On the 23rd of August, I visited the Sewing New Futures Centre in Najafgarh to conduct a workshop with the kiddos (ages 10-14). I LOVED every minute of it! The energy, the excitement, the visible joy on the faces of the kids and the pride they took in designing their own earrings provided me a high which I am SURE no other substance or experience could replicate.
I met Kristin back in March at a conference called “The Coalition” organized by OML. She was one of the attendees who was asked to speak a bit about a project that made me feel like I desperately wanted to be a part of, in whatever way I could be. This project goes by the name of “Sewing New Futures”
Sewing New Futures can best be described as a social enterprise based on a ‘for – profit business model’, (NOT a charity or an NGO) SNF works on economically empowering women who belong to a scheduled caste that practices intergenerational prostitution.
“Because of the stigma attached to their caste status, they have been unable to get traditional jobs throughout the years. In order to survive they marry their daughters once they reach puberty and their families then force them into prostitution as a way to provide for the family.”
The SNF Trust works towards mentoring and motivating women through a 3 month vocational training program, thereby giving them a skill set which would provide them with an alternative source of income.
HOW do they do this?
They take on trainees which get a per month stipend and the training program includes a day care facility (which provides the kiddos with informal an informal education – the dropout rate from school is quite high because of the stigma attached to their caste) recreational activities and workshops on financial planning and health and legal rights (apart from super fun shiny happy earring making ones). Once they complete the training course, they are offered full time employment by SNF Pvt. Ltd. Profits made by the company are re invested to expand operations (thus positively impacting MORE LIVES – WE LOVE LONG TERM SOLUTIONS!)
WHAT DO THEY SELL?
The products they sell include bags, scarves, stoles and wall hangings, all hand sewn by the lovely ladies of course!
HOW CAN YOU HELP???
They’re currently working on raising funds which will go towards training 50 women by the end of 2014!
To find out MORE about how YOU can help – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sewing-new-futures (even a 10 dollar contribution helps guys!)
Kristin’s awesome and won’t stop at anything to make sure she has the means to train these girls and empowering them and providing an alternative livelihood for teenage girls and women of this community . Here’s her take on the ALS ice bucket challenge – the masala pani challenge.
Find out more about the organization: http://sewnewfutures.com/about/
SIX pairs of earrings designed by the kids in day care are up for grabs on www.funkanatomy.com Proceeds from the sales of these earrings go towards the SNF trust. Grab ‘em while you can!
Just type in “SNF” in the Search bar in the top right hand corner of the page to take a look at the earrings available!