Oftentimes when I think about the need for dignified, sustainable employment opportunities in developing countries, I think about relief from the grueling hours & unsafe factory conditions at sweatshops or even simply no employment opportunities.
Ryane, Co-Founder of Connected in Hope educated me about a big need that she saw for alternative employment in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The women we work with so fiercely love their children that they are willing to do whatever it takes to provide for them. Even when that means tying 75 lbs of wood to their backs and walking 8 miles to sell it for less than $1.00.
Everyday thousands of women and girls in Addis Ababa struggle to make a living by collecting and carrying enormous bundles of fuelwood to sell. The job is extremely dangerous and physically demanding.
Connected in Hope works to provide alternative employment that can help keep families together & children out of orphanages by giving women the opportunity to earn predictable incomes. This employment? Weaving beautiful Ethiopian cotton fabrics (like these scarves) & making amazing leather goods.
They currently employ over 80 artisans, educate over 100 kids and are implementing community-driven programs that are directly impacting the lives of over 600 individuals.
And there's more work to be done. There are still thousands of women who need income alternatives, educational opportunities for their children and access to basic health care.
This is exactly why we love Fair Trade as one possible solution for international poverty. These women are creating beautiful clutches, scarves, passport wallets, dopp kits, & purses (like this one we can't seem to keep in stock that you can pre-order) that stand alone on their quality & style.
By purchase an item that you will get tons of use out of (and tons of compliments on!) you're able to support families across the world.
Artisan photo credit: Carly Loves Amos Photography