There's this young woman I know; I'm going to call her Linda, but that isn't her real name. I've known her since she was a tiny little thing, when her family joined our church, and it has been delightful watching Linda and her siblings grow up. Her mom is a free spirit who has had a harder life than many, but that doesn't seem to get in her way. She's the kind of friend I can ask if I'm too old to wear jeggings and trust her for a truthful answer. (I'm not.)
Anyway, back to Linda, who graduated college recently with a degree in business and is the kind of terrific kid who landed a good job and did well at it. But over the summer I began to hear that Linda was heading to India. India! I was astonished. Seems she has read a great deal about the oppression women face in that country and was determined to do something about it. Linda did her research and determined that the Sambhali Trust was the organization that matched her ideals and a month or so ago she went off, all by herself, to India where she knew no one, but was determined to make a difference.
I've been reading the reports she's been sending home and am excited at how she is settling in, making friends with other volunteers, diligently working at her assigned tasks. She is determined to make a difference in the lives of some Indian women.
This morning she wrote "Currently, about 40 women in the empowerment centers are in need of sewing machines. After the women complete their sewing class, they are to receive sewing machines to bring home, so that they can begin to save money and earn a sustainable income. They would be using their new skills to make clothes for their family in addition to making clothes to sell. Each sewing machines costs about 3900 rupees (about $65) and right now, we need 40 of them. As a grassroots organization, Sambhali needs to fundraise to support any new project. Right now, we are developing a fundraising campaign to secure that funding. " She went on to say that half of the needed sewing machines had been procured.
Friends, what could I do? You know what a difference having a sewing machine has made in my own life; I could only imagine what one would mean for one of these women. I wrote to my Circle sisters from church, telling them what Linda had written and that I was in for $65 to buy one sewing machine and wondered if we could take that amount from Circle outreach funds to purchase a second one.
It's been a couple of hours since I wrote. As of now six women from the Circle are each funding one sewing machine and in all likelihood we'll manage another one or two.
Sometimes we make a direct difference. This time we are empowering one wonderful young woman to empower 40 of her new sisters in India.