Jewels in a Crown
The district of Kalighat in Kolkata, India is most well known for being home to Kali's Temple, a mecca for Hindu worshippers. What may not be as apparent is that it is also the birthplace of organized prostitution in Kolkata. It houses thousands of girls and women who have been trafficked, tricked or driven to work the line out of economic disparity. JEWELS IN A CROWN began as a response to the overwhelming problem of prostitution in Kalighat.
In 2005, we began to pay regular visits to Kalighat in order to meet these women, pray with them and start to build trust. Relationships were nurtured and a vision developed to see these girls experience both physical and spiritual freedom. Over time, it became apparent that seeing these women free included an alternative source of employment.
JEWELS IN A CROWN opened its doors for employment on February 14, 2010. Our theme comes from a passage in the Bible that says, "On that day the Lord their God will rescue His people, just as a shepherd rescues His sheep. They will sparkle in His land like jewels in a crown. How wonderful and beautiful they will be!" (Zechariah 9:16,17a). We believe our staff are precious and radiant, and we feel privileged to be a part of their journey.
Discipleship We have daily devotions and prayer with our staff. We know that economic freedom is only one part, and it is only through Jesus that we can see sustainable growth.
Training Our staff is trained in the trade of jewelry-making. They have learned to work with a variety of high-end, semi-precious stones to make beautiful pieces that are sold internationally.
Educating Through teaching English and basic life skills, our staff are empowered with a new confidence and competence for a changed life.
Wages & Work Hours Our staff are paid above fair market value and operate on a 40 hour work week.
Loan Payoff After their first year, each of our staff is eligible for a loan. They pay it back with a 0% interest rate. This is in response to predatory loan lenders who charge 600% -1000% annually, making repayment impossible for these women.
Paid Training During our 3 month training period, each women receives a salary, that increases with full time employment after this term.