Throughout his ministry, Christ showed a compassion for women that was highly unusual for his culture, and our partners are echoing that heart two thousand years later.
World Challenge’s partners in one closed country in the Middle East have initiated nine new training centers for women. If they choose to join the classes, women will complete six-months training courses on tailoring and how to create all kinds of clothes and hosiery. This will give them an opportunity to earn additional income for their families, and this is particularly important for women in rural areas. They are the most suppressed group and have fewer opportunities to get a good education.
The team started reaching village women through the sewing classes. These vocation centers are working as a platform for the women, where they are not only obtaining skills but also go through very important health training.
In the last few months, 120 women have completed the six-months sewing course in nine villages.
Learning A New Way to Live
One woman who is part of the class testified, “My husband works in a factory. It is very difficult to cover the household expenses with the income of one person because of high inflation and prices growing in our country.
“I didn’t have any skill that could be used for income. I heard that some organization was starting a sewing center in our village. Like the other girls of my village, I also signed up for this sewing center. I am very happy to learn stitching; I know this skill will be helpful for all of us here because we all face difficulties in life. Now with this skill, we will be able to overcome these hardships.
“As for myself, I am very interested in stitching work, and I am doing well in all of my tests. Our teacher also appreciates my work, and I stitch clothes for myself and my husband. My plan is to learn how to sew hosiery so I can start my own business and produce undergarments for women.
“I see that some of the girls in the sewing center are struggling a lot, but I always encourage them and tell them that these skills will be helpful for them in the future. I am very thankful that there is someone who is thinking about our development. Thank you so much!”
Saving the Mothers and Children
While these sewing classes are providing a practical way for women to add to their families’ incomes, the team is also taking this opportunity to offer them vital health training in the form of BLiSS (Birth Life Saving Skills).
Several Middle Eastern countries have some of the highest rates of mothers who die in childbirth, mostly from unsanitary conditions and lack of education on how to handle birthing complications. Some areas have the highest childbirth mortality rates in the world where as many as one in every eight women die with their newborn infant. The team worked together with Medical Ambassadors to come up with a training that would help women in even remote villages with limited supplies take action to protect themselves from labor complications.
The husband’s part of the classes trains men to recognize potential issues during a birth and what they can do to intervene. This has helped many men move their worldview away from “Enshala, I can always get another wife” and closer to “God has provided a way to save my wife and baby.”
As a result, many women and children’s lives have been saved already, and it has opened many doors for the good news in an otherwise very closed land!