Sunday, June 8, 2008


One of the advantages of volunteering with Growing Opportunity is seeing other companies they work with.

One of the closer partnerships is with IID or Inter-Mission Industrial Development Association. They do many different things, orphanages, schools, colleges, and export crafts.

The way school works here is in tenth grade a major test is taken, those with high scored go on to two more years of schooling in prep for college. The others with lower scores buy their schooling if they are able. IID is filling a gap among those that can't pay high tuition. They are offering skill based trades training to those that otherwise would stop schooling in tenth grade. IID works hard to find their students jobs when they graduate.

IID teaches skills, such as carpentry, plumbing, catering, fashion design and information technology. IID currently has 18 branches educating men and women in Chennai in tailoring, batik, welding, wood work, electrical work and computers.

A new concept is also a community college, where instead of trades the focus on office skills. (There is even a one year program that readies a person to be a Client Relations Officer at Growing Opportunity.)Ryan and I have been volunteering for IID half a day every other week. We help in their export division. They make shirts, pants, purses, scarves, bags and other custom orders mainly for Europe. With the money they make they help pay for the orphanages under IID. We aren't doing the sewing, we check for the seams straight and other quality concerns and suggest better sewing methods. Yes I am using my quilting experience here.These blue scarves are for Switzerland.

If you would like any batik (or other items) the prices are very competitive. Between myself and Ryan's mom we bought many yards of batik at 1/4 of what similar would cost in America. I will make a quilt with these below. Tell us of you would like anything and we will bring it back to the states in July :)

They have many designs in both scarves, and quilt / clothing quality with bible stories, animals, rural life, classic designs, from small handkerchief sized all the way up to table clothes.

1 comment:

  1. Very interested to read your blog and to know your heart for India and you very practical way to make something happen for the poor.
    I have been working with the IID for the past 35 years in the north and often wish that we were able to keep up with our south Indian brothers!
    Can I encourage you to make a trip north next time and with your contacts look for areas where you could use your gifts for something up here.
    I notice that you have a church in South Bend. My wife Frieda is from Elkhart area but as both of us found the Lord out here on the hippy trail we neither of us has a link to churches there. We do look for volunteers and would love to have applicants from the States as english is a big need! Please take a look at our website and thanks for making so much happen when you were here!
    take care, Ken McRae