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At the GVI Kerala hub, we often finish our women’s empowerment sessions with a song as it’s a great way to bring everyone together whilst crossing cultural bridges. One of the songs we sing quite regularly is ‘I am woman’ which includes the lyrics:

‘I can do anything. I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman!’

These lyrics ring true with many of our participants, but one of the women who attends our sessions regularly wrote us this letter which demonstrates how much she embodies these words.

Manju has been attending our sessions for a year and a half now and her letter describes her journey in understanding English, recognising her own confidence and gaining more independence. Those of you who have met Manju will know that we’re just as appreciative of her as she is of us. She always has a story to tell and something to share and she brings so much energy to the sessions. Here is her story in her own words:

“I am Rose Manju. I am living in Kochi, Kerala. I am home maker and mother of two kids. Last January 2019 I joined GVI. When I attended the first class of GVI there were almost 15 women. I sat at the last row. I felt very nervous at first. After three weeks, I can follow the language. After six months I can speak English Fluently.

All the volunteers are very supportive. Their positive attitude makes us more confident. In my life it was a gift. The influence of the volunteers makes me independent. How they brought up their children, especially the girl child, gets more freedom than here. The volunteers are from different countries and different cultures.

After I joined GVI I understand the meaning of women’s empowerment. I started an MLM (Multi Level Marketing) business which deals in house hold items. The company’s head office is situated in Rajasthan.

I went to Rajasthan last month to visit the company and we went along on a tour programme. On that tour we visited Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan. In my life, I am visiting north India for the first time without my family members.  I enjoyed my life with my colleagues there. I never thought that I can travel independently. GVI gave me that confidence.

Through our tour programme I got a special opportunity to translate the speech of company’s Managing Director. Among 150 people from Kerala I got that chance to translate the speech for the Malayalees. It improved my confidence level. As the volunteers taught us in the song “I am woman” I can do anything.”

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