Fashion & Compassion does not exist without our incredible artisans. From the US, to Mexico, to Uganda-read to learn more about the people your partnership impacts.
In Charlotte, NC we serve women overcoming situations such as human trafficking, abuse, addiction, incarceration, generational poverty and ethnic persecution. Our team teaches these women, whom we refer to as artisans, to make jewelry and other crafts providing them with supplemental income. In addition, we work with our artisans on their personal development through mentoring and goal setting. We help artisans achieve goals around employment, education, stable housing, continued sobriety, financial literacy, ESL, spiritual growth, supportive community, emotional health and skill development. Local artisans graduate from our program within 3 to 6 months, allowing us to continue to help more women live abundant, purposeful lives.
Purposefully made by young women rescued from sex-trafficking in Quito, Ecuador. Due to high rates of poverty and unemployment, as well as a lack of education, Ecuadorian women are at an increased risk for sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Through Case Adalia, Education Equals Hope provides young women who have survived various forms of sexual exploitation and relationship violence a place to recover and thrive. These young women and their children are given hope through a team of staff and volunteers who derive their compassion from deep faith.
The Entoto Beth Artisan group began as a response to the influx of people living with HIV/AIDS in the Entoto region on the edge of Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. Their approach to lifting up the lives of vulnerable women includes income generation through the production of jewelry and leather goods. The jewelry carried at Fashion & Compassion is hand-crafted with "bullet beads", which are beads that have been spun from the bullets spent during the civil war in Ethiopia. In addition, artisans are offered literacy and math classes as well as a parent’s program focusing on nutrition and discipline. Bethlehem leads this artisan group with style and compassion.
One of our newest partners, Meron encourages and employs primarily women (80% of her team is female), giving impoverished women a chance to learn a new skill and provide a living wage with which to support their families. Meron supports her artisans additionally through in-house trainings on issues relevant to the women, encouraging all of the artisans to reach their dreams. Meron has a fabulous sense of design and brings a level of quality and workmanship uncommon in many countries. Her vision is to create high quality leather products ethically and efficiently, implementing sustainable fashion into her business model.
Our metals are handcrafted by single mothers and families living in the tiny village of Cuauchichinola (pronounced “wha-CHI-chi-no-la”), Mexico. The residents of Cuauchichinola have very few options for work, with field labor being the primary employment option. Our dear friend and partner gives these families a better option, transforming their lives with her artisan compound on a hill above the village. Laura, along with daughter Lluvia, pays our artisans $25/day, providing a living wage, allowing them to secure safe and decent housing and food for their families. Your purchase keeps families together in Mexico as they are able to create sustainability in their village.
These ladies are the makers of our White Yak bags! Nepal is a small country the size of Tennessee sandwiched right between India and China. The nation is best known for its incredible mountains and treks, but in the capital city of Kathmandu millions of people are living in poverty. Still today, the Himalayan peoples, Tibetans and Ethnic Tibetans both, deal with many dangers and troubling times. Earthquakes, and landslides still threaten the people. However, new dangers also threaten them: difficulties for traditional sources of income (the farming, herding, and trading are dying economic supports for these people), cultural loss and even extinction, as well as human trafficking.
Founded by Kennedy Leavens in 2009, Awamaki creates lasting impact for 140 women in the remote Andean mountains of Peru by helping rural Andean women’s associations launch successful small businesses creating authentic, high-quality products and experiences. Awamaki invests in women’s skills, connects them to market access and supports their leadership so they can increase their income and transform their communities. A member of the Fair Trade Federation, Awamaki provides educational programs and workshops about production, organization, quality training, and entrepreneurship. The women receive the skills and training essential to one day lead their cooperative with financial independence and self-sufficiency.
Africa has a history of tribal and colonial leadership, resulting in poverty, conflict and injustice. Our friend and Advisor, Celestin Musekura, founded ALARM (African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries) after his family was brutally attacked and many killed during the genocide. Celestin’s vision is to build servant leaders who are willing to lay aside personal and tribal interests to restore brokenness in churches, families, communities and nations. In addition to the tribal healing, women are given access to the economic ladder in order to provide for their families. Since they started weaving baskets in community, the women have woven love & understanding for one another that we pray brings hope & peace for future generations.
We have three different artisan partnerships in Uganda. Enoch is the source of our incredible cattle horn goods, Fashion & Compassion Uganda is an independent NGO that serves women overcoming poverty, and the Bududa Learning Center is a place were youth can be trained to earn their tailoring certificate. 77% of Ugandans are under 25, and the unemployment rate for young people in Uganda ages 15–24 is 83%. It’s even higher for students with a University degree, as the higher paying jobs are scarce. Vocational training is key to changing the trajectory for Ugandans. We're grateful for their perseverance, joy, and incredibly hard work.