Jadia stood in her home, contemplating once again the financial struggles of her family. What can I do to help? Her eyes glanced across the room and rested on her sewing machine. She knew it held the potential to help stabilize her family’s income, but all it did now was occasionally mend a seam or two of their old clothes. Mostly, it collected dust and sat as a reminder to Jadia of what could be—if only she could somehow be trained as a tailor.
Jadia’s family needed help. Her husband, Safna, poured himself into his job as a driver, but the money he earned did not cover his small family’s needs, no matter how economically Jadia ran the home. Their 8-year-old son was already enrolled in GFA’s Bridge of Hope Program, which meant he received a free daily meal, school supplies, medical checkups and many gifts for everyday use; but even so, the family struggled with their bills.
The 37-year-old housewife eagerly desired to help her husband provide for the family, but she didn’t know what to do. Jadia had completed her schooling as a child—unlike two thirds of all girls in low-income nations who drop out before completing their secondary education—but she still lacked good options for earning money.1
She was fortunate enough to own a sewing machine, yet she had never been taught how to sew clothes. The only tailoring classes were located at a distant market, impossibly far for her to go for regular training.
Safna and Jadia loved Jesus and worshiped Him regularly with other believers in their area. Their financial hardships led Jadia to her knees in prayer, asking God to provide a way for her to earn additional income. Soon, they saw His answer.
Jadia learned of new tailoring classes being organized at her son’s Bridge of Hope center. Finally, she had a chance to learn a trade and help sustain her family! She excitedly approached the staff at the Bridge of Hope center and shared about her interest in tailoring.
On the first day of class, Jadia sat happily among the other women. Her eagerness to learn, combined with her natural aptitude for sewing, helped her to quickly grasp each lesson. She learned how to take measurements properly and sew different stiches. Ignoring any distracting conversations, she paid close attention in class and diligently performed the practice work at home.
By the end of the six-month training, Jadia was a capable seamstress and could sew all types of ladies’ clothes. Her confidence increased, and she began telling her neighbors about her new business. They were very pleased with her work—and with her affordable pricing—and she soon became well known in her area for her skill! Even the Bridge of Hope staff requested her services.
Jadia’s sewing machine doesn’t have time to collect dust anymore; it is busy earning her about the equivalent to $35–$40 USD dollars a month, which is a substantial help to her family. She is able to use her income for her son’s needs, her church tithes and household needs.
“It was my desire to do something for my family,” Jadia remembers from her days of wondering how to help her husband. “But now I am able to do it.”
“It was my desire to do something for my family. But now I am able to do it.” —Jadia
Safna’s heart swells with pride at his wife’s accomplishments and gratitude for the help she received in order to gain her new skill. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, Jadia is fulfilling her potential and working hard to care for her husband and son.
“She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. … Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her …” —Proverbs 31:24–25, 28
Jadia wanted to work hard, but she lacked an outlet for her diligence—until she learned to sew and could better utilize the sewing machine she owned.
Millions of women like Jadia are also searching for a way they can earn an income for their families. In desperation, many turn to manual labor. On average, 40 percent of the agricultural workforce in developing nations is comprised of women.2 One in-depth study by Science Direct comments how “the demands of agriculture and subsistence activities on women’s time, on top of their already heavy work burdens of domestic work and child care, often end up undermining their well-being.”3
Working in the fields also puts them at greater risk of assault and injury. Yet despite their hard work, women in many nations are often paid less than their male counterparts. In 33 mainly developed countries, women’s wages averaged just 74 percent of men’s in 2003–2006.4
In 2018, more than 8,800 families received a sewing machine to help bring them out of poverty!
Running a tailoring shop from home is a different story. A woman can sew from the safety of her home while watching over her children, and because she is her own boss, her earnings are not affected by any societal prejudices against women.
Thousands of women have learned how to sew through free tailoring classes offered by GFA-supported workers. After completing their training, many who did not yet have a sewing machine received one as a graduation gift. In 2018, more than 8,800 families received a sewing machine to help bring them out of poverty!
You can help more women like Jadia gain the training or tools they need to start their own tailoring business. By providing vocational training or a durable sewing machine, you’ll help a woman live out her potential and give a family a source of income for years to come!
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.Previous Article Next Article
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