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.
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!