Susan traveled to Thailand to deliver patterns to the New Life Center. This center houses and trains poor woman, many have left the sex trade and have need of an education that will enable them to support themselves and their children. While at the NLC she taught the women how to construct, market and sell goods that the center could sell.
In January of 2006, Susan Kiely made her first trip to India. While there, she formed a partnership with Operation Mercy Charity Company. Over the next few years, two training centers were built and staffed.
OMCC is committed to bettering the lives of the Dalits (the Untouchables) and the oppressed castes of India.
Through the financial efforts of Women With A Cause, the Economic Training Center was established. This center housed the Lydia Project, which is a company that produces beautiful one-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry, and tote bags. The sale of these products provides income for the women. After the women had completed a course of study in the area of pattern making and sewing, they were allowed to stay at the Lydia Center and help teach others. They were also encouraged to seek employment at a factory or establish their own sewing business.
Part of the program entailed teaching the women how to budget their income and form Self-Help Empowerment groups. These small organizations offered micro loans in their communities.
In addition to training women, the center also provided education to their children. This education enabled the next generation to obtain good-paying jobs in their communities.
After empowering over 800 Indian women in partnership with Operation Mercy, India, Women With A Cause turned over the economic training centers and the Lydia Company to Operation Mercy, India.
GHANA & ETHIOPIA
The first lady of Ghana, Ernestina Mills invited Ms. Kiely to bring economic opportunity ideas to a few of the non profits serving the capital city of Accra, as well as, the nearby villages.
In the spring of 2010, Susan first visited Yetebon, Ethiopia in Africa. At this time an agreement was made to partner with Project Mercy. In March 2011, fifteen computers were delivered to Project Mercy. Women who have aged-out of the Project Mercy Orphanage, as well as, women from the local villages will be trained in computer skills which will enable them to obtain government and private sector jobs in Addis Ababa, the nearby capital of Ethiopia.
Women with a Cause began working with the Mother & Child Rehabilitation Center (MCRC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2013. MCRC provides shelter, food, education, medical care and therapy for children and their parents- mostly mothers. Taking in extremely disadvantaged children from Addis Ababa and beyond, the center’s basic activities include feeding those in the program, providing a formal school education for the children and funding medical care for those in need. The mothers of the children – often victims of domestic violence, and many who have been victims of gender based violence – are given professional training to achieve economic independence. A large number of mothers participate in professional training opportunities.
WWAC has supported several of these training opportunities, funding the tailoring program, culinary school and teaching the mothers to cook and work in restaurants as cooks. The sewing/tailoring course that WWAC funded was very successful and already their output is being sold in the MCRC shop and nearby markets. Some of the parents participating in the project are also directly employed by MCRC, as teacher assistants, cooks, cleaners, gardeners, guards or laundry staff.
At the helm of MCRC is Jutta DeMuynck, who has lived in Ethiopia with her husband since 2002. She started MCRC in 2006. She was also a teacher in Germany with the Helen Keller School at Wilhelm’s University Hospital in Muenster, Germany. She worked in an integrated setting alongside medical doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, nurses, social workers and other teachers taking care of ill children who were hospitalized for long periods of time.
WWAC is proud to help this very worthwhile project that provides opportunities for these women and their children, who can, after their training, live productive lives and support themselves and their children. For more information on their project, history of their work and success stories please visit their website by clicking here.