We started our program in 2009 by working with eight moms. Back then, we didn't have the terminology, but our goal from the start was what's now called Women's Empowerment. Why?
10 Reasons We Love Women's Empowerment
10 Reasons We Love Women's Empowerment
1. Because they were (and are) already doing incredible things - and helping them multiply their impact is a wise bet.
In 2009 when we began working with the moms of Needs Care, they were already making jewelry to fundraise for the new school they dreamed of building. We simply offered our help, resources, and friendship. Their dream became a reality in 2013. And around the world, in community after community, we've found this to be a common occurrence - moms are powerful. They create a better world for their kids (with or without help). Supporting them is not a risky proposition. It's not a questionable scheme or big gamble. It's a sure thing. It's going to work because women are powerful. They don't need to be empowered. They need to be treated as equal partners, and good things will happen.
2. Because for a busy mom, time is precious, and efficiency matters!
Give a mom ten minutes to achieve something difficult, and she'll figure it out. We've learned over the years that a group of efficient team members can radically shift their community for good.
"Our teams can cast a powerful and compelling vision of hope,
healing, and health for their community."
3. They always think about how their work can bless others.
Our team members aren't working for themselves. They're working for their kids, families, and dependents (orphans they've taken in). Some of our team members are helping whole villages because of the work they're able to do in Lusaka. Moms multiply their impact. So when you help a mom - you help an entire family. And in Ngombe, the average household has nine people in it.
4. Because they have a vision of healing & hope for their community.
Moms want their kids in a great school, a safe community, and a nice house. Moms are visionaries. Our teams can cast a powerful and compelling vision of hope, healing, and health for their community. They don't need ideas. They have ideas. They already have vision welling up from deep within.
5. Because their compassion is expansive.
People wonder how our small team of 100 people in Zambia can serve over 20,000 Girls a year through our Sew Powerful Purse program - it's because our team has intense compassion for the neglected, the abused, the hurting, and the unhelped. Their passion is to reach more. To nurture the neglected, comfort the abused, mend up the hurting, and offer hope to the unhelped.
6. Because they are faithful team members.
A good job to a needy mom is an asset she appreciates deeply. Our team members are locked-in, loyal, and looking forward to a long-term opportunity. They have grown to trust us, and we've grown to trust them. Together we are unstoppable.
"Unsung hero" is an understatement for most moms trying to survive
in a brutal place like Ngombe Compound.
7. Because we can do so much with so little in Zambia.
A recruit in our program begins receiving a trainee stipend, which is about the same monthly wage as a full-time security guard would earn. Upon graduation (after six months), she'll become a Junior Seamstress and begin making the same amount as an average Zambian earns monthly. Then eventually, she'll become a Senior Seamstress and earn nearly as much as a teacher with a 4-year degree and teacher's diploma. Some will even become team leaders and earn even more. All of this is possible because donors decide to help a mom.
8. Because sadly, sometimes, they need a cheerleader.
"Unsung hero" is an understatement for most moms trying to survive in a brutal place like Ngombe Compound. Food insecurity is severe. Relationships can be volatile. Housing is low quality. Yet they rise daily with power for the day and a vision for tomorrow. Who is there for them that doesn't want something? Who is helping them? Maybe a neighbor. Maybe a friend. Maybe a momma or auntie. But frequently, no one is investing in her. No one is putting cash on the table each month and saying - we're going to create an excellent job for you. We don't require an education. We don't require literacy or numeracy. We don't care if you're HIV+. We are happy if you have kids; let's get them enrolled in school, and you can work while they're there. We will work with you, where you're at, with the challenges you face, and find a way forward together.
9. Because Christ said to help the orphans and the widows.
He said his kingdom would not be about Sunday morning appearances or church attendance. It's about our investment of time, energy, money, and prayer to support those who need help. He wants us to offer sacrificial - sacred - servant-hearted support.
10. Because God has given us this great opportunity.
We don't work with the women of Zambia because we have to - we do it because God brought them into our lives - and has given us a unique opportunity to make a big difference with them. Working arm in arm, hand-in-hand, we can help change their lives, their families, and their community. It's our particular assignment, and we're incredibly honored that God chose us. He's entrusted us with something special. We get to create purposeful products with a team of remarkable and powerful women (and men) in Zambia and around the world. In that way, God's goodness is seen vibrantly. People crying out for food, shelter, jobs, and opportunity are getting answers to their prayers because he's called us to this work. He's equipped us. He's anointed us. He's filled us with the Holy Spirit and told us to follow him.
If you haven't become a monthly supporter yet and would like to help us add more team members by partnering with us financially, then visit this page and sign-up today. Together we are Sew Powerful.
More About Jason Miles: Jason holds an MBA with an emphasis in International Non-Profit Management, as well as an undergraduate degree in Organizational Management. He served previously as the Senior Vice President of Advancement at Northwest University, and prior to that as Executive Director at World Vision where he served for sixteen years. He co-founded Sew Powerful in 2010 with his wife Cinnamon.