Aiming to offer the seamstresses of Jyoti – Fair Works in Chittapur and Londa advanced trainings, workshops, literacy courses, and social benefits that exceed the usual services of a fair fashion brand, we founded the charitable trust “Jyoti e.V.” in close partnership with our Indian partner NGOs Jyoti Seva Kendra (Chittapur) and Nava Chetana Kendra (Londa).Through organizing and financing workshops in areas such as labour rights, women’s rights, business development as well as literacy and English courses, we offer the seamstresses the possibility to enhance their skills in areas of their interest, to eventually become self-employed and most important gain independence. Moreover, the Jyoti e.V. organizes excursions as well as activities covering a variety of topics and supports Jyoti – Fair Works’ Indian partner NGOs in emergency situations such as the big climate-change induced floods in 2019 or the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.
By now you might ask yourself: “But why did they create a second institution rather than integrating these tasks into the structures of their company Jyoti – Fair Works?” First, this has not been an easy decision. We intensively worked on the question on how we want to be perceived and even more important on how we see ourselves and define our core-missions for several years. But let us start from the beginning, when our founder Jeanine volunteered for the Indian NGO Jyoti Seva Kendra in Chittapur. Through working with Jyoti Seva Kendra, Jeanine gained insight in the often-difficult circumstances under which people, especially women live in Chittapur. The main problem: a severe lack of well-paid jobs and unemployment. The idea to start a small sewing centre arose quickly – less with the desire to create fashion but rather with the intention to offer stable and well-paid job opportunities to the women of Chittapur. The only thing that was lacking were any kind of sewing-skills, on the German as well as on the Indian side.
Today, this reality has changed completely. The women in Chittapur and Londa – where we opened a second sewing centre in 2015 – have developed into professional seamstresses and even our team in Germany has expanded and now profits from two great experts. Producing sustainable and timeless garments is no longer just a means to an end, but one of Jyoti – Fair Works major purposes. We want to actively shape the fashion industry for the better by representing a positive example proving that socially and environmentally sustainable garment production is possible. Through institutionally dividing the charitable trust “Jyoti e.V.” and the company “Jyoti – Fair Works” we want to underline this development. While Jyoti – Fair Work is dedicated to produce high quality garments and accessories in the most socially and environmentally friendly way, the Jyoti e.V. is responsible to ensure the survival of our initial goal – to support the women of Chittapur and Londa in finding the path to a more self-determined life.
Hence, the Jyoti e.V. does not only guarantee that all programs and activities are continuously offered to the seamstresses of Jyoti – Fair Works, but allows us to support our partner NGOs in their work independently apart form the sewing centers as well as in situations of outstanding crisis.
We and especially our partner NGOs Jyothi Seva Kendra and Nava Chetana Kendra are very grateful for any support and of course happy so send you donation receipts upon request. Just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
What we feel is important to add: We are aware that we here in Europe profit from a very privileged situation, which is based to a great extent on colonialism and the (ongoing) exploitation of other countries, India being one of them.
We want to state clearly that donations being forwarded by the Jyoti e.V. to Indian organizations are no charity, but an attempt to act globally fair on a small scale and that our work is no aid, but teamwork at eye level which leaves us all dependent on each other. The Jyoti e.V. should constitute in no way an institution maintaining current global structures of power and we hope and work for a future, in which donor associations like ours are replaced through politics and economic based on global justice.
Having fun and not thinking about everyday life – at least once a year the seamstresses on Chittapur and Londa go for a daytrip with the entire team – to the waterpark in Hyderabad, a nature reserve, or a cultural site.
A great opportunity to escape everyday life, to relax, discover and breath the air of adventure.
Workshops, English und Literacy Courses
Right from the beginning training opportunities for the seamstresses outside of their core tasks have played a major role for us. We understand Jyoti as a space of development, as a center of education for women that haven’t had the chance to enjoy school. Hence, we offer the women daily English and literacy classes within the working hours. Together they learn a new language and have the opportunity to acquire reading and writing skills – an extremely important ability to act more independently in everyday life.
Moreover, we regularly organize workshops such as: How to open a bank account, First steps into self-employment, Women’s and labour rights, Possible ways of contraception.
These workshops aren’t exclusively organized for the seamstresses of Jyoti – Fair Works but accessible for all women of Chittapur and Londa that are interested.
Climate Change in Londa - We are responsAble
In summer 2019 our second place of production – the small town of Londa – suffered from extreme monsoon rains causing major parts of the town to be flooded. Big parts of the town were undermined by water, many houses destroyed – amongst them, four of the seamstresses as well as the building of our sewing centre. Many died or were heavily injured.
With your help the Jyoti e.V. raised more than 4,000 Euros in no time – directly and immediately used to bring relief and support the reconstruction of the seamstresses houses and our partner NGOs infrastructure. Facing the huge effects of climate change, and hence the increasingly extreme weather conditions, maybe just a tiny drop in the bucket but for sure a huge and absolutely necessary support for the people in place. You can read more about the incident and the campaign in our blog article we are responsAble.
Food Parcels during Covid-19 Lockdown in India
Huge parts of the Indian population have been hit severely by the consequences of the COVID-19 lockdown – 90% of the people work in the informal sector and hence, don't benefit from any securities or social services related to their work. Most of the people hardly earn enough to secure their daily survival – generating savings for difficult times is hence far from their realities. The severe rules of the lockdown have caused most people to lose access to any income generating activities and hence have immediately endangered their access to life essentials such as food.
Our partner NGOs Jyothi Seva Kendra in Chittapur and Nava Chetanan Kendra in Londa acted immediately in concentrating all their means and resources to the distribution of food parcels. With your donations the Jyoti e.V. was able to support Jyothi Seva Kendra and Nava Chetana Kendra with funds for more food parcels for more than 500 families.