Monday, October 8
Following the 2008 Global Exchange visit to the western border counties of Ukraine, Presbyterian Women supported the establishment of a microenterprise project with Roma women. A dream of sustainable income for Roma women comes directly from the prayers of American women who have heard the call to serve the least of those among us.
The women produce grass baskets made from local, natural materials using handmade tools. This craft has been handed down through generations. Women have traditionally made baskets for their households and sold others for much-needed cash in the lean months. PW recognized the quality of the baskets as well as the acute need for income in this impoverished region.
Roma women are part of basket-making groups. They make collective decisions about distribution of work, patterns produced, and quality. They are seeking certification as a World Fair Trade Organization, which would allow them to market their baskets through organizations such as Ten Thousand Villages, SERVV, Partners for Just Trade, and the PC(USA) Global Marketplace.
Many prayers and skills are needed to make this microenterprise sustainable. Group leaders are learning to read and do basic accounting to keep track of inventory, costs, and payments. Some women are learning English and computer skills to communicate with vendors overseas. Other women are learning to do banking and create invoices as products are exported and vendors send payments for goods they've received. All of this requires commitment, hard work, and - most of all - hope.
- Rev. Kathy Angi, former PC(USA) mission co-worker, Budapest, Hungary
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
Rev. Nadia Ayoub, early childhood education trainer, Reformed Church in Carpath-Ukraine
Reformed Church in Carpath-Ukraine: Bishop Sandor Zan Fabian * Diaconal Center: Bela Nagy, director * Roma Mission Center, Csonkapapi: Attila Tomes, director * Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of Ukraine: Rev. Dr. Vyacheslav Nesteruk, president
Let us pray
Loving God, thank you for the courage, creativity, and perseverance of these Roma women. Give them health and strength in such difficult circumstances. Shine your face upon all of us so your love will light our path. Amen.