Meet Our Indian Artisan Partners

29 Oct

While our goal at Hope For Women is to always get fantastic new products to our dedicated customers, our purpose and passion is to provide income and economic stability to women artisan groups, which, in turn, helps the groups expand and grow so that there can be more meaningful jobs for a greater number of women every single day. Each incredible women who creates our Fair Trade eco-friendly products  has a story to tell.  Meet Maya, Sumitra and Sushella from the hills of the Himalayas who create our beautiful India Collection of Cards.

Maya

Maya is from the tiny village of Thelpur. She grew up in a poor family and received no formal education. She married young and shortly after, became quite ill. A friend told her about Asha Kiran, an organization partnered with Hope For Women. The organization gave her medical treatment and offered her a part-time job making flowered cards.

Healthy again, Maya now works full time for Hope For Women where she trains other women in the art of card making, as well as producing her own unique designs. She is now able to support her family with her new skills. Maya’s husband is a part time tailor. His job does not provide a regular income. Her daughter lives with her husband’s family, while her son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren all live with Maya and her husband.

Neither her son nor her daughter-in-law have regular jobs; Maya is the only regularly employed family member. She is proud to have a savings account into which she is able to make regular deposits each month. The rest she invests in her family. Her greatest pride is paying for her grandchildren’s education. She hopes a higher demand for handmade cards will bring extra money that she could use for home improvements, which she badly needs. Like the other Hope For Women artisans, she appreciates having her own income, which is empowering for her as a woman.

Sumitra

 Sumitra has worked with Hope For Women since the beginning, and she loves her job. She laughs and confesses that she is unhappy when she has to stay at home and miss work. Sumitra grew up helping her family survive. She received little formal education, which makes her commitment to her children’s education even more powerful.

Her husband has a low-income job working for the state. The money she earns is what has enabled her to send her three children to school. When asked what she will do with the extra income obtained from future marketing, Sumitra said that she would save for the future. Right now, her family does not have any savings to rely on for hard times or old age, but with more income they will have more security.

Sushella

Sushella is from Tehri, a small village with inhabitants that have been forced out of their riverside homes by the construction of the Tehri Dam Hydroelectric Project. She and her husband, a gardener, moved to a larger Himalayan town, where they are currently living and raising their two sons. When her eldest son began school, Sushella began looking for work so that she could afford to pay for his education.

Sushella strongly desires for her children to have access to opportunities that she never had. When asked what she would do with the added income from a larger workload, she laughs and says, “So many things!” She wants to provide all she can for her family and hopes at some point to own a house on her own piece of land.

Learn more about Hope For Women artisans and our activities in India by visiting www.hopeforwomen.com.

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One Response to “Meet Our Indian Artisan Partners”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Gifts that Give Back « - November 23, 2010

    […] Fair Trade gift for a family member, friend or even for yourself provides the gift of steady employment  and stability for the artisans. We are excited to represent Fair Trade and are always thrilled […]

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