About us

43a44a08-e48d-48d1-9fea-df3670ba0f98Established in rural Tamil Nadu in Southern India in 2006, Flowering Desert was once just a dream. Mercy Abraham Imondi had already founded the Mahalir Aran Trust in 1992 to provide a safe place for women escaping from domestic violence and exploitation.  Looking for ways to  provide meaningful employment for these women, Mercy dreamt of building a production unit, where they could learn new, marketable skills, earn a fair wage and provide for their families in a safe and pleasant environment. Mercy got to work building this unit on the same site as the refuge and in 2006,  the first sewing machines were installed.   Today, this production unit employs 26 women from the refuge and local community.

As the dream has become a reality, Mercy has seen the women grow in confidence and self-esteem. They have learnt excellent skills in textiles and, more recently, jewellery making and are now making exquisite products supplying a growing export market. The working environment is a happy one and alongside the work, the women are offered free health care, advocacy, counselling and life-skills.

There is also a micro-loan system in place to which participants can contribute Rs100 per month. They decide together how to use the money to help those who need a loan. They also save towards a special annual outing for them and their children – a highlight of the year.

Flowering Desert is seeing people’s lives being transformed and flourishing, just like flowers blooming in a desert place. It is playing a significant part in building a better world for future generations.

Since the end of 2022, Flowering Desert has been a guaranteed member of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), whose Guarantee System is the only international verification model focused on social enterprises that put the interests of workers, farmers and artisans first.