I began The White Peacock because of the tremendous needs I saw in families in my community in central India. It seems easy to help the poor; just give them what they need.
Yes, you can care for children in orphanages, or you can help parents keep their children. You can rescue women from trafficking or you can help them before they become desperate. You can give handouts or you can give them the tools to pull their way up; developing the ability to sustain it in the long run.
We chose the harder path- the better path. It's a longer path, but once on it the women can thrive alone and keep moving forward.
This month we have found ourselves in a national lockdown. Thankfully, our women were paid for their work for the month a few days before the lockdown started. They are all doing well. We also pre-paid them for work again this week so they will be able to get what they need for their families, as most of their husbands are no longer working either. Finally after 3 weeks of checking and making sure everyone was safe and provided for we began to reach out.
I am most proud of our women for the heart to reach out. See, for years, they were told they were poor, needed help and to always ask for assistance. Slowly, I was not even aware when, they began to not see themselves as poor but able to help others. It started when we donated handmade items for the children in the burn unit at Christmas a few years back and it continues.
As India began to face a shortage of available masks our members began sending me samples and asking if they could create some to donate. They did not have fabric in their homes (no she-sheds here) so they needed us to provide it. As soon as we did- they started sewing. Today was the first day they assembled masks and they sewed 185 for us to donate to local hospitals!
I am proud of our women for many reasons, but the greatest success is that they have moved from needing a blessing to being a blessing. We are excited about where God will take us next!
I attempt to visit every home of our women every year. It's a huge task since we have 60 working members and others who are not on the roll but come often. A home visit includes walking down crowded alleys, searching for homes by the name of women in the house- something very few people know, and crowding into thier front room...if they have one.
The first time I visited Kavita's home we had a difficult time finding it. Mainly because it appeared to be a small shed behind her landlords house. It was made of pallets, tin and discarded boards and had no electricity or running water. She was much poorer than I expected- and I have been in some very poor places.
Our Saree Baskets are one of our best selling items. Sunita designed our baskets with lids. She does beautiful work and we went to her home to see how she makes them.