By Grace India

"Their life is saved just like that."

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Asha

What were you doing before you started working here?

I was working with young girls. This was my passion working for women and girls. So I was working with young girls and then I took a break for my second son. And then God opened the doors for me to come here.

 

Were you working in a home for young girls?

No, it was a training center. I used to counsel them and feed them. I counsel the women here one on one too!

 

Do you notice a change in the women after they are here for a while?

Coming here, they know the love of Jesus. Despite their problems and situations at home they know the love of Jesus. God really does miracles in their lives. We have a Scripture portion and we read from a devotional book every morning. On Mondays we have group prayers. We divide ourselves into 5-6 people in a group and we take their personal needs and we pray for them.

 

Do the women stay in the same group?

Yes, for a while, so that they can get to know each other. And during the week I encourage them to pray for each other.

 

Can you tell us about the situations that the women come from?

Mostly just abusive ones. Some of them are unskilled and they wouldn’t have gotten a job anywhere else if not at Daughter’s (of Hope). They were going for house work jobs. Which is a very less pay scale. But this is a dignified job for them. And they’re educated also.

 

Do most of the women have arranged marriages?

Yes, most of them are arranged.

 

How old were you when you got married?
I was 21

 

Who does the arranging?

The parents. That’s why it’s called arranged J Sometimes other relatives are involved but at the end it comes back to the parents and they’re the ones that tell the children. Once the parents agree and accept it you have to do it. The women don’t have a choice. But now the generation has changed. Many have the ability to choose their wives and husbands.

 

What is it like working in the other places that the women come from?

it’s hard. Some of them tell us that there is so much difference in working here compared to there. The managers at the other places use abusive language and men are involved there. Men and women both work together so it’s not a safe environment and they don’t respect them. Pay is good but the other things are not so good. The hours are not good, they work late and on Saturdays.

 

How do the women hear about Daughter’s?

It’s God that’s bringing them, and he gives us the Spirit to choose the right people. For example, you just came today and I don’t know anything about you, but the Spirit says, “she needs this job. We need to take her.” God brings the right people. They aren’t here by accident. After about 2-3 months I start to get to know them and we come to learn that at that particular time, if we hadn’t given them a job, we don’t know what would have happened in their life. Most of them lost their husbands and are single parents with children. And some women wanted to attempt suicide but just happened to walk by and we took them in and their life is saved just like that.

 

So you feel that God really guides?

Yes, yes. It’s all God.

 

What are the age ranges of the women here?
We take women starting from 18 years old because you can not legally hire anyone younger than that. And then 58 is retirement age. But we did have one woman that we just sent off this month who was 60 years old. She was lonely so we kept her for 2 years more than her age because she needed this place but in the end we had to say no. The government gave us a lot of issue.

 

Someone mentioned that the women are all friends here?

Yes! The women used to be against each other with anger and jealousy, but it’s changed.

 

Has counseling influenced that?

Yes! They were not friends and I make them work together and be together and at first they don’t like it, but they can’t say no to me J and for my sake they will do it. I say, “when you don’t show love to one another, it’s not a good environment to work in. When we love Jesus, we need to love one another.”

 

"I love my job. Stitching is my favorite work.”

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Manjula 

What is your birthday?

Nobember 13, 1979

 

What is your favorite color?

Red

 

How long have you been working here?

2 months

 

Do you live nearby?

It’s about one and a half hours away from my house.

 

What’s your favorite part about working here?

I love my job! Stitching is my favorite work.

 

Did you go to school?

I went to school up to the tenth class. After this I didn’t like school. After 4 years of living with my mother and Father I got married and have now been married 18 years.

 

When did you learn to sew?

After marrying I started stitching.

 

Can you tell us about your family?

My husband is an artist. I have one daughter who is going to school and I have one son who is seven years old. The money is going to my children’s studies.

 

What does your daughter hope to be?

She is studying science and wants to be a nurse.

 

How important is it to have a job in order to pay for school?

I need the job to pay for my daughter’s education.

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

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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.