The first year I went on a mission trip to Kenya, I spoke at a ladies conference. In between sessions, we also taught the ladies how to crochet. It was a precious time for me, because I helped teach them this skill without knowing their language! I would sit next to a lady, demonstrate the stitch, then hand the yarn back to her to try herself. If she did it correctly, I would nod my head and smile. If she needed extra help, I would ask for the yarn back and show her again.
I was so impressed with these women. They not only caught on fast, but some of them made hats, booties and purses all from us teaching them one basic stitch. We left them with a skein of yarn so they could continue creating masterpieces once we left.
They thanked us for teaching them a skill. That was something they could use and possibly earn money off of what they made. A small business.
A friend of mine, Katy Nutter, is apart of company that wants to do the same thing. She is apart of a company called Trades of Hope, which teaches skills to women living in poverty.They don’t merely hand out money, but actually create jobs! Their website says, “So many women live in poverty, not because they lack abilities, but because they lack opportunity. We started Trades of Hope to give women that opportunity for a better life. Each woman has a story, and with Trades of Hope’s help, their story has changed from pain and struggle to a story of hope!”
They are teaching these artisans how to sew, do bead work and more. Trades of Hope then buys the hand-made products from the artisan at a fair wage. After that, Compassionate Entrepreneurs, like Katy, market the products in the United States to give them a broader market and allow them to sell more quantity and make more profit. The artisans typically make 4-6 times what they would be making in their local markets!
Katy introduced me to these Restoration Earrings, which are made in Haiti from cereal boxes and clay.
Aren’t they pretty? I love the colors! And they aren’t too heavy.
The artisans in Haiti can create 50 beads, 2 necklaces, or 8 bracelets from one box of cereal. Plus, it provides $40 in income!
I asked Katy some questions about Trades of Hope, hoping to give you a chance to hear her heart about the company and products…