Biggest Graduation Season Yet!
This year we had the largest graduating class yet! There were 1,356 graduates across three different nations! That means that 1,356 individuals now have marketable skills to be self sustained; some even self employed. Many of these graduates are escaping a life of poverty, homelessness, and abuse. Through your generosity and God’s faithfulness all of the graduates have the opportunity to dream again, to hope again, and to strive for the future they have always dreamed of. Some graduates were trained in sewing, hair dressing, soap making and other generalized business programs. Others completed classes at our high tech vocational school where they learned film editing, and other essential computer skills. We are so proud of all of the graduates, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them!
My name is Ramila Tamang. I am 28 years old. My husband and I came to the city from a very remote hill 7 years ago when our eldest son was 1-year-old. My husband worked as a tractor driver and I worked for a family cleaning the house and taking care of their children. Two years later our second boy was born and I became busy taking care of my own boys at our rented room.
Our small family was running well at that time. Slowly time changed, my husband rarely visited us from his work. He also stopped giving us money to buy food and clothes for the children. After a few weeks, he stopped visiting us. It’s now been 4 years and he is still not with us and I am taking care of my two boys on my own. Later I found out that my husband got remarried and started to live in another town.
For the last 3 years, I have been struggling to feed my children and pay the house rent. I could not send my children to school either. It’s been so frustrating for me. I wanted to commit suicide but I could not do that to my children.
When I heard of the free sewing training in our area I wanted to join the training and wanted to learn the skills. I thought, if I have training and sewing skills, I can work in shops and can get some money to buy food for my family and send my children to school.
I joined the training for 6 months & learnt the different skills. I have learned 21 different kinds of designs, attained the family business training, and got a loan to start my own business. Now I am going to start a new sewing business very soon as I am arranging the things.
Now, I have a hope that I will earn some money locally and can feed my children and send them to school. Thank you for giving me hope in my life!
Sewing for Self-Sufficiency
Pinki Tamang is a 20-year-old Nepalese woman who is determined to provide a better life for her family. Her husband is a taxi driver in Kathmandu, but his job doesn't pay well. Despite working day and night, he still struggles to make ends meet and is often left with almost nothing in his pocket, as most of his earnings go to his taxi-owner. Unfortunately, his financial struggles have led him to turn to gambling and alcoholism, creating a difficult situation for Pinki and their young son.
However, Pinki is not one to give up easily. She has decided to take matters into her own hands and learn tailoring skills to start her own business. Pinki has already shown great skill in her sewing classes and is eager to make her dream a reality. She hopes that her business will not only provide a better life for her family, but also serve as an example for her son of the true value of hard work.
While Pinki is confident in her abilities, she knows that she will need some financial support to make her business a reality. With the help of our sewing school, Pinki and other at-risk women in Nepal are given the opportunity to gain valuable skills and start their own businesses. By supporting our sewing school, you are not only helping Pinki and her family, but also empowering women in Nepal to become independent and self-sufficient.
Sewing the Seeds of Success
When Priya’s father broke both legs, her family didn’t know how they would make ends meet. As a professional tailor, she is now able to provide for her three siblings. You don’t want to miss Priya’s smile as she and her friend proudly tell their stories.
Our Largetst Graduation Event Ever
When the Elevate program launched in 2019, there were 15 students. This month, 120 students graduated with another 180 students expected to graduate in January!
In addition to Elevate graduates, The School of Purpose graduated 50 students making this the biggest graduation event in Impact Nations history.
An Inspiration for all Women
205 New Students!
In Uganda, 105 students from the sluims of Kampala have begun their journey into digital skills. The Elevate program will empower them with skills like photography, videography, web design, graphic design, and more. Each of the students is mentored in business management as well as personal finances. When they graduate, they will be able to start their own small business or get a job or internship with an established business.
Meanwhile, The Remnant Generation has begun their School of Purpose to provide skills like baking, catering, sewing, and more to teenage girls who are at risk or have been exposed to sexual violence in their communities.
An Encouragement to all Women
The Impact Nations family recently provided for 10 women to get trained as welders in Nepal. Even though this has traditionally been a "man's job", these women can't wait to become the best. Bipana has already started her training and wants to share her story.
Learning to Provide
India - The Sewing Center has been a ray of hope for many girls in India. When the school was closed during the lockdown, many girls had to leave their courses before completion. But when the government gave us permission to reopen the centers, we quickly went to the slum to give the good news. Everyone was happy to hear this and we met many new families who had moved here during the lockdown period. Many of these families were migrants who were stopped on their way back home. These families stopped here and are trying to start a new life here.
Among the new students is a woman named Sangeeta. She was travelling with her husband and three children from Amritsar to Bihar. They were travelling with a large group and were attacked by the police near Chandigarh. The police stopped them from going any further and brutally beat them. Sangeeta's husband was beaten. While trying to run he met with an accident and injured his knee badly. He had to get a surgery and was told that he could not work for a year or more.
The responsibility of her husband’s treatment and feeding the whole family came on Sangeeta. Due to her inexperience, she found it very difficult to keep a job as a maid. Eventually, after losing several jobs, she found work in three shops as a cleaner but that was not enough for medical and food expenses.
As a child, her mother had taught her some stitching but with time she forgot all about it. As the other women from the slum told her about the Sewing Center, she was eager to learn stitching and become self-dependent. Now she is learning stitching in our center with a hope that this new skill will help her feed her whole family. While feeding her whole family she’ll also be able to live with dignity and respect.
When we met Katie, she was sleeping in a dilapidated house made out of old iron sheets. Her family had chased her away from home when she gave birth. She was forced to stay with the father of her child but he disappeared after just one month leaving Katie and her daughter in a rented house.
Katie couldn’t afford to pay the rent; her landlord took the few household items she had and threw her out of the house. Katie was homeless for a few days until she found some old iron sheets to erect a temporary shelter. Whenever it rained, Katie would hold her child and stay standing all night because her “house” flooded.
Katie heard about our partners, The Remnant Generation, through a friend. She came to their offices and asked to join the School of Purpose. But after their social workers conducted the home visit, they realized she also needed to be rescued; she was brought to the Princess Shelter with her baby.
Katie is now learning tailoring as her main course. She has also been working hard in the catering class and crafts making class.
Recently, the girls came up with an idea to sell crafts at local churches each Sunday. They have been working hard to make beautiful pieces. Katie always has the highest number of pieces. Her hard work is paying off. Every time they are ready to split the profits, she gets paid more than anyone else.
Katie is also very active in catering. She and a group of five other students are providing catering services. Our Business Development Manager identifies opportunities for these girls to do business and the feedback from clients has been very good. The girls recently secured their first major venture, catering a wedding with over 300 guests!
Katie’s dream is to start a restaurant that also provides outside catering services. She also wants to develop her fashion design skills. She wants to give her baby a beautiful future.
September 2020: Business Training for Teachers
Pastor Deo did his best to provide for the teachers of Treasured Kids Elementary School during the pandemic. When the school closed, he still found a way to pay the teachers and even went so far as to provide them with food. Recognizing that this is not sustainable, Deo has committed to providing the staff with an opportunity to flourish without their teachers' salary.
Impact Nations is partnering with Kosovo Community Sacco (Savings and Credit Co-operative) to provide the teachers and other members of the community with the Alternativ basic business training. Once their training is complete, graduates will receive start-up capital from our friends at Children Arise Ministries.
August 2020: Perseverence in Uganda
Entrepreneurs in Uganda who received micro loans in January have struggled to keep their businesses alive through lockdown, but they made it. Now, with restrictions slowly lifting, they are regaining their customer base. The slow market during the lockdown months forced them to diversify and now many of them are making better money because of their expanded inventory.
"I am one of the entrepreneurs that delayed starting a business because money was not enough to start a stationery shop as I had planned but in the process I got a new idea of selling popcorns because there was no one making them in Kalonga. I bought the charcoal Popcorn machine and remained with only 60,000Shs to rent a place and to buy supplies. I decided to work from a friend’s front door and used the 60,000shs to buy supplies and started business. I was overwhelmed by customers and by the time of lock down almost everyone in Kalonga knew about my business, I continued making Popcorns inside my house and people still came for them because they are affordable (starting at 500Shs a person can have some to eat) . I make between 10,000shs to 20,000shs profit per day. In a period of 4months, I bought a second Charcoal popcorn machine and also completed my group savings."
January 2020: INDIA
India - Three of our Alternativ Basic Business trainers traveled from Nepal to India to introduce this vital curriculum to our India Sewing Center. This will expand the vision and potential for women in India; just like it has in Uganda and Nepal. After becoming empowered by the business training, many women have a dream to start their own business. Small loans give these entrepreneurs the boost that they need to to become self-sufficient.
This train-the-trainer course provided business training for 36 students, ranging from age 15 to 51. At the same time, six facilitators were equipped to bring the material to future students.
One of the trainers reported, "There is a mother of five here who brings her babe in arms and 9 year old daughter. The 9 year old is doing all the workbook activities and answering questions. She’s definitely my youngest student yet and I’m hoping what she learns empowers change in her life. We are here changing mindsets!"
“This training had a great impact on the people around us. It has taught us very small basics that we often miss when starting up a business and end up failing in that business. This training has not only taught us to do business but also to run our homes effectively. Everyone who attended this training was so happy and encouraged. We want to thank you for bringing the team here and for the training.”
December 2019: BINITA
Kathmandu, Nepal - Impact Nations is partnering with several entrepreneurs in Nepal to help them realize their business dreams. Recently received this great report from our friend, Binita:
Thanks for the money that you had given for my business. I am blessed and happy to run Bonita's Bakery with the help of Impact Nations. From the start-up fund I bought a big oven, freezer, mixer, supplies, and others. All are running well and I am happy to use and learn many things.
Among all the things, I also took money from start-up fund and had got to learn scooter from driving school. So, I passed the scooter trial and recently I bought a new scooter with my own money. Now it is easy to deliver the cakes and buy supplies and have a good time management. So from the Bonita's Bakery people are loving our cakes. They feel like among all the bakeries, they love our taste and they are giving good feedback. Actually it gives me more courage and need to do more things.
So recently, I did a record keeping on December and found that the Bonita's Bakery income was NPR 15,700 ($135 USD) and the expense was like NPR 4,605 ($40 USD). So the first time I put the tithe from Bonita's Bakery. It feels happy and blessed, so thank you again and please still remember in your prayers.
If Bonita's Bakery gets more order, then I can hire staff from House of Hope woman/girls. It helps me and they will be empowered so, still I am learning to bake and decorate the cakes. So, I am searching the place where I can learn the skills of decorating cakes. For the marketing, we are making promotion videos and a social media. We are also participating in events. A lot of business comes from word of mouth.
- Binita Lama
May 2019: SIDET
661 Miles to Hope
Life for Firoz, an Afghan refugee, has radically transformed in the last couple of months thanks to the Skilling Afghan Refugees Initiative in Delhi. Just a couple of months ago Firoz was living in Afghanistan with his family. Haunted by the violence he witnessed everyday, Firoz was beginning to lose hope of creating a safe and happy life for himself and his family. The death and brutality that he had witnessed caused him to have a heart full of hatred and hopelessness, and he almost resorted to suicide; but God had bigger plans for him and his family. With nowhere else to turn, Firoz packed up his family and traveled over 660 miles to Delhi to enroll in a free sewing program he had heard of. When he arrived he realized that he hadn’t just found a sewing school, he found a place for hope to grow once again. The team got him enrolled in classes so that he could acquire skills to help him provide for his family, and he was given resources to begin healing from the trauma he had survived, but perhaps the most valuable thing Firoz found in Delhi was a profound hope that only the spirit of God can provide. The road was long and the travel was hard, but if you ask Firoz it was worth every mile!