Naga Republic Feature
Though struggling most of her life, this hardworking Naga lady has a story of hope to share as she humbly acknowledges God’s leading and grace that saw her through difficult times. Along the way she came across Sisterhood Network (SN). The rest as they say is history.
Meet Chubaienla, Tailoring in-charge, Sisterhood Network, an NGO with its own humble beginnings starting 2001. Sisterhood Network (SN) has as its vision: ‘to enable the lives of an individual to live as persons of dignity and ability.
And true to its motto of ‘helping one another’, both Sisterhood Network and Chubaienla are living up to this vision and mission. The mission of Sisterhood Network is to empower and facilitate women and girls to take up self-help initiatives through various activities and programs so that they can become self-reliant and responsible in society.
And in that sense Chubaienla is a true role model of what Sisterhood Network had always aspired to put in place—empowering women and girls and giving them the chance to live better lives.
Around 33 years old Chubaienla is from Ao/Naga community, born and brought up in Dimapur, Nagaland. She is the second child among four children in the family. She has an elder brother and two sisters. She lives with her mother, sister, elder brother and sister-in-law in a small plot of land owned by them in Oriental colony, Dimapur. Her grandparents settled in Dimapur in the 60’s and originally came from Mokokchung district, Nagaland.
Described by colleagues as “very smart and friendly young woman”, life was not at all easy for her. Chubaienla lost her father at a very young age. After the death of her father, who was a Sectional Assistant at PWD (R&B) Dimapur, life became miserable for her family, as she recounts. With no other option to make a living for the young family, Chubaienla’s mother was employed as a daily wage labour to sustain their living and education. However, since her mother didn’t get her monthly salary on time, there were times that they couldn’t pay the school fees for long months and sometimes there were dry days when they had nothing to cook for meals.
With poverty facing the family, Chubaienla scarified her schooling and she dropped out of class-12. Fortunately for Chubaienla, her uncle, who made furniture for hotels and knowing her interest and talent in tailoring, helped her to land in a contract to stitch curtains for hotels. With this small job she would contribute for household requirements and give half of what she earned to her mother even though it was a small meagre amount.
In between tailoring and other jobs, she took up Stenography training at ITI for one year.
As she was always interested in tailoring from a very young age, Chubaienla finally joined Sisterhood Network (SN) for a four months vocational training course in August 2007. She was exceptionally good with her work that she was awarded for best craft during the Livelihood Skills Training Program (LSTP). Also, she created the best doormat among her peers. After the training at SN, she was able to put her skills to use and started making cards which she could sell, quite successfully. Things were starting to look up for Chubaienla.
In 2008, she came back to SN as a volunteer to help out in craft-making and with the guidance of the NGO she went for another four months basic training course in soft toy making at Kolkata Institute of Soft Toy Making. After she came back from Kolkata, she continued to work at SN as a volunteer and taught soft toy making to LSTP Girls (2009 2nd Batch). Finally in 2010, she was employed as a full time employee in craft-making at SN.
With the help of Sisterhood Network, in July 2010, she underwent three months basic tailoring training at Don Bosco Technic, 3rd Mile, Dimapur: Nagaland. In 2011, she was given the opportunity to teach tailoring to LSTP students. In 2013, she was employed as the tailoring in-charge and instructor for LSTP girls’ program at SN. Seeing her potential and creativity, she is now taking up an advanced tailoring training course at Style and Elan (Institute of fashion designing) in Dimapur, Nagaland.
Chubaienla lights up whenever she is asked about her love for creative designs and tailoring projects. She is learning to be more articulate and now easily shares information about her work experiences and volunteer work.
“Sisterhood Network has helped a lot in so many ways. I came to SN with no proper knowledge. SN has shaped me and I owe everything to SN for the person I am today”, Chubaienla says.
She credits Sisterhood Network for the opportunities given to her and helping nurture her talent. Through her work, Chubaienla can now earn a livelihood and help her family. “Sisterhood has helped a lot spiritually and financially”. In addition, she says, “It is because of God’s leading that I came to SN and I’m successful because of God’s abundant grace.”