The Elephant Project partners impoverished women in India with seniors in the US by shipping partially completed toy elephants stitched by the women in India to Global Helps here in the Pacific Northwest for finishing. Sewing clubs and seniors in assisted care living situations volunteered to stuff the toys and sew the finishing touches. The elephants are then combined with a souvenir plaque commemorating the creator in India and the finisher in the US. These are sold as artisan projects which help fund further projects among the rural poor of India.
For information on how to purchase one of these Elephants and Plaques, contact Global Helps Network at GHN@GlobalHelpsNetwork.org with your request or go to
Shama, Vijaya, and Payal are all women who have attended our tailoring schools in the villages and have been hired to help with the Elephant Project.
Vijaya joined our tailoring center and is now one of our best students. She has since learned about sewing clothes and stitching bags. We hired her as part of our Elephant Project, but her family is still struggling economically. Vijaya expressed to our Indian team leader that if she could have one machine at home, it would change her life and she could earn even more income stitching clothes, bags, and blouses. She desires to have her own machine so that it will help her to improve her economic condition and that of her family. She was able to learn quickly and has been a good steward of her resources. Vijaya and her husband also came to know Jesus some time ago, and they are growing in their faith daily.
Shama comes from a non-Hindu family, her family is extremely poor, and often they do not have two proper meals a day. Her sister was sick, and when she heard about prayers, she brought her to our center for prayer. God healed her sister, and it impacted the life of Shama. She was also one of the best students in our sewing group. Along with tailoring, she learned quickly how to create advanced projects like sewing a handbag. Her sewing is excellent and she is careful to finish her projects so they look professional.
Shama told our Indian Team Leader that her family often did not have enough to eat and were on the edge of starvation. We would not wish that for anyone however, some very good things have resulted! She has learned a skill and is providing an additional source of income to her family, she has given her life to Jesus, and slowly but consistently her situation is improving and she knows God will have mercy and will continue change her condition. Recently, we hired her as part of our Elephant Project.
Payal comes from the Dalit Community. We were able to help her in training her in tailoring skill. She does not have machine at home, but we have asked her to use our machine at the center whenever it’s free. Payal and her husband had a piece of land which was unjustly seized by those with more money, power, and influence. Payal and her family spent a lot of money to try and reclaim their land and couldn’t get it back. They have gone through many difficulties since and when we approached her for the sewing classes, she was very happy to learn new skills. We continue to teach, encourage, and pray for her. She is doing better now, but she desires one sewing machine she can call her own. This will help her financial situation ever further.
All three women, Shama, Vijaya, and Payal, have completed their elephants and sent them onto us with help from our partners on the ground. As a thank you, we want to purchase a treadle sewing machine for each of them. Treadle, or foot-powered, machines are essential as most rural Indian families do not have access to electricity. We have set up a special fund for Shama, Vijaya, and Payal. All it would take to completely fund the treadle sewing machines is $600 in total. If you are interested in helping these women, please go to the Donate page at globalhelpsnetwork.org and specify ‘elephant project’ in the comments when you donate. You can also go here: