We all face uncertain times at the moment and issues can feel overwhelming. It can feel important to share stories of hope and community at this time. We'd like to share Lalita's story with you; a woman who has overcome great adversity with the support of this project. Thank you for your role in this project- without your support, women like Lalita may not have the opportunity to reach their own potential.
Lalita is typical of most Dalit women in her community. Traditional values placed her in the role of full-time householder and child rearer while poverty forced her to work in the fields. Not owning land, with no education, daily wage labour and dependent on landlords, caring for her 3 year old son had to come second too often.
However, from donations such as yours, we have helped equip people such as Lalita with the practical knowledge and skills to achieve sustainable increases in their income. We use a variety of methods (different crops, different land, different skills) in order to adapt to different women's situations. Alongside these techniques we teach basic business, finance and saving skills, so that they get the full benefits of their work without being expolited. These methods allow them to increase their household income 4-5 times over. The simplicity of the techniques, once learned, means Lalita has more time to spend with her son.
"I started the mushroom farming group last January to try to leave being a daily labourer. Since then we already had two harvests and we doubed what we invested. While this was good, I wanted to make something that brought me more enjoyment and was working with others more, to have more community. Recently I joined the bangle making group which suits me better.
I feel like I can do things, like I am worth something now. Before I could only write my name. Now I feel like a business woman. I enjoy so much the company of other women. We support each other and I don’t feel lonely any more. My husband supports me with my businesses and I’m so glad I can see my friends and collaborate with them. I used to be so lonely before! I make decisions for muself and my family instead of them being made for me."
Thank you again for your continued support of this project and of women like Lalita. We hope you are taking care of yourselves and we hope out of these challenging times, will come an even greater sense of community. Thank you for being a part of our community.
With warm wishes and gratitude,