Global partnerships. Local livelihoods.

Starting now and hroughout 2012, we’ll be including updates from our livelihood groups so you get to know them better. This will be greatly facilitated by trips to visit nine current (and several potential new) partner groups. Director Rose Brewer is in Africa for most of January visiting three in Kenya and one in Uganda, and over the next few weeks we plan to post photos, videos, and stories about the individuals and the groups.

Today, though, we share a little from the group we work with in India, the Dayanand Handloom Project. (If you haven’t already watched the video about this group, please click here.)

From Dayanand’s recent newsletter, some history and updates: Beginning in 1982, for the benefit of the cured lepers who had settled on the outskirts of Miraj city, the handloom project aimed at keeping the cured lepers from begging on the streets of the nearby towns and cities, and instead providing them with a decent means of livelihood through their skills at weaving.

At times, the going has been tough: limited resources to pay the weavers their wage, nor to provide other basic facilities; a steep drop in the sale of the handloom products overseas, resulting from the recent economic crises around the world. But the weavers trusted God and kept going on.

After a long period of struggle, renewing contacts, rebuilding bridges where necessary, the project is now back on track. At a planning meeting and fellowship time in October, the weavers discussed with the leaders the plans for a new range of products and provisions for additional facilities for the weavers.

Kindly remember the handloom project and its weavers in your prayers at all times. Especially pray for the construction of new, additional handlooms, which will enable the group to expand the number of families obtaining livelihood.