What if you looked at your life and couldn't see a break in the cycle of poverty? You can't send your children to school. You can't take your sick child to the doctor. You don't see how this will ever change. Would you feel despair and hopelessness? Anger or depression?
Our employees are needy artisan families. They recognize that they are materially poor and say this with a sense of resignation.
By providing them with income producing opportunities and increasing awareness on a variety of topics, we are enabling artisans to take greater responsibility for themselves. We are helping them know how to better make decisions for their families that can break the cycle of poverty.
Empowerment means this precious girl in the photo is able to go to school now. Her mother is one of our most hard-working employees, a lady who didn't go past second grade in school and can't read or write. But she wants to give her daughter a better life and knows that school is a big component of that.
This sweet (and mischievous!) girl is six years old, and she started going to school a few weeks ago for the first time in her life. You should have seen her beaming smile when she showed us her crisp, new school uniform with shiny black shoes! She wants to do homework every day and show us the numbers and letters she can write.
The cycle of poverty is heartless and vicious, a whirlpool of despair that traps millions of families. It'd be easy to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the situation. Then there are shining examples of courageous people who dared to believe that they could make a better life for their families and generations to come.
We get to be a part of that process every day with our artisans in India. How can you be a part of breaking the cycle of poverty in somebody's life??
Photo credit: Brady Black