Women’s Transformation Groups
The Women’s Transformation Group is a program for women in rural villages. IGL staff and coordinators run these groups in villages where IGL has a presence. The women in the WTG learn money-making skills, banking, accounting and auditing.
Women from the villages are encouraged to make a living, and even start their own businesses, with the various skills that they know (some examples include making preservatives and pickles, weaving baskets, making pottery or handloom clothing). WTG also works with women in regards to farming, teaching them how to earn income from the produce as well as feed the family. IGL gives micro-credit loans to women to invest in their own businesses. Nearly 95 percent of women repay those loans when they are able and IGL uses that same money to loan to another woman.
Motivating women to work is done in the hopes that women in villages will eventually become financially independent. Such independence allows women to rise out of dire situations like domestic violence, sexual abuse and neglect.
Violence against women is a very real issue in India and is one that WTG helps fight. Apart from this, the WTG programs also give attention to matters to do with the environment, general hygiene and sanitation, childcare and nutrition. It is usually through these workshops and seminars that the Gospel is shared with the women. That is where the true transformation occurs.
Banumathi is 37 years old living in a rural village in South India. She is a member of IGL’s Women’s Transformation Group. Her husband works in the fields, but they were not able to sustain their family on such a small income so she began attending the WTG meetings regularly. Here, Banumathi began learning about the different ways that she could help support her family. Through her membership she was able to receive a micro-credit loan of Rs. 5,000 (US $91) that she used to purchase a goat that has now given birth to two baby goats. Once the goats were old enough, she sold them. She was able to pay back her loan and still make a decent profit. She still owns one goat and is able to make a living from the milk she sells. She and her family are very grateful for the income that she can now produce and the blessing of the micro-loan.