This is Lakhi. She is the inspiration behind our Assam Capsule sewing machine project.
I met Lakhi when I first visited Assam in 2012 as a volunteer with North East Social Trust NPO. At the time we met, she was already a widow for many years and supporting her young daughter, Priya, on less than a dollar a day. Lakhi lives next door to the organization's office, and the next time I visited Assam in March of 2015, I saw that she was very busy with teenage girls coming to her home every afternoon to learn to sew.
Something new had clearly contributed to her improved self- confidence, livelihood and overall demeanor so I asked someone from the organization what had changed for her. They said she had received a sewing machine through North East Social Trust's partnership with USHA and set up her own Silai school. After inquiring more, I learned that a modern machine only costs $140. And in a matter of moments, we were discussing how Spencer Devine could fund the next group of women to receive machines.
What's great is, Lakhi is not a unique example. She is one of the many women who have changed their own lives through hard work and ambition when given the relatively small contribution of a sewing machine. This winter when I was in Assam, it was really impressive to see that Lakhi now owns an additional 2 machines, which she has purchased herself to expand her business. Her dream is to create a production center of her own, which she is well on her way to accomplishing. Lakhi is also setting a wonderful example for Priya, who is incredibly bright and determined to become a scientist when she grows up.
Spencer Devine is extremely grateful to all of our customers, who have supported the brand either through purchasing a bag or any of the many other acts of encouragement we've experienced from our community. Because of you, we are not only able to buy machines for women who's family's are living below the poverty line, but we are also able to fund a two year support program through North East Social Trust to guide the women on a path towards sustainable higher earning and financial independence. With Lakhi as one of their role-models, the women understand that with hard work and dedication, their goals to provide better health care and education for their children are completely realistic and possible.
- Kristine Gottilla, designer/founder of Spencer Devine