In a small Central Asian nation, people tuck away their children with mental or physical impairments out of sight because, often in this culture, many see a child’s impairment as the direct result of the parents’ sins.
Seeing their children as constant reminders of their personal failures, fathers often leave the family or struggle with alcoholism and substance abuse, unable to cope with their shame and unwilling to help care for their children with special needs.
With expensive treatments and equipment, only a few services exist for people with alternate abilities. As a result, many single-parent homes with hard-working mothers raise their families alone. They rarely leave their homes to make money if they have bedridden children leaving them with little hope for escaping poverty.
Because of your gifts, Send Relief hosted a sewing job skills program for 20 mothers navigating this difficult situation. Throughout the year, these women attended two months of sewing classes and received consistent food rations. As a gift, they also received personal sewing machines allowing them to start businesses as soon as they graduated!
As a sense of community grew among these women and their instructors, they eventually began sharing their stories.
Our sewing program admitted Saliha, a young mother of two children. She had spent most of her life living in extreme poverty with a husband unwilling to work. Saliha told our staff, “Getting out of the house and going to lessons has been the highlight of my week! I’ve loved meeting other moms and sharing our experiences. I’ve always had an interest in sewing, but I knew there was no way I could ever afford a machine. I’m so thankful this program made that possible! Since graduating, I’ve found work that has allowed me to buy diapers for my children and food for my family.”
One of the project directors spoke about the class’s success, saying, “Through the program, I shared the good news with most of the participants. Many were visibly emotional as I told them about God’s love. Because of the relationships built there, I’ve decided to move into this community to facilitate more meaningful relationships with these women.”
Pray the next round of graduates will use their skills to help support their families. Please pray for continued deepening relationships and opportunities to share the good news with these extraordinary women.
Published November 17, 2022