Hands of a student (used for privacy)

Heavy snowfall cut the electricity at a vocational training project in India where women were learning how to become beauticians and to professionally apply makeup. Undeterred, they managed to carry on by using small firepots for light and warmth. No one wanted to give up the training opportunity they were receiving.

There are few jobs that women are encouraged to have outside the home in this tourist area of India, but doing makeup is one of the only gainful employment opportunities within these constraints. Additionally, there is a strong tradition in the culture (as in many cultures) of using makeup for weddings and other important festive gatherings. This makes it a profitable business.

Kavita*, a social worker and the local leader working with SowHope, was abandoned by her husband and left to care for two children with no way to earn income. She felt helpless. Her mother paid for her to take a beautician class and that made all the difference. Kavita and her children were able to survive, and thrive, because of this training.

She now wants to help women in similar situations. Kavita started this project with the goals of helping women become financially independent and teaching them to train other women about what they have learned. The training lasts one month and covers both theory and practical applications. Each woman who completes the course receives a makeup kit to take and use immediately to start her own business. The money they make in their new businesses is life-changing. We are excited to begin this partnership in an area that has some of the most impoverished women in the world.

*Real name reserved for safety concerns