Gita was only 17 years old when she stepped into the small room where Sari Bari started, on the first day our doors opened. She was there to teach our first three heroes how to sew.

Gita has always done things her own way, by her own rules. She’s strong, stylish and willing to take on new challenges. Whatever hardship she endures, Gita takes it on.

It’s only a lady with these sorts of attributes who as a teenager could risk visiting the red light area to teach women how to sew, for a business that was only just starting.

At the beginning, I was very scared because I’d heard a lot about the red light area and I was afraid that something would happen,” she shares. But Gita persisted, determined to face her fears to help the women of Sari Bari.

I was doing vocational training, and from there, I was introduced to Sarah Lance [Sari Bari’s Co-founder]. I started as a trainer, teaching the women to sew. And then I gradually took on more responsibility – I became a Production Manager, then the Prevention Unit Manager, and now I’m the Human Resources Administrator. I’ve been doing this for about 6 months,” Gita says.

Every day, I pray to God, asking Him that if this job is for me, and if this title is for me, then please prepare me so that I can fulfil this job. If He thinks I’m good in this job, then He’ll grow in me in this process.”

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Gita is excited about being a leader, but says sometimes there are hard times and struggles she must deal with. “At those times I can be worried, but I carry on anyway. I make it through. At present, I need to be prepared all the time for whatever kind of challenge comes my way.”

Her favourite part about working at Sari Bari is supporting the women and being a champion in their lives. “I love listening to them and talking with them, and sharing life with each other. I love helping them with any needs, whatever way I can. If I am able to help them, then I’m very excited and very happy.”

Gita has made lasting relationships at Sari Bari – and found mentors that will forever change the course of her life. “Sarah has become like my second mother. She’s taught me from step to step. While I was growing, Sarah was always behind me, supporting me – she even did all the arrangements for my marriage! I’ll never be able to forget Sarah because she made me who I am.”

A mother of two beautiful girls, Gita has dreams to get a college education one day. And with her resilience, there’s nothing stopping her from reaching that dream!

“Sometimes I get in a situation where I feel like I have broken down and I don’t think it’s possible for me [to press on]. But I cheer myself up and say if everyone else can do it, then I can do it too.

Written by Nicole Peck