Economic Development

GSI believes in the dignity of all humankind and in the dignity of all labor.

Cleaning toilets. Picking rags. Scraping the carcasses of dead animals off the roads. These are the jobs of the completely impoverished daily wage earners of India. Robbed of their dignity, they are forced to labor for less than a dollar a day. This is not right. This has to stop. GSI believes in the dignity of all humankind and in the dignity of all labor. Our economic stability programs promise independence and marketable skills. We guarantee a life free from poverty and exploitation. Our robust tailoring projects for women were just the start. Livestock rearing, handicraft manufacturing and agriculture processing have all brought remarkable transformation to hundreds of thousands of lives. We’re looking to bring down the systems that create systemic poverty. And we’re going to do it. We want to reunite families and ensure lasting financial security for those in the greatest need.

Members of self-help groups

Self-help groups

Formerly trafficked women in tailoring courses

Helping people like Vidya and Anila

Vidya and her husband were struggling to make ends meet. His very low wages could not support the cost of living for their family of four. Vidya desperately wanted to help, but her options were few.

But Vidya heard about our Good Shepherd economic development groups. She reached out for assistance, and after GSI helped her set up a group in her own village, she was able to apply for a government-subsidized loan: a vital source of aid rarely available to many of India’s economically disadvantaged people. A year later, Vidya and the other women in her new group are continuing to press for their rights and benefits under the laws of India, delighted to have this opportunity for aid and self-advocacy.

Thanks to the economic development group, Vidya was able to fulfill her goal of supporting her family: she bought a sewing machine. Today, she’s not only earning an income through her new tailoring business, but also encouraging other women in her village to make their livelihood through small business.

Meanwhile, in another village, Anila had a different dream: a pottery wheel. She and her husband are potters, but without a wheel, their capacity was maxed out — and with five children to provide for, they couldn’t pay the bills.

But an economic development group began in the area, and Anila joined. Through the group, she was able to apply for a grant to buy a pottery wheel. Today, the family is producing more pots than ever — with their own wheel — and meeting all their children’s needs.

If you could meet these women, you would sense their gratitude. Thank you for giving a beautiful new life to these families, and so many others!