We have an opportunity to transform the lives of women struggling through poverty. In India, women are often considered second-class citizens and are treated worse than men, even among the rural poor. We have a chance to improve their situation by training them in tailoring skills and business practices. This increases their ability to become economically stable, provide for children, and rely less on parents and husbands, some of whom treat their wives poorly.
There’s a very practical way that you can help, and it involves sewing.
Rural women in India have fewer opportunities due to a lack of economic independence and literacy. We empower women in rural areas with valuable sewing skills so they can earn a respectable living and help their families. Every six months, over sixty women graduate with practical skills in tailoring and training in the basic of how to run a business.
Once a woman graduates from the tailoring program, she will be proficient in treadle (foot-powered) sewing machines. Some even start their own tailoring business from home and earn a daily income that can provide food & basic necessitates for their families.
The Elephant Project partners with our tailoring school graduates to create patterns for stuffed elephant toys. These toys are given out as part of our fundraisers with a plaque detailing the stories of the women in India. The money goes toward maintaining existing tailoring schools, founding new ones in rural communities, and other projects among the rural poor of India. You can help.
If you have a talent for sewing, are a part of a sewing group, or know someone interested, we could use your help. Right now, we have a hundred and fifty uncompleted elephants created by our tailoring graduates sitting on a shelf gathering dust. The original patterns are shipped to us flat with the ears and tail unattached. All they need is a little stuffing and a practiced hand (or hands) to sew these extra pieces onto the elephants. One of the things we have learned from all these zoom meetings is that it doesn’t matter where you are in the United States. If you’re reading this, we need your help.
If you or your group are looking to make a difference with your sewing skills, this project might be right for you. We even have an instructional video we can send to you along with pictures of the women whose lives you’re changing.