When I first saw her, she averted her eyes. But as she looked down she smiled. In her smile there were clearly stories. As I went to introduce myself, she slowly raised her head to make eye contact. When I introduced myself she replied meekly but in perfect English, “My name is Rosamund.” She hugged me quickly, then scurried off to attend to her work.
While visiting our partners at Lions in Four, Rosamund served as our translator and guide. However, when she wasn’t serving as our ears and mouthpiece, she flitted about the workshop, the kitchen and the grounds—always looking for something to do. Rosamund is by far the hardest worker I’ve ever observed. When I asked her why she never took a break, she told me it is because she likes to work hard. She is a mother to two and she told us that she “work[s] to pay [her] two boys' expensive school fees to give them a better life.” Her heart is in the right place and it is so obvious in her actions.
The Lions workshop is run by Sister V, and when she came into the room, Rosamund seemed to breathe for the first time all day. She stood a little straighter and set about her tasks with a newfound ease. When we later asked her if she likes sewing, Rosamund told us: “I do, but I am not too sure of it. It is new to me. But with Sister V here, Sister V gives us our confidence.”
Not sure about you, but I’d really like to be Sister V. That is the absolute best Yelp review I’ve ever heard. But something about her comment stung me. Rosamund’s comfort wasn’t from within. She did not seem to acknowledge the incredible woman she was, without the assistance or affirmation from someone whom she considers to be superior. That’s one of the goals of By Grace though, to mentor these women, to provide them with opportunities that dignify them; to help them believe in themselves as strong, independent, fully capable, talented women.
Rosamund is the reason we do what she do. Her work ethic inspires me, and I hope to inspire her to love and trust in herself and her abilities.
Learn more about Rosamund's story below:
What is your favorite color?
I really like white and black. They are my favorite colors.
What is your birthday?
September 7, 1976
What is your favorite Bible verse?
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you always.”
Why do you love that one?
Sometimes we are really afraid to go somewhere or do something. Before I go anywhere, I read the Bible and then I go. Then I am not afraid. It strengthens me.
How long have you worked here?
I have worked here 2 months. Before this I worked at an orphanage adoption center as a social worker.
When did you learn to sew?
I have never worked in tailoring before, but I started to learn when I got here. I learned from Manjula and her sister.
Do you enjoy working here?
Yes! Everyone is very nice to interact with
Is finding a good job difficult?
Yes of course
Do you have kids?
Yes! My husband is a farmer and I have two children. Both are boys. The first one is in 12th grade and the second is 8th grade. They are in higher education.
Are their school fees expensive?
Yes. After 12th grade they go to college.
Does your work here pay for the school fees?
Yes. I want to see my children in a good job.
What do your kids want to be?
One son wants to go to the Army. After 12th grade he will go to National Defense Academy. After that he will go to the Army.
What was it like to grow up in India?
I think India now has more job opportunities. You don’t have to just farm. There is much more movement between states too because of work. India is growing.
Do many women work?
Yes, most women now go to work. It’s better for their family if both the father and the mother work. If only one parent is working, it’s not enough to afford education and basic needs. Kids go to school, so if the mom stays at home much time is wasted.
What do you do in your free time?
I don’t have free time. I come to work and then I go home and have two children.