* to uplift Dalit women through Vocational Training and develop markets for products that enable training centers and individuals to become self sustaining.
* to give women self worth to see themselves as valuable unique individuals
* to lift up women to become leaders and impart value to others
* to give hope for the future for themselves and their children
LYDIA was developed for Dalit women to become trained, employed, and empowered. LYDIA was established to develop sustainable business outlets for women acquiring skills through MCDF in India
Through LYDIA, women are developing products for markets locally and abroad, giving women the opportunity to lift themselves out of devastating poverty.
As the womens lives change, their childrens futures also change. Giving the women training to earn dignified incomes, allows them to send their children to school, and have better living conditions.
Dalits are considered outcasts within Indian society. The rigid caste system of India has subjected Dalits (as they call themselves) to harsh oppression by upper castes for centuries. Dalits are considered to have no talent or aptitude to learn, and only fit to perform menial jobs such as farming, hard labor, sweeping streets, trash picking, and cleaning human excreta in streets and toilets.
With no access to education, professional training or better job opportunities, Dalits have been forced to survive on the lowest rung of the growing Indian economy.
Dalit women are especially downtrodden in this society, reduced to demeaning and arduous jobs, breaking the body, mind and spirit.