A single mother’s resilience, determination and dedication to not only provide the best opportunities for her daughters, but also for the families in her community.
Parvati Mahale is 30 years old and the coordinator of Sundara’s Ashte workshop. Sundara is our nonprofit partner that provides sanitized, recycled bar soaps and hygiene education to those in need. Sundara also employs women within the communities they serve; often with a job opportunity that would have never been offered to them before.
Prior to her position at Sundara, Parvati would go from house to house looking for work. She would cook in other people’s homes in the morning and evening, and offer to clean to make extra money. The work was irregular and involved walking long distances – sometimes 10 –15 kilometers a day in the hot sun.
She heard about Sundara earlier this year when they held a recruitment meeting– she had never heard of soap recycling before. Sundara’s mission struck home with Parvati because she remembered how she struggled to afford soap when her children were growing up. She fell in love with the idea of working for an organization that helped families like her own. The relationship she has with Sundara goes beyond the job itself; it is a special bond over overcoming the same struggle on a personal and a community level.
“Last month we conducted a hygiene training for 550 deaf children at an orphanage in Pune. As soon as I got there, we were greeted with warm smiles and tears – the children were so happy to have visitors and people who cared about them. Plus they were eager to learn... It was one of the happiest days of my life. I felt so great to be there and couldn’t believe this was actually my job.”-Parvati
Parvati now uses her monthly salary from Sundara to send both of her daughters, Arpita and Ankita, to a boarding school in Palghar. Their school is about a 2 hour drive away from Ashte. It’s difficult and lonely at times for Parvati – only getting to see her daughters on the weekend, but she is confident in her decision. She knows that education will ensure that her daughters have better futures than she did – futures that will allow them to be successful, independent women. She is proud to work and be a role model for both of her daughters.
This is just one of the many success stories from Sundara that you make possible with your purchases and the impact is incredible. Here at Soapbox we are inspired by Parvati's story and grateful for our opportunity to help people all over the world.
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