Roy and Jennifer Ramble
Roy and Jennifer Ramble moved to this small rural village in 1986 called Rupaidiha.
Rupaidiha is around 112 miles/181 KM from Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, and is home to almost 25,000 people. Being a border town, they face more challenges than most rural communities. Deep-rooted, conservative traditions and societal prejudices have kept Indian and Nepali women and children in psychological bondage.
SEEMA, began in 2002, with the goal of empowering women by giving them an opportunity to work and earn their livelihood, which goes a long way in building their self-esteem. It has taken SEEMA many years to draw the conservative rural woman out of her often miserable environment, to being aware of the opportunities provided here. These women who come to SEEMA for help have been beaten, cast out of their society, abused, tricked in to sex trafficking, forced into prostitution and disregarded by the community and government
Today, they are no longer shackled by familial barriers, but have found a sense of freedom and fulfilment through the paradigm shift that SEEMA has initiated.
At SEEMA, the women are taught to dye thread, and weave them on a back strap loom. The cloth is then sewn into bags and other products, which are in turn sold to provide income for the women. The back strap loom, one of the most ancient looms in the world, is still being used because of its innate simplicity. However, this simple craft, has given the women at SEEMA, a sense of pride and self-worth.
Today, SEEMA provides 45 women from various backgrounds, a window of hope and security. Hindus, Muslims and Christians, all sit together under one roof, working for eight hours. But to hear them, they might sound like they were at a party! The friendships they have made here will last a lifetime. SEEMA has given them a sense of belonging.
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