LYDIA SLUM PROJECT
Life is very difficult in most of India. 80% of the people live day to day, hoping for change in their lives and their children’s lives, to get out of the cycle of poverty, sending their children to school, becoming self sustaining and improving their conditions.
There are many obstacles in India to over come, caste being the greatest bondage for most.
LYDIA, a project based in Secunderabad, India hopes to give ways to help the poor and Dalit (untouchables) of India the means to overcome those obstacles.Training gives them options and opportunities.
The LYDIA organisation conducted a class in the Mumbai slums on bear making to raise some funds. The women loved the class. In September 2010, they had a great ‘bear launch’. To their surprise, the 100 bears made and created by the women in the Mumbai slum sold out within an hour. The launch created a huge demand for the slum bears in Scotland and in other places. Consequently, the new bear-making project was started in the Mumbai slum to bring better income and hope to the women of the slums. Some of these women have been rescued from human trafficking, The project is able to employ the women and the success of the bears has opened the doors to training more women.
The bears are called “Ballu” – meaning “Slum Bears”