The patchwork quilt displayed above represents everything about the Livelihood Project and SNEHA as an organisation. “It weaves the lives of people and communities we work with,” summed Naina Fernandez, the programme coordinator of Livelihood Project.
The project was started in 2009 as a way to provide livelihood to women, and also help them learn a skill set that can help them gain financial independence. It involved educating the women on the basics of stitching and using of sewing machines. Currently 20 women are working and training at SNEHA.
“The women working for us do have stitching skills. We hone their abilities. I am particular about the finish of the products and insist on a professional look. I was also considering enrolling them for workshops which will increase their skill set and help us produce more products,”said Fernandez, who designs the products with inputs from her staff.
The flagship products are silk and cotton patchwork quilts. The product range has been diversified into bags, pouches, wallets, table linen, cushion covers, curtains, gift pouches, wine bags, among other products. The fabric that is donated by well wishers is used optimally. The products are sold in pop-up exhibitions such as Lil Flea, corporate houses for gifting, individuals who place orders, among others.
As a way to increase their confidence, the women who make the products are now encouraged to talk about them in the exhibitions. “Their body language changes when they start talking about their products. They are slowly gaining confidence,”said Fernandez.
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