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Local Start-up Helps Widows In India with ‘The 65 Project’

Jessica Marrone Parkes

Thursday, March 28, 2013 • 10:34pm

 

LIVINGSTON, NJ – E & Company is proud to announce the launch of “The 65 Project,” a campaign to support skills development among widowed women in India.

Since the launch of E & co., founder Emily Vanderberg has been working with Pastor Daniel Pachaiyappantham of the Evangelical Gospel Mission in Dharampuri India to create awareness of the dangers that street vendors in India face on a daily basis.  Most of these street vendors are underprivileged widowed and single women.

Recently Pastor Daniel has identified a group of widowed women who wish to learn the trade of sewing.  Vanderberg explains that, “Giving these women the opportunity to make a living greatly empowers them and goes way beyond the boundaries of what charity can provide.”

In order to start the training program, E & co. must raise $1,000 to pay for new sewing machines, tools and other materials.  “We need to sell approximately 65 necklaces in the month of April to fund this training program.  It’s not a lot of money but it will make a world of a difference to these widowed women,” said Vanderberg.

In keeping with E & co.’s, mission to get women “off the streets and back on their feet,” Vanderberg’s new 65 Project will be the catalyst in opening up other streams of income to these women.

“Our hope is that with the success of this program, E & co. will soon be able to offer a new line of authentic goods from India.  But teaching the women to make the product is only half the battle,” said Vanderberg.  “Once the products are made, E & co. will buy the finished goods and sell them in the United States at a profit which will again be shared with the women.” 

Since the company was started in 2012, E & co. has imported and sold hand crafted necklaces made by these street vendors.  In addition to initially purchasing the goods from India, Vanderberg has also been sending a portion of the proceeds back as well.

“We were able to speak to our family church, The Crossing in Livingston, about our story this past December.  The women of the congregation bought our necklaces and we were able to raise $745.  This money allowed us to purchase three more shipments from the women of India!” said Vanderberg.

E & co. is a for-profit organization that is determined to help the street vendors of India take care of their families in a safe and dignified way.  For more information on The Evangelical Gospel Mission and E & co. visit www.eandcompany.com/.  To follow the developments of the women in India visit E & co.’s facebook page.

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