We have shared with you about the Khusi Hona Lotus Center and how we are working toward empowering women without creating dependency, but rather fostering independence. This will create the opportunity to use this work as a launching pad to realizing their own visions and goals through the creation of micro-businesses, more formalized education, and/or other future endeavors of their choosing.
Nazima who prefers to be called Naaz came to us by chance, we had spent considerable time trying to foster relationships to identify a tailoring teacher for the center. After our first teacher didn’t show up for work, Naaz came to us by introduction of the sewing machine suppliers we had been purchasing our class equipment from. We knew she was a good fit from the beginning, we hired her on the spot and she has shown up for work everyday since with a smile on her face.
Here is a brief interview with Naaz about her experience at the Khusi Hona Lotus Center:
What’s your name?
How old are you?
Where do you live?
Margao, Goa where I was born and raised.
What were you doing prior to joining Khusi Hona?
I was trying to teach tailoring out of the house and helped out my sister around their shop.
What do you want to do in the future?
Own a business and teach tailoring.
Do you want to work for somebody or want to own your own business?
If I can have a good combination of both then that would be perfect.
How did you hear about the Lotus center?
The sewing machine shop where I frequent, asked me to come by and check out the center. They had recently put in 3 large sewing machines at the Lotus Center.
Why did you want to join?
First I had a passion for becoming a teacher and after my divorce it had become a dream to be more than what people expect out of me. As a divorced Muslim woman opportunities are far and few, I am not part of the norm and this ostracizes me from my community. This opportunity at the Lotus Center sets aside what the community thinks of me and helps my career plans for the future.
What do you like about the center?
The people are happy and jolly and treat us like family. There is no distinction between staff and boss.
Which do you enjoy more the beading or the tailoring?
I am the teacher so tailoring is where I find my joy.
What do you want to gain from your experience at Khusi Hona?
An opportunity to learn so I can start my own business in the future by access to improving and expanding my skill set.
Do you think that there is a in the opportunity disparity you face when applying for a job when compared to men?
Not really because I am confident and if I show that I am scared then immediately the table would be turned.
We currently have 9 women in our program, each from a different background. The unifying factor for each is that access to opportunities in a nation of 1.3 billion people can be challenging to secure, especially for women like Naaz. A divorced, single mother from a very conservative community. We are not only providing a safe space to come and learn and grow, but even providing employment and leadership opportunities for women that may have no other options.
It’s our goal to raise one month tailor teaching salary for Naaz. $150 covers her salary for one full month at the Khusi Hona Lotus Center. Without support for each of the women in our program we are unable to provide the support and opportunities they require as an outlet for their skills and motivation. If we go over our projected salary expenses, all funds will go directly towards future salary payments. Click here to learn more.
Remember, 100% of this donation goes directly to sponsoring women empowerment programs!