India We Are Sudara

Stitch by Stitch: The Positive Impact of Your Support

Ribbons PUNJAMMIES

image via ©Paula Watts Photography

In 2006…

In 2006, we partnered with a sewing center in India and taught six women how to sew a pattern for loungewear pants we had lovingly named PUNJAMMIES®.  The previous year, our founder, Shannon Keith, had returned from a trip to India and heard story after story of women who were sold into sex slavery. She also heard stories of women who were at a high risk of being forced into the sex trade by their families or picked up off the streets by local pimps. The reasons they were at a high risk? Because they lacked an education or the resources or the skills to, truly, have a choice.

She returned home from that trip and formed a small team. Together, they looked for groups in India that were compelled to have a positive impact and help women looking for a way out of the Red Light Districts. The team knew that safe, steady and living-wage employment would be pathway to freedom and choices for the women and their families.

Sewing Center Pattern

image via ©Paula Watts Photography

Sewn with love…

We’ll admit, the first few pairs of PUNJAMMIES® were, well — let’s just say that they were sewn together with a lot of love. We learned a lot.  Our focus and goal, however, remained the same: empower women to live in freedom from sex-slavery through safe, sustainable living-wage employment.  And every day, stitch by stitch, those six women gained confidence not only in themselves, but also in their newfound hope and freedom.

 

Sewing Center -- Sewing Machine Positive impact

image via ©Paula Watts Photography

Hundreds of women have found freedom…

It’s sometimes hard to believe that 10 years have passed. In that time, we’ve made multiple sewing center partnerships and, with your support, hundreds of women have found freedom. Many of these women have “graduated” and started their own tailoring business; others have taken technology or cosmetology courses (also offered at the centers) and found great jobs in those fields. You can read a few of their stories here.

 

Sewing Center -- Women Positive Impact of Employment

image via ©Paula Watts Photography

Even more work is needed…

We’ve learned that giving a woman the opportunity to gain job skills and find a long-term career is vital for creating a pathway to freedom. However, it’s not enough to end sex slavery once and for all. To do that, it’s essential that we also break the cycle of slavery for the next generation and the generations after that.  And when we became a benefit corporation, we created a non-profit, Sudara Freedom Fund. This non-profit will allow us to have an even greater impact on the lives of women and children in India. It will allow us to equip even more women and their children with education and housing and micro-loans — tools they need to build a new life.

 

Sudara impact on children

image via ©Paula Watts Photography

The positive impact of your support…

Your support is funding a safe, loving home for ten additional women and their children who are escaping trafficking. Ten more women and their children who will find shelter from abuse.

Your support of Sudara goods has enabled us to purchase 12 more sewing machines for one of the centers.  Twelve more women who will find safe, living-wage employment.  Twelve more women who will know a pathway to freedom from sex-slavery.

Sudara impact of employment at sewing centers

image via ©Paula Watts Photography

Thank you…

Thank you for your continued support.  We appreciate you for wearing and gifting PUNJAMMIES®, for being advocates of freedom, and for standing with us to empower women.  You are making a positive impact in the lives of these women and their families. And, we are excited to share even more good news with you soon.

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4 Comments

  • Reply martha March 6, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    This is beautiful. Best wishes

  • Reply Interview with founder + CEO, Shannon Keith - Scissors & Gold July 6, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    […] Every single day.  When we get to buy more sewing machines for one of our partner sewing centers and empower even more women through living-wage jobs. When we […]

  • Reply Merijane McTalley May 20, 2016 at 4:15 am

    Great idea. But so few sizes available

    • Reply Erika May 30, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      Hi! I’m sorry that a few of our styles only have limited sizing right now; we are getting more sizing over the next several weeks and this summer. Thank you for wanting to support the cause!

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