The Program Elements
The major objectives of the Women’s Empowerment Program are:
- Provide an environment in which the women learn of the everlasting love of Jesus Christ, through which emotional and spiritual support and strength can be acquired
- Teach the women marketable skills such as tailoring, embroidery, basket making and other useful handicraft items
- Help the women to improve their reading and writing skills (literacy)
- Provide a happy environment where they can share and support each other
Personality development activities are offered through active participation in Bible study, awareness and literacy programs. The use of skits enables the learning process through examples. Fellowship is built through retreats, outings and service in the community.
Bethania Kids provides two daily sessions in the WEP. The morning program runs from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The afternoon session begins at 1:30 p.m. and finishes at 4:30 p.m. In each session, the participants devote time to prayer and devotion; learn drafting, measurement and pattern making; study tailoring; and learn basket-making, embroidery and knitting.
More Than a Training Centre
The ladies of Women’s Empowerment Program become very close and support the Mabel’s Care Centre. They volunteer and assist the Day Care staff as needed. They actively assist the Day Care staff in the preparation of cultural programs and festivals with such tasks as decorating the venue, dressing the children and procuring the costumes and other accessories for the functions. Some of the ladies participate in the Vacation Bible School programs. They stitch uniform clothing for children in the care centres. They participate in picnics and retreats.
When a woman comes with family problems, she is counselled and supported. Special prayers are offered to bring comfort through trust in Jesus Christ, the divine healer. Birthdays and wedding anniversaries are celebrated and the whole group offers a special prayer followed by a snack. The women bring special meals to the expectant mothers. When other participants are absent for various reasons, they are contacted and helped as needed. The women participate in the annual Indian Independence Day celebrations, Christmas and the final day program of the Bethania Kids Care Centres in Kodaikanal.
The bond the women develop is amazing. They support each other emotionally and they are concerned about one another’s challenges. The fellowship and friendship they develop strengthen them and they all look forward to coming to Mabel’s.
Mabel’s Women Empowerment Program was started in September 2000. To date more than 200 women have completed the 6-month program, learning handicrafts as well as tailoring. Many save to purchase their own sewing machine in order to work at home to earn income to help support their families.
Our Staff is led by Charlet Selvi
Charlet Selvi has been Director of Mabel’s Women Empowerment Program since June of 2005. She comes from a poor family and she has nine siblings. She is the youngest child in her family and her parents were able to send her to a Government-approved tailoring course, which helps her complement her family income and educate her daughter, who is currently studying for a B.Ed. degree. Charlet’s husband is an electrician and his jobs are not regular. There have been times when her husband has not had work and at those crucial times, Charlet’s work has sustained the family. Her job is a blessing to her family, and she is very grateful to God Almighty, Jesus Christ and Bethania for the opportunity to work at Mabel’s Care Centre. Charlet plays a major role in stitching uniforms for the care centre children. She loves to teach the women and she helps them understand how their tailoring skills can help their own families.
She has a cordial relationship with her colleagues and students. Charlet and her team willingly help the Mabel’s Day Care staff and children in time of need.
History of Mabel’s Women’s Empowerment Program
The first Women’s Empowerment Program at Mabel’s Care Centre was started in September 2000 as a literacy program. Ms. Betty Swavely, then treasurer of Bethania Foundation, was instrumental in beginning the literacy program. Ms. Ruby Kumar, a teacher at Mabel’s Care Centre, was asked to teach handicrafts and tailoring to the women along with literacy. Ruby was the first teacher at the Women’s Empowerment Program and remained with the program until 2005.
20 women were enrolled in the first Women’s Empowerment Program at Mabel’s Care Centre. The highlight of the first Women’s Empowerment Program was that the women, who hauled wood to earn their livelihood, gave up wood hauling and joined the program.
How can you support Mabel’s Care Centre WEP?
- Make a gift for the purchase of additional equipment (sewing, tailoring and embroidering machines).
- Make a gift for the purchase of higher quality fabrics and threads.
- Make a gift for the purchase of sewing machines for women to use in their homes and build their own businesses.
- Churches or individuals can make gifts to cover the monthly or annual expenses of the WEP at Mabel’s Care Centre which is economically run.
- Monthly expenses for a WEP = $210; annual expenses = $2520.
Hold the Hand of a Child in Need
There are countless ways to participate in this vibrant ministry and share God’s love with the children at Bethania Kids.
Our 100% Promise
We channel 100% of every penny donated into direct ministry for children.
For more information about this and other ministry topics, please contact Bethania Kids at email@example.com or