The empowerment of women through community programs is one of our most important initiatives. As a Christian organization, we believe that the best way to manifest our faith is to put it into action. We have worked with women who have suffered abuse and almost lost hope. Through our dedicated members, we are helping these women in unfortunate situations rebuild their lives.
The heart-wrenching ordeals some of these women we have gone through can make you cry. The story of Sasha is a story of hope, she was brought up in the ghetto. Being poor her father was never around and her mother could not meet the basic needs for the four of them in their family. All she ever knew was the streets and that is where she faced all manner of abuse. At a very young age she had been molested, with no one to protect her only solace was drugs. She got into prostitution to get money for drugs and food and that is how she got pregnant. She lived in an abandoned building with her baby and through our outreach program we managed to get to her.
Right now her story is a different one, at the age of 23 she has joined other groups of women to become successful entrepreneurs. She has had a positive change in her life through a self-help group where they have learned the skill of embroidery. After mastering the skill of embroidery, the women can make items such as shirts, hats, jackets which they sell to make money. Through the money they save and availability of soft loans, many of them have managed to buy the best embroidery machine for home business.
The success of the program has made it possible for many unemployed single mothers to put food on the table. Embroidery is a great therapy for women who have suffered abuse and it offers a way for them to provide for themselves and their families. After undergoing a rehabilitation program, many have chosen to get away from drugs and prostitution and start embroidery.
Our training program takes about six months after which the women get access to soft loans to set up their home embroidery business. We help them get a market for their products through our church members.
According to Sasha she now gets clients visiting her home asking for some of her latest designs. It is nice to see her get back her pride and to feel a useful member of the society. She has discovered her artistic talent in embroidery and from her income she has managed to pay back the loan she took for the embroidery machine.
The emotional support is vital to get the women focused. We encourage regular meet ups to assess the progress of our members and the spiritual impact in their lives. Other local organizations have joined in our work and we hope to find even more disadvantaged women to help. Apart from embroidery, we have volunteers teaching basic computer skills, financial skills, sports, music, dancing and so much more.
It is difficult to get disadvantaged women out of drugs and prostitution if we do not offer them an alternative way to earn an income to support themselves and their children. We have seen the lives of women get transformed, now instead of worrying about HIV, and STDs they are preoccupied with embroidery work. Sasha now dreams of setting up her own shop, the impact of the program is a blessing to the community.