Change The Cycle - Aya

Aya sitting in front of her house where she pays 58% interest every month.

Aya sitting in front of her house where she pays 58% interest every month.

Cycles of poverty for Aya: 

Aya is a 43 year old widow living in the slums of Poipet along with her three children -- young men who quit school, when they were far too young, in order to begin working in construction.

Struggling to merely survive, Aya and her children work at anything they can, just to provide each morsel of food. For Aya – and so many like her -- poverty includes exploitation.  Her home was a shack made of grass and cardboard where she fought constantly against the wind and rain saturating and threatening to destroy her home and meager belongings. Out of desperation, Aya signed for a $1000 loan earlier this year, not fully understanding the interest each month was 58%.  With the money, she was able to build the home (pictured here) on stilts. 

Education was taken from Aya when she survived the Killing Fields as a child (read more about the killing fields here - Click Here).  She learned to sew in order to work in the terribly exploited sector of fast fashion.  Her old sewing machine is protected under the shelter of her new home. Without a car, Aya rides a bike to her boss and picks up as much jean fabric as she can, carrying it to her home to begin sewing shorts or pants.  She sews the hems, inseam, zipper, pockets, waistband – everything; and for each pair completed, she earns 9 Baht, or/equal to $.29cents.  On a good day, she can complete pairs and make a whopping $1.45…far less than $2 per day. 

Paying her loan each month costs $65.  If Aya worked all 30 days in the month, she would only make $43.50…far short of what she needs just to make her loan payment.

Aya is exploited by a loan shark charging 58% interest. 

She is exploited by a greedy boss hiring a desperate widow to do all the work. He earns twice what he pays Aya, profiting for doing none of the work. 

Without help and the opportunity to earn a dignified wage, Aya’s poverty would continue the to spiral. Poverty is like that. It doesn’t just stop at lack of money or food. The cycles churn unrelentingly, spiraling downward in hopelessness.

*  It causes children to leave school far too early to find menial labor so their hungry bellies can be filled.

*  It creates despair for moms who watch malnutrition destroy the children they have born.

*  It prohibits even the most critical medical care, when life is on the line.

*  It keeps families in unsafe homes (if you can even call a shack a home).

*  It destroys dreams.

*  It robs dignity replacing it with victimization.

*  And it never stops.

Cycles of sustainability for Aya: 

Meeting Aya and hearing her story, we knew we had to do something. Because of compassionate friends who gave and prayed, we were able to hire Aya into our job creation and education program, Landmine Design this year.  In addition to sewing textiles, which are lovely, Aya is also now learning about the God who provides. She is learning how to grow more in her relationship with Him. Thanks to caring donors, we were delighted to help Aya pay off her loan and work with her to create a budget with the dignified wage she is now earning in Landmine Design.

Poverty is still crouching at Aya’s door. But, we are seeing a new cycle take shape. It is the cycle of sustainability. It is empowering this widow to provide for her family and begin to dream of her future — something poverty NEVER allows. We are beyond grateful to watch this new cycle begin in Aya’s life and so many others. Would you pray with us for Aya? Pray for her to be wise in how she uses her income. Pray for her to grow in deep ways in her walk with Jesus. Pray for opportunity and education for her children. And thank the Lord with us for the ways He is changing the cycles for our precious friend, Aya. Would you take advantage of an opportunity to give toward Aya's story and women like her? Your funds are given directly to the sewing program Aya is apart of. Cycles of sustainability are becoming a true reality because of people just like you!