Life Expectancy: 63.4 years
GDP: US$1017 per capita
37% earn less than US$2 per day
IND01a - Christian Friends Charitable Trust - Women's Sewing
CFCT runs regular sewing training programmes for very poor Hindu women. The course runs for nine months and women who graduate get a treadle sewing machine. This programme sets women up to earn a small income and care for their families.
History Of Partnership
Pastor Emmanuel Kumar located BHW through the website and began communication with us in 2005. He was seeking help with practical projects that would help the very poor in his town of Kakinada. He met with Owen Jennings in mid 2005 by traveling all day and night on a train such was his enthusiasm. He pastors his own church and works in close collaboration with 40 other pastors, many of whom have a church or an outreach programme.
Pastor Kumar was very eager to find a way to assist the very poor Hindu women in his community as many were destitute with absolutely no income or assets and often in abusive relationships or separated from their husbands. He researched their needs and devised a project based on teaching sewing to the women over a nine month course awarding those that graduated a treadle sewing machine so they could earn a small income and make clothes for themselves and their families. Kakinada is in Godavari that produces some of the world’s best quality cotton.
The women for the first course of 27 were drawn from the local Kakinada community. They were chosen for the difficulty of their circumstances. This course was completed in 2006 and by the end of the course demand had grown so that six courses could be managed starting in late 2006. These courses were completed in October 2007 with 87 women graduating and receiving a sewing machine. A further set of classes were begun in November 2007.
The stories of hardship told by these women are tragic and such is the deprivation of many involved. From the first two lots of courses over 80 women have come to faith, been baptized and are now active in a church.
What We Like About The Partnership
These courses reach the poorest of the poor – women who have one set of clothes and only some basic cooking utensils that they call their own. The courses are run so that the gospel and Biblical based encouragement is given each training day.
Many of the women have led husbands, children, neighbours and wider family members to the Lord with powerful testimonies of changed lives. Reaching women is a positive way to reach a community.
This is a very cost effective project that is relatively easily established and managed.
The project is under the overall supervision of Pastor Emmanuel Kumar and his wife Jessie. The individual sewing centres are managed by pastors working under Emmanuel’s guidance.
Vision And Annual Strategy
The originating vision of Emmanuel Kumar was to help a group of desperately poor women who were ignored by their community. The concept was to set them up with minimal help to become self sufficient, income earning and able to meet their family’s needs more capably. Many of the classes are held in buildings that are used for church which puts the attending women at ease in a Christian church setting.
The budget here includes running costs for the nine month course and the purchase of sewing machines for 100 women.
Real "Life Change" Stories
Mummidi Rajyalakshmi: "I used to do a little sewing before I came to the sewing classes and now after completing the course I came to know how to sew and tailor the clothes. I have learned to tailor blouses to fit. The machine given to me is so useful and will allow me to create a livelihood for my family. God has blessed me".
Shankarapu Satyasree: "I did not know how use a sewing machine. After I came to centre I have learned to tailor my blouses and also learned to cut the cloth so I am able to tailor the clothes of all my family members".