ICC Helps a Group of Persecuted Women Support Their Families
By Linda Jones
03/08/2018 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – The war between Myanmar Armed Forces and Kachin Independence Army has forced many Christians to move out of their homes and seek refuge at internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. The conditions at these camps are often not adequate for displaced families. Many displaced Christians have become migrant workers to provide for their families and their children have dropped out of school to help support their families in the same line of work. This cycle has left children vulnerable to human trafficking in the area since rarely are both parents are able to take care of them. Furthermore, many women have become the breadwinners while living at IDP camps and it has made it difficult for them to educate, care, and provide for their children at the same time.
As part of ICC’s Suffering Wives and Children Fund and with the help of local partners, we were able to implement a small business project to support the livelihood of these women who are responsible for providing for their families. We trained 10 women on how to use loom machines so that they can weave cloth or tapestry to later sell. We plan to train more women every six months since this project will allow them to generate a stable income to support their families. Additionally, this opportunity will allow many women who are also mothers to stay close to their children and care for them, instead of having to travel for work, thereby leaving their children alone.
Many of the trained women have already shown great initiative and gratefulness for this opportunity and their newly acquired skills.
One beneficiary said, “I am a widow, mother of two children, and the breadwinner of my family. I love Kachin traditional weaving and culture so with this looming training I want to learn how to make things to make a livelihood and get normal income to support my family. People say I am active and keen to learn. I already know how to repair the loom when [it] is broken or does not work and I can fix [it] if there is a problem when the other girls are working. I plan to buy a loom machine to teach to new people after I finish this six months [of] training. I am confident to weave new designs and will sell in the market with my products.”
Thanks to the assistance of our donors we have been able to help many of these women. However, there is still a lot more that we can do since they face so many challenges as Christian women. Therefore, remember to pray for the success of this project as we continue to train and teach these women how to provide for their families. Also, pray for the Christian families at the IDP camps who live in inadequate conditions, exposed to many dangers and challenges. Finally, pray for Christians in Southeast Asia, especially in Myanmar, so that God will provide for them and keep them safe in such a dangerous place.
For interviews with Gina Goh, Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org