Social Impact Story: Lissy, Secret Projects

We are honoured to present Lissy, Quality Controller at Secret Projects. Read more about her story here.

My name is Lissy. My family consists of 4 members: myself, my husband and my two teenage children. My husband does odd jobs as a carpenter, but I am the one with the steady stream of income. I work in a school as helping staff and then come to Secret Projects in the evenings to do my work here. I have been working as a Quality Controller here at Secret Projects for two years.

I live in a quiet village area in the outskirts of Bangalore. I used to live further into the city but found it too busy and polluted. I found it made me feel unwell. I prefer living further out. It is a peaceful place and I feel happier surrounded by greenery. We have lots of friends in the area where we live and we all support each other.

I found out about Secret Projects from the women in the old neighbourhood where I used to live. Because I have a background working in quality control, I was able to offer my skills here. They provided me with training in stitching and production of their products. I knew how to sew before, but not everything. Now I know a lot more. This is very important to know the full production process when being a quality controller. 

This increased knowledge helps me do my work as a quality controller much more quickly and efficiently. I also work with more confidence because I believe in myself and capabilities more so than in my old job. It also means that I can lead training sessions. We work with women’s groups in five different Indian states. I travel to visit each of our groups on a regular basis to train them in the production of new products and to check their work and discuss any doubts or worries they might have. This is a part of the job that I really love, working directly with other women. I am always learning new things from them.

I worked as quality checker in Delhi for 10 years. In that job, I had a particular time to start work and I couldn’t be late no matter what the reason was. If I was late, I would have been fired. I was not allowed to take leave either. I was under so much pressure there. I was so unhappy and it didn’t fit around my family life and other responsibilities. Here at Secret Projects the environment is totally different. I am extremely happy here because I can start my work whenever I am free and available. It is completely flexible and everyone around me is friendly and helpful. We have fun. I don’t experience any pressures or stress while working here.

Since I am able to work at Secret Projects part-time, I am able to increase the salary I get from working at the school. I am therefore able to fulfill my household needs accordingly. Most importantly, I have been able to pay for my children’s school fees with the increased income.

Secret Projects helps women earn money of their own that goes into their own hands. It has a social motive of empowering Indian woman and society, and I feel myself honoured and immensely proud to work for Secret Projects and support this mission.

As I am able to sew, I make a lot of my own clothes. I am also able to mend clothes when they get holes or if they are too small, so that they have some more life in them! We share and exchange a lot of clothes between myself, my sisters and my daughter

I am a patient person. I think it is important to work hard and not give up. There have been periods of my life that have been very difficult and stressful. Of course I still have these times, but since starting my work with Secret Projects, I have also experienced a lot of joy. I enjoy working with the other Makers and have made lots of friends. But of course most of my joy comes from my children and my family. I am always so proud of my children and their achievements. 

My goal for the year ahead is to continue to learn more about stitching and production and become the best quality checker that I can be. I also want to help as many women as possible find work here at Secret Projects so that their lives can also be as colourful as mine.

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