International Women's Day
At Find Your Feet we are passionate about giving women from Malawi, Zimbabwe, India and Nepal a fighting chance so they can reach their full potential. All too often, it is assumed that women from the developing world lack the ability to improve their situation or simply want charity. But this couldn't be further from the truth.
This International Women's Day we would like to celebrate women like Ishravati.
Like many of the women we work with, Ishravati did not have access to resources or opportunities to change her situation for the better, but she did have a great deal of ambition to do so.
Ishravati lives in a remote rural area of Uttar Pradesh in India where there is no electricity and water is scarce. She used to struggle to grow enough food for her family on her small plot of land and would often have to rely on the few rupees she could earn working as a labourer. And, if this work was not available then her family went hungry.
With support from the innocent foundation, Find Your Feet has helped Ishravati and the other women in her village start a support group so they could work together to tackle the challenges they face. We provided the group with training in book keeping, so they could start a saving and loan scheme, and in low-cost farming techniques, to enable them to conserve water and make their own compost.
With her new skills, Ishravati now grows pumpkins, gourd, chillies and cabbages which provide a more nutritious diet for her children and a surplus to sell at market. But she didn't stop there; the group saved some money to invest in a honey making business, which provides an extra income for all the women involved.
"Before the project, I would have to depend on someone else for work. Now I have gained knowledge and I can cultivate my own land and I can get a better income. In the future, I want to ensure all my children are educated and that they learn to read and write. This will be a big difference."
So, despite many of us living a very different life to this, we do have something in common with women like Ishravati, because we know how precious the support of other women can be and how valuable our economic independence is.
Support us and help more women find their feet.