THE POWER OF A COMMUNITY
THE POWER OF A COMMUNITY
We named our brand ‘Rise the Community’, because it is built from, and with the power of a community.
Ten years ago, when I first arrived in India as a volunteer, I experienced a real culture shock and struggled to understand the vast differences between my home in Australia and the bustling community of Faridabad, an hour from Delhi.
It has been a huge learning curve for me and continues to be a wonderful journey, but now when I visit India, naturally my mind focuses less on the differences, and more on the similarities, because there are so many.
The Faridabad community is full of colour, vibrancy and soul, with many different languages, religions, and political views. Each family lives in such close proximity to each other, and it appears that it is both the similarities and the differences that make this community so closely entwined. It’s a community made up of families with many generations under one roof, and it’s a place where everyone gathers for a common reason – to broaden horizons.
Poverty is no stranger to Faridabad, and sadly families live below the poverty line, struggling to thrive. However, this community is strong, and together they help one another to rise up and face every challenge. Their sense of determination, compassion, encouragement, modesty and ambition is greater and deeper than I have witnessed, and they truly inspire me daily.
The incredible women from Rise the Community first decided they would like to learn to sew back in 2015. Since then, this project has blossomed and horizons have broadened, and the women have collectively registered their own business – ‘The Pererna Hub’. The name Perena means inspiration, and this sewing house is a way to improve their employment opportunities and their lives.
It has been an incredible journey, with so many lessons for both them and us along the way. As we navigate sourcing organic fibres, learning about sustainability, cultural differences, and building a self-sustaining, community-owned business, we know there will be so many more lessons to come. It’s been challenging at times, but the women of Rise are experts at learning, adapting, striving and succeeding at whatever they do.
Through working with this community over the years, I have come to appreciate what community truly is. It’s people you can always rely on, who will encourage you to keep going, support you when you need it most, make your burdens easier to carry, and look after your kids when you are running late! Community is who we rely on because we know deep down that it takes a village, not only to raise a child but for everyone in that village to thrive.
So, thank you to the Faridabad Community for showing us what strength, determination and resilience really mean and thank you to our own community, the people who believe in supporting “Rise the Community” and each other from across oceans.
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