Women Empowerment in Jaipur: How Women Fell in Love with Sewing

Claire Herbert came to India to work on women empowerment in Jaipur, organized by Iko Poran. She brought sewing machines and when she started teaching women to make sanitary napkins, she found out, how women fell in love with sewing.

When Claire first read about the women empowerment project in India, she soon realized, that this was really what she wanted to do. Even if she had never traveled to such a distant country before, she made up her mind and came to Jaipur. She simply wanted to do something meaningful, where she could make most of her knowlegde and help the women in Jaipur to learn something they really wanted to. Claire started teaching English at the first place, but when the sewing machines arrived, that was so much more interesting for the women…

Watch Claire’s interview below.

Interview with Claire Herbert, about here experience in Jaipur:

Claire, can you tell me, why did you come to India?

Claire: I came to India, because I thought it was a country that had the most of what I could offer. It was so much equity to India, I never traveled this far and I have never been to India before. But when I looked in to the program, and I read the description, and I was send the powerpoint, I got a full view of what I was seeing here. And I realized, this was exactly, what I wanted to do. If I had done an orphanate job, or something else, it would have been anywhere as meaningful.

What project did you choose, and what have you done during your project?

My project was the Women Empowerment project at the public school in Jaipur. That women empowerment project is designed to help women who have nothing, illiterate, and have no opportunity going outside of their home. So bring them here, teach them what it is, they want to learn. We started with just English, but as we got a couple of sewing machines here, that I had sent here, we changed our plan, and I was started, doing an hour of… or two hours of English each day, but we switched it to one hours of English and one hours of sewing. Once they learned sewing, they wanted to do sewing all the time. (laughs) But I still kept English for just a few of them, that really could use the English as well.

How has been your experience with them?

Boy, my experience with the group is probably beyond what I could have been expected. I think, it’s not just coming to the project every day to work, but staying with the host family was key for me. Uhm, I had the ability to stay with a host family that basically adopted me, and made me a member of the family. The accommodated every request, they also said, I was the queen of the family.

My last question, Claire, please can you tell me three ways to describe, the India, that you’ve seeing here?

The India that is here, or…

that you have seen…

That I have seen? Just chaos, is one. But I would say, quite beauty, another, that’s just two words, but that’s too bad. Because there is beauty in every heart and in every corner, but there is just só much to discover. I think, also, embracing the culture, and expected it to be chaotic, there is so much beauty around.

Feel inspired to work on Women Empowerment in Jaipur?

Visit the women empowerment project in India or go to the page with the full information about volunteering in India, and proceed with your application.

You might also like to read some more testimonials, of volunteers in India, who worked with women empowerment as well:

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