"I work to pay my two boys' expensive school fees."

India_ByGrace_NGO_TaraShupe_Photography_201.jpg

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.

Here are a few facts to help you know Rosamund better:

  • 36 years old (but looks 21)
  • Learned to sew at Lions and has been stitching for less than a year
  • Her nickname is Dima

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.

Until next time,

Kelsey