Impact is defined as “to have a direct effect on.”
When visiting one of my favorite places (starts with a T and has a bulls-eye as it’s logo), I don’t typically think about the way my purchases will impact the creators of the items I purchase. Think for a moment about toilet tissue...
Do you realize that in some way, your purchase of a common household item will allow a member of the store, the truck driver who delivers the product, someone on the manufacturing line at the plant where it is produced, and the gatherer of the raw materials to make the toilet tissue are gainfully employed because of our purchases?
Fortunately, the connection is easy to see via the beautiful products that Fashion & Compassion sells. It is hard to explain to our customers how drastically their purchases of jewelry, bags, scarfs, home goods, etc. will IMPACT the lives of the artisans that are creating the pieces.
The women that we work with in Kampala have been displaced from their home villages in Northern Uganda because of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group there; you may have heard of the LRA’s leader, Joseph Kony. They’ve lost their land, a majority of their family members and the opportunity to live in a beautiful rural village. To save themselves and find opportunity for their surviving children, they came to Kampala, Uganda’s capital, in search of work. The only work available to them is bashing rocks into gravel in a stone quarry that pays only 50 cents/day.
In contrast, while I was in Uganda, the women who are involved in our program worked very hard to make hundreds of the beautiful new designs that we gave them. They accomplished about a months work of work in under 3 weeks… what is even more amazing is that the money that they earned in those few weeks is equivalent to what they would make in the stone quarry in 10 MONTHS!! As I left the slum, the women were dancing and singing in the streets because of the amount of money they had EARNED. In this process, I’ve learned the importance of EMPOWERING people versus ENABLING - or simply giving them what they need. Work brings dignity and helps these women see that they were created in the image of God with purpose and creativity.
Because of the purchase of the paper bead products by customers like YOU, you are empowering these women to:
- Feed their children
- Educate their children (and themselves)
- Help pay for medical bills
- Realize their dreams of acquiring a home or land where they can provide a stable home-environment for their family
- Escape an unsafe working environment where many deaths occur. While I was in Kampala, a 16 year old boy died after he slipped and fell into the quarry.
- Become leaders in their communities and role models to their children
- And most importantly, grow in their faith in believing that God will take care of them.
As you shop with us at our events or SOON on our website, please remember the sustainable IMPACT that your purchases are having on the women we work with in Uganda, Rwanda, Ecuador, Charlotte, Haiti and India. We are grateful that you are a CARING CONSUMER.