all regardless of faith–they are exposed to the Gospel each day as part of their training.
“They just had a retreat for the women that have graduated before, and 105 women attended this retreat. They had 15 women out of the 105 give their lives to Christ that day.”
Stories like these are encouraging, but they don’t come easy. India Partners has a variety of needs that must be met in order for the schools to continue operating. The program is free for the women, and India Partners also provides each graduate with a sewing machine of their own. Click here to see how you can support the program, or click here to provide a sewing machine for $100 to help a woman in India provide for herself and those she loves.
If giving isn’t an option, you can always pray. Glass asks that you pray for the teachers and that lives would be changed.