Indian Christians from rural areas are often poor and face discrimination because of their faith, particularly in the area of job opportunities. But with your help, Open Doors is working through our local partners to provide vocational training so our brothers and sisters can earn an income and provide for their families.
Richa is a tailoring teacher who works in one of 15 small training centres set up across India to teach persecuted women tailoring skills. “We equip the women by training them in skills like tailoring and embroidery,” she says. “After getting trained they can either work professionally in shops or open their own boutique. It’s a six-month course and by the time they finish, they are trained enough to stitch a variety of Indian clothing.”
Kavitha recently completed her training at the centre. Her eyes twinkling, she shares, “When the teacher informed us about starting a sewing centre I immediately joined. I am so grateful that today I am able to stitch not only for myself but also for my child and other family members.”
Lalita’s voice softens as she explains how desperately she needed this training. “I have three children and our livelihood depends solely on my husband, who is a daily wages labour. After becoming Christians, we have been socially boycotted and discriminated against in our community. I am not well educated and so I could only work as a domestic helper, which doesn’t pay well. Now, thankfully, I can be a professional tailor and earn to support my family.”
Rita is another beneficiary of the tailoring course. She shares her challenges sadly. “I come from a very poor family. We are socially boycotted in our community because of our Christian faith. We are not given equal opportunities to work even as daily wages workers in our village. Our ration card (an official document by the government that enables the poorest families to purchase basic food items at subsidised rates) was also dismissed after we became Christians and we were very discouraged.
“I then came to know about this tailoring centre. I attended the classes regularly and I have learnt a lot. I am so thankful to Open Doors partners for this opportunity. Tailoring classes are very expensive everywhere else but here I am learning for free.”
As well as teaching valuable skills, the centres also have another purpose. “We also want to strengthen these women spiritually,” explains Richa. “Before the classes begin, we have a small fellowship where we share from the word and pray for concerns.”
“I have been learning tailoring and embroidery for the last four months in this centre,” says Devika, another trainee. “Apart from the practical skills I am acquiring here, I am also blessed spiritually. We pray, sing and learn from the word. We feel so strengthened.”
- Ask God to bless each woman taking part in this training so she can use her new skills to earn a better income
- For wisdom for Open Doors partners running these projects. Ask God to expand their reach so that more women can be strengthened through projects like this.