The WEP Program at Mahanaim
The major goals of the Women’s Empowerment Program are as follows:
- 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 handicrafts
- 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 taught through active participation in Bible study, awareness and literacy programs. The use of skits facilitates the learning process through examples. Fellowship is built through retreats, outings and service.
Bethania Kids provides two daily sessions. The morning program runs from 10 am to 1 pm. The afternoon session runs from 1:30 pm to 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.
Mahanaim WEP Leader: Shanthi
Shanthi is in charge of the Mahanaim Women’s Empowerment Program. She and her husband, Santiago, a mason, have three children. Shanthi lost her father when she was very young, and her mother raised Shanthi and her two brothers. Her mother was a day laborer so it was hard to meet the very basic needs of the children, such as food, clothing and shelter. They lived in a rented hut, and when it rained, the family had sleepless nights. They were at the mercy of the relatives and neighbors. In spite of the difficult situation, her mother educated Shanti up to 10th grade in a nearby school. As she could not afford to educate further education, Shanti was enrolled in a tailoring school. Shanti married at a young age because there were no near relatives to keep her safe when home alone.
The family of Shanthi’s husband was also poverty stricken, and her sufferings increased. There were times she wanted to commit suicide. Her family did not even have a box in which to keep clothing. During an especially difficult time in 2006 the Lord Jesus Christ led Shanthi to a job as an assistant at our Shalom Home for Girls. She worked at Shalom Home from 2006 until July 2015.
When Shanti started with Bethania Kids at Shalom Home, her situation changed. She accepted Jesus Christ into her life as her Lord and Savior. When she started praying and reading the Bible, her life became hopeful. In 2008 she received a Provident Fund loan of Rs.8,000 and started building a house for her family. Her whole family worked together, and piece by piece, they finished their house (16’ x 11’). Shanti never dreamed she would live in a house of her own. She gives thanks to God and Bethania Kids for bringing hope and happiness into her life. She began working in Mabel’s Day Care Centre in July 2015. Shanthi‘s passion is tailoring, and when there was an opening, she became employed at Mahanaim Women’s Empowerment Program.
How can you support the Mahanaim WEP?
- Churches or individuals can make gifts to cover the monthly or annual expenses of the WEP at Mahanaim Care Centre which is economically run.
- Monthly expenses for a WEP = $210; annual expenses = $2520
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