The Lydia Vocational Training Center, also known as “Lydia House,” is a skills development program that is dedicated to empowering Nepali women. The five-month residential program trains women to become professional seamstresses, learning how to make 35 marketable articles of clothing including traditional kurtas and wedding veils. Students also receive biblical and theological training, take cooking and music classes, and gain awareness of issues related to domestic violence HIV/AIDS.
Operating since 1997, Lydia House has graduated nearly 800 women. Two classes are conducted annually training 22 women at a time, of ages ranging from 15 to 25. Most come from remote mountain communities of deeply entrenched poverty that offer few opportunities for women. After five months, the Lydia graduates are ready to return to their village with the skills to be effective wives and mothers, businesswomen, church leaders, and agents of change within their communities.