Posts Tagged ‘India’

Bringing Transformation in Bihar

Post a Comment » Written on August 25th, 2014     
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Bihar womenCovenant Social Services, working in the Bihar region of India, is seeking to be part of long lasting development in multiple aspects of the local communities. This is done through a variety of ways such as providing micro-loans, education, practical training, and partnerships with local authorities. Committed specifically to those who are in the greatest need in these communities CSS prioritizes single mothers and their children but also partners with other members of the community.

Training and equipping women and children with job skills and micro-loans is a huge part of bringing about real community development and transformation in these poor and often male-dominated areas. Recently, 25 women have completed their sewing training with 8 already taking orders from their neighbors. These women become skilled in making and repairing clothing which will lead to a more stable income for themselves and their family. Continue Reading »

Weddings for Social Change

Post a Comment » Written on August 11th, 2014     
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truthseekers weddingCovenant World Relief partners with Truthseekers  International to bring reconciliation and transformation to an oppressive system. The caste system of India has been used to oppress and manipulate great multitudes of the Indian population. Recently the Truthseekers mission has sought to challenge the traditional Indian wedding format by organizing weddings without idol worship or high caste priests overseeing them. These weddings are unique in that they include people from all different castes, both the high and low, and allow them to gather together in celebration. This is the goal of Truthseekers, to challenge the caste system, but do so peacefully and pointing to Christ’s love as the source behind their joy and love for all people. Continue Reading »

Escape for Freedom in India

Post a Comment » Written on August 4th, 2014     
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CSW PuneM comes from a small village in Karnataka, India.  Her family believed in Devdasi tradition (these days it is considered as temple prostitution and prohibited by law).  Her parents were so poor that they worked as labourers.  But both of them died in a road accident, when M was just ten years of age.  This brought lots of struggles for M and her two siblings.

Few years later, one of her cousin sisters who lived in Pune came to the village.  She asked M, if she would be willing to come with her to Pune and to take care of her baby.  She also promised that she would give some money for the work she would do.  M considered it as a good opportunity and came to Pune along with her cousin.

M stayed with her sister at Budhwar Peth for almost six months.  She also started to realize what all was taking place in Budhwar Peth.    On one evening as M was sleeping at the veranda, police raided the area and arrested her along with other women, considering her as one of the prostitutes too.  They were taken to the police station that night.  On realizing that she was not a prostitute, two of the police officers forcefully took her to one of the hotel nearby and raped her.  She was helpless to resist their intention.  The next day they left her at Budhwar Peth.   She shared her plight with her cousin.  But that day she was shocked to know that her cousin sister too was living all these days in Budhwar Peth as a commercial sex worker.   For almost two weeks she continued to struggle with questions about her life and at last decided to stay back and continue the profession of commercial sex work. Continue Reading »

Meet Surendra from India

Post a Comment » Written on July 28th, 2014     
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BiharSurendra is a resident of Bihar, India. Since birth Surendra has been labeled as low caste and included on the state government’s Below Poverty Line or BPL list. This status has left Surendra without opportunity to move ahead or even provide for his family. CWR partners with Covenant Social Service in multiple communities across India in providing micro-finance loans and other resources for members of low caste communities.

Surendra received a micro-finance loan in order to purchase a “rickshaw”. A “rickshaw” is a small cart pulled by a person, bike, or motorized cycle as a form of taxi in many parts of the world. By being able to purchase this rickshaw, Surendra is able to have consistent work and bring home a paycheck each week to his family of seven. Through something as simple as a micro finance loan, Covenant World Relief and CSS have been able to make a sustainable change in Surendra’s everyday life. Countless other Indians who have been marginalized from birth due to their caste are receiving these small loans that end up making a huge impact in their lives and for their families.

Human Trafficking–What’s the Answer?

Post a Comment » Written on June 23rd, 2014     
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It has never made sense to me that there are people in the world who are bought and sold on a daily basis. It saddens my heart to know that slavery still exists, and it has grown since the height of the slave trade in America. According to the 2013 Global Slavery Index, there are around 29.8 million slaves in the world today. This is anything from sex slaves, to brick layers, to families trapped by an unpayable debt.

It can be overwhelming to consider the numbers or try to make sense of the data. I can’t picture it and I can’t imagine the lives that are led by those trapped in that alarming statistic. There is a song I have had on repeat for the past few days by a group called Sleeping At Last. The song is called “Emphasis” and the chorus reads, “The smartest thing I’ve ever learned/ Is I don’t have all the answers,/ Just a little light to call my own./ Though it pales in comparison/ Of the overarching shadows,/ A speck of light can reignite the sun/ And swallow darkness whole.”

These remind me of the 1 Kings 19:11-12 passage. “…the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” Continue Reading »