Meet Chandni, one of 8 girls in our Sewing Training Program.
Chandni is just 13 years old and has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Growing up in the slums, she has completed only a few years of formal education. It's estimated that only 8% of people in India successfully complete high school due to poverty. Chandni hasn't been able to stay in school consistently because she has to work to help her family make ends meet.
Sharing a home in a Kolkata slum with her mother and younger sister, Chandni cuts out pieces of rubber that eventually become the strap on a flip flop. She and her sister work as many hours a day as they can, cutting the pieces out. The most they can make each day is 50 rupees...less than $1.
Chandni's father passed away, and her mother works 6 days a week in a shoe factory from morning until late in the evening. Her mother makes just $30 per month in the factory, and her long work hours leave Chandni and her sister alone and vulnerable most of the time.
Chandni hopes for a way out of the slum and the ability to help provide a better life for her family. At 13, she has more motivation and drive than most adults. By sewing and selling just one garment, she'll make 4 times the amount she makes cutting out flip flop straps in a day.
Recently, we were invited to visit Chandni in her home and interview her on video. We're so inspired by Chandni's strength! Check out the video!
Read more below about the Sewing Training that Chandni is part of. It's in partnership with Tabitha's Heart in Kolkata and is part of our Career Pathways Program. We can't wait to see the results of this program!