2018 Grant Recipient: She Is Safe
for November 11, 2018
Today, we are sharing an update from our partners with She Is Safe, an organization equipping and empowering thousands of girls and women in India who are at extraordinary risk of exploitation. Through a $50,000 grant, She Is Safe has implemented a new Transformation Group to train and support local groups of women to create savings and loan programs, develop literacy, leadership and livelihood.
Gita* was taught that her destiny was determined before she was born. Dalit baby girls in India face a future of poverty, abuse, discrimination and slavery. Most slaves in India are from this outcast group. She would most likely grow up to marry a man arranged for her, cook, clean, have his babies and live a life of uncertainty. If her husband died and she had no education, money or social status, she essentially would become invisible. Trapped. Vulnerable to loan sharks, or worse.
From the time Gita’s father died when she was 10, she watched her mother, Sathya*, clean the houses of others in order to put a small amount of food on the table each day.
Gita, like millions of other impoverished girls are among the world’s most likely to be sold. Equipping her mother with opportunities so that her family can eat well and her children can be in a good school will place Gita and her siblings on a new path.
To establish a She Is Safe learning and lending group, aka Transformation Group (TG), our country director works with local groups to identify potential women leaders who will be trained to plant and nurture groups of 12-20 women in a given community. We often look to local churches to identify women with leadership potential. Orientation, training and prayer begins, as those leaders start sharing with women who might be eager to learn, save and work hard acquiring skills. Sathya was one of the vulnerable women that She Is Safe loves to equip.
In Sathya’s situation, she knew she needed real, immediate help. And she knew she would have to work for it. She joined the Transformation Group in her village where she took literacy lessons equipping her to read and write. She heard Bible stories about women who overcame hardship. From her group savings, Sathya received a loan to invest in a home-based fish farming business. In a short time, her business proved successful. The profits paved the way for her daughter’s future. Gita now attends a good school providing her with a quality education. Now mom and daughter dream together about the day Gita begins medical school. Their future is no longer determined by gender, caste or marital status. Sathya helped herself and her family with the support of her new family of Transformation Group sisters.
*She Is Safe uses representative names to preserve the dignity of girls and women we serve.
To learn more about the work being accomplished by She Is Safe in India and in other countries including Indonesia, Middle East, Myanmar, Nepal, and South Sudan, visit their website at sheissafe.org/work. And, for more information on the prevalence of slavery and exploitation throughout the world, click below to read an article from the Wall Street Journal which specifically addresses the conditions of modern slavery in India.