In the forested tribal areas in and around Odesha (formerly Orissa) the people are very poor and most earn a living from selling produce from the forest. The teenage girls receive little education and find it difficult to earn a living.
Funded by Friends of TREAD, in 2001 TREAD India Trust set up the Grace Tailoring Centre in Podia, Odesha aimed at girls, aged 14-25, who have left school and are either unemployed or scratching a living from the land. This fully-equipped workshop runs a 12-month course operating six days a week with room for up to 20 girls each year trained by a qualified team of instructors. It costs £300 per student to run this course for 14 or more girls and this covers materials, use of equipment, tutors, accommodation and food for those girls who board.
At the end of the course, the girls use the samples to demonstrate their work as they begin trading and TREAD India Trust presents each girl with her own sewing machine. Each treadle sewing machine costs £60. She will have a skill for life so will always be able to earn a living and her chances of making a good marriage will be greatly improved.
We welcome all donations however big or small, whether one-off gifts or regular monthly donations. The regular giving is helpful as it enables us to plan ahead more easily and sponsors can be linked with a student each year if they wish.
November 2017 update: The new course for the Grace Tailoring centre recently began and 17 girls have now arrived. 14 students were expected but 2 more arrived and desperately needed places here as they had been persecuted in their home village for their faith. Then another girl from a local village has just been allocated a place. Friends of TREAD have agreed to fund these extra girls despite not having that number of sponsors and hope to attract more people to sponsor these students. The numbers of boarders this year has risen from 7 to 14 so costs are significantly higher this year. Take a look at our blog Postcards from India to see photos of the girls and their parents.
It costs just £300 for this one year full training course including boarding accommodation ie £25 per month. Please would you circulate this amongst friends and acquaintances who might like to give these girls hope and a new future!