The Unique Programs in Cilpajodi and Dholdholi
The villages of Dholdholi and Cilpajodi are in the state of Odisha, which is very poor and where there is a low literacy rate. Subsistence is largely agrarian, and people are dependent on the weather for growing crops. The past five years have seen severe flooding affect the crops and for some eliminate an entire crop cycle and income or sources of food. The community is rich in culture with tribal dances, music and a sense of community. Our Child and Mother Centres provide a common bond for the participants. Bethania Kids has a partnership with the Tribal Council in both villages. In 2017 we constructed new buildings to serve these communities, moving the programs from the abandoned church buildings where they began.
In Odisha, unlike the women’s empowerment programs in Kodai, we offer comprehensive care/development programs to both the children and mothers. Here the women’s empowerment programs include two major components: awareness and education. Pregnant mother care and pre- and post-natal care are taught, as well as general childcare and preventive health care for families. Education also includes health and sanitation (keeping their children clean and neat), maintaining clean and neat surroundings, ensuring clean water for drinking, taking care of the sick and other regular hygiene practices.
Another area is adult literacy education for mothers and women of the community. These programs are encouraging for women who are happy to learn to sign their own names rather than use their left thumb impression for government documents. This skill alone gives them a great new sense of identity.
The people of these villages are hard working, especially the women. They are very excited about education programs we offer for they truly contribute to the improvement of their children and their families.
Staff at the Cilpajodi and Dholdholi Women’s Empowerment Programs
Mrs. Susila Sagaria and Mrs. Phulmati Santa from Cilpajodi completed tailoring training at Tara Tarini tailoring Centre, Baipariguda, learning to sew women’s garments. They are very happy to have had such good training and thankful to Bethania Kids for giving this good opportunity for them.
At Dholdholi, Mrs. Champa Hadthal, the wife of the project-in-charge, is a trained tailor. She is helping a few women to learn tailoring. We plan to increase the number of machines in order to teach more local women.
How can you support the Cilpajodi and Dholdholi Women’s Empowerment Programs?
The Cilpajodi and Dholdholi Child and Mother Care Centres have focused on education and awareness. They are transitioning to vocational training through sewing and tailoring. They will need to have sewing machines, cloth, thread, and other sewing equipment. In the future, microloans for sewing machines for women to purchase will be offered. You can help by donating.
- Churches or individuals can make gifts to cover the monthly or annual expenses of the women’s empowerment programs at Cilpajodi or Dholdholi Care Centres, which are economically run.
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