Helping community members to participate in health, literacy, and income generation programs, World Renew works through local partnerships to empower community members and give them hope. In one community, women are being given the opportunity to create a better life for their families by learning valuable new skills in weaving.
It is through critically important and strategic partnerships that World Renew is able to offer these life-changing programs. NEICORD (North East India Commission on Relief and Development), our partner in India, works in the city of Shillong, the capital of the state of Meghalaya, and in the rural community of Patarkmah.
In 2000, NEICORD started an Integrated Community Development Project at Patharkhmah, located in the state of Meghalaya. It is here where NIECORD first started self-help groups, which are made up of community members who together manage a community-based micro savings and loans program. In keeping with World Renew’s model of holistic and sustainable development, NEICORD works to train local leaders who will then have a voice in their own community’s development.
The New Hope Federation, founded by World Renew and NEICORD in 2007, is dedicated to working with the Rabha people, an indigenous group with their own language. New Hope seeks to help the Rabha community, particularly women, with education, health, literacy, and livelihood projects.
Since its beginning, New Hope formed a self-help group, which works to improve the financial resources of the community by building critical networks and relationships with government departments and banks. In 2012, New Hope set up their own office in the community, where they train community members to participate in projects.
Their main goal is to improve the livelihoods of community members, especially women, who have very limited employment opportunities. In many parts of India, women have few opportunities for education and often lack financial resources. This lack of opportunity and resources often has a severe negative impact on the health and well-being of their families, especially their children.
In response to this need, New Hope developed a plan to make weaving a source of stable income and employment for women. The community granted New Hope a piece of land to establish a weaving center, which is known as the Common Facilitation Center. The government also provided a grant to help with the building of the center and purchase the necessary machinery needed for production.
Local women take turns working in the center as they receive training in weaving cotton towels, cotton sarees, and wrap arounds – all of which can be sold in the village and local markets. They also weave silk shawls, which are marketed and sold by the center’s silk farming department. The women have enormous pride in their work and in their ability to provide income for their families.
This initiative has been a blessing to the community where it has served to provide income for many women in desperate need of employment. It is through this program that women can use their natural talents in weaving, and they can pass this skill on to future generations.
World Renew, NEICORD, and New Hope Federation are committed to continuing their development work, in the hope that their services can bring positive lasting change to communities in India.