A Powerful Tale of Tenacity
How passion, dreams, skills and support led to her personal empowerment.
Here we find ourselves at the beginning of Women’s history month craving inspiring stories of strong and powerful women to look up to. While there are many to cast our eyes upon, we would like to introduce you to Fatima. She may not be well known throughout the world, but her story is just as inspiring to many that know her.
Fatima is from a remote village in India surrounded by the desolate desert. She lives a humble life with her husband, her 8 year old daughter and her two sons ages 11 and 12. To support the family, she and her husband work together on their farm. In India, it is common for the children to follow suit in their parents line of work. But Fatima has bigger dreams for her children than to work on a farm with their families. She wants them to have an education and lives and dreams of their own.
As a child, Fatima lived in a village where sewing was the main trade among the women there. Her mother was an expert in her craft from whom she learned. Her mother had put many dinners on the table with her sewing machine and artful stitching skills. When her mother passed down her sewing machine to Fatima, she too learned the craft of her mother as is custom for so many women in India.
At first, Fatima would practice making simple things with the basic skills she had. But she wanted to learn and grow more, which is what brought her to the Thar Artisan Collective. Through TAC, she was able to learn skills she would have otherwise not been exposed to on her own. With a simple skill, inherited talent, and community support, Fatima’s life evolved in a beautiful and impactful way.
With her newfound passion for the sewn art, Fatima started sewing school dresses for her daughter and house dresses for herself. Committed to learning more, she turned to one of her sons to help her learn on YouTube and she kept on refining her craft. This evolved into more skill building in cutting and sewing techniques she could build upon.
Her neighbors in the village began taking notice of the clothing she was making for her children and began asking her to make clothing for their children for school as well. Now, she is the only woman in the village who is capable of sewing such beautiful clothing for the residents of the village and is able to support her children’s educational pursuits and their dreams that go along with them.
Given that her family’s main source of income is farming, there are months where crops cannot be produced. Fatima’s custom sewing business is able to fill those gaps in income when the farm cannot provide due to drought or other environmental impacts on crops. She is proud that she is able to support her husband and family in this way.
As you can see, Fatima’s life has been positively impacted by her experience with the Thar Artisan Collective. By developing her skills, she can earn money to contribute to her family, support her own aspirations and live her passion to support her dreams.
Fatima’s story is just one of the many inspiring stories that have emerged from the work that WomenServe is doing in India. WomenServe provides women with tools for self-empowerment, including Self-Help Groups that provide economic and leadership training, Village Development Committees that promote women to be decision makers and active community participants, and the Thar Artisan Collective, so she can build her business skills and income.
We invite you to shop the WS India Shop where we feature TAC made products made by the women that we serve. 100% of net profits will go toward providing leadership and self-reliance programs for women and girls, allowing them to tap into their potential and create a better world.