2021 News

Helping Vulnerable Women Fight Poverty in India

Friday, 26 November 2021

 Despite the challenges and hardships she faces, Jayshree, a young woman from India, has chosen to remain resilient and hopeful facing her family's financial struggles.

Jayshree lives in the slums of Ambernath in suburban Mumbai. Like many others in India, her family has been struggling during the pandemic. It's expected that middle-income countries like India will be home to more than 80% of those pushed into poverty this year.

"My husband is the earning member of our family," Jayshree tells us. "Since the outbreak of pandemic last year, my husband finds it difficult to get work every day. This has started to affect our financial condition."

Jayshree's husband was one of many labourers who lost their source of income due to the effects of COVID-19. For more than a year, Jayshree's husband has been unable to get work.

Many people in the Ambernath slums, including, Jayshree, haven't had access to the training or education needed to secure skilled employment. So, when her husband lost work, she had limited options to support her family financially. For some of the world's poorest communities, this change has meant even less choice for their future. For the first time in 20 years, global poverty has risen.

The COVID-19 pandemic has combined with the effects of conflict and climate change. By the end of this year, it's expected that 150 million people will have been pushed into poverty as a result of these factors. The harshest effects will be felt by already marginalised people. That's why it's so crucial to make sure the voices of vulnerable people are heard. And frequently, some of the most vulnerable people in a community are women like Jayshree.

Project surveys have shown a high demand for skilled workers like tailors, but there are few training opportunities to develop these skills. That's why Hosanna Ministries is providing people in Ambernath with vocational training to give them more employment opportunities. Part of the vocational training program was running a tailoring course for women like Jayshree.

Smita Gaikwad is the Project Coordinator for Saksham Vocational Training Centre, run by Hosanna Ministries. She shared with us about the tailoring program that run during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The girls come for the tailoring course; it's all crowded," Smita says. "So, we asked the teachers to just do four or five girls in each [class], so they are doing a good job and things are starting to get normal. Not certainly like it was before, but slowly we have started to give them basic tailoring courses." And thankfully Jayshree was able to join the tailoring course when it was safe to do so! Fifteen women took part in the course and completed it with near perfect attendance. When they were finished, they had new skills they could use to work from home. "I have now completed the basic course and am able to stitch ladies' clothes from home," Jayshree says.

"This has given me a new skill, and confidence, as I am able to support my family financially as well." A tailoring course has helped Jayshree keep her family from falling deeper into poverty. It has enabled her to earn an income and take care of her husband and child.

Because of people like you suporting the Vocational Training Project, Jayshree's future is full of hope. Your gift this Christmas to our Relief and Development programs can give another young woman like Jayshree vocational training. Or it could help families in Thailand generate sustainable income. Or give marketing training to women in Bangladesh to sell their handicrafts. Your ongoing support will ensure that our partners can continue helping vulnerable people in their communities. It will help people like Jayshree fight against inequality and poverty.

Give hope now to her story this Christmas.



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