I have known Malina since 2008, a young beautiful woman that has had a very hard life. “I felt trapped, I had fear to speak, I saw many bad things in my work place…my life was not my own”, she said.
I realized her compassionate heart when I came to know she had taken in 2 young girls to care for just like her own. By faith I stepped in when her donor had suddenly passed away a few years ago.
Once she had developed the courage to finally leave her job after 10 years, she was able to see the tremendous needs around her in their village. We talked almost daily about her vision to help these depressed & suicidal girls, abused women and homeless widows. “I found freedom Auntie, now I want to see other women free too!”
I’ve been to India many times, but this was different. I went with a vision and a plan. I brought a friend with me who is a seamstress.
I knew that Malina had sewing skills and so we collaborated on creating a line of scarves and hand bags from fashion to fitness styles; A brand that we believed could sell well in America. The vision grew clearer as we talked and sewed and walked through her village streets.
We saw that the needs were overwhelming and so we planned how we could do something right away.
Since our trip in March 2018 it’s been a roller coaster ride! Malina has been inviting women and girls into her home for a meal and a lot of love. She knows that by connecting in this way they will learn to trust her. We’ve helped her provide physio therapy and medical treatments, buy bedding and personal items, and extra funds for food for the homeless women. The village people are seeing this, and they love it. “It’s growing and I want to do so much more”! She said… Smiles of hope are there now.
She let me know about a plot of land adjacent to their home that’s for sale. It was a dream to imagine a community center for these women right here in the village. We talked to the land owner and the planning hasn’t stopped! It’s a huge vision and we realize we can’t do it alone.
Through many video meetings we talked, planned and scribbled our thoughts and ideas about how this could look. The Jivan Freedom Center was birthed!
“Jivan”, meaning Life and freedom- A community center that will provide a place for women and girls to come and feel safe and loved, to learn a skill, heal, have a meal, connect and ultimately earn a livable income.
Our focus is to support, empower and elevate women to live a life of freedom and earn a sustainable living wage through sewing.
We’ve learned that giving a woman the opportunity to gain job skills and find a long term career is the pathway to freedom. But there’s so much more we want to do. We believe that we need to break the cycle of suicide, abuse, sex trade, child marriage and hopeless poverty