ArticleField Stories

Purse Change

A sewing ministry in the Middle East is changing lives and providing hope to marginalized women.

Ten Thirty Three, a dynamic outreach project, is using purses to give Middle Eastern women an opportunity for change.

Started several years ago, Ten Thirty Three trains impoverished and disenfranchised women to make unique handbags and totes — providing them with a marketable skill and a valuable source of income for their families.

And for many, their situation is desperate. Some are second or third wives whose husbands only give them an insufficient stipend of about $50 per month to support them and their children. Others are refugees who have fled various forms of persecution in their home countries. No matter what their story is, all of them are grateful for the way this project is enabling them to provide for their families.

In addition, each woman in the project is given the opportunity and ability to buy a brand new industrial sewing machine. Through a micro-loan program, each of the seamstresses can gradually pay off the cost of her machine through a portion of her monthly earnings. As a result, she acquires an asset and a skill set that will benefit her for years to come.

By affirming dignity, promoting freedom, and injecting hope, the Ten Thirty Three outreach project is changing the lives of Middle Eastern women.

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