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Artisan Countries

Asia

Eden Ministries

Eden Ministries reaches out to red-light districts through prevention, outreach, and advocacy strategies. Eden’s model is to reach, rescue, and restore the lives of women trapped in human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Eden has worked in Asia for many years. In that time hundreds of women have received holistic care that includes safe shelter, education, rehabilitation, and therapy–empowering them with hope for a new life and a bright future.

Eden’s jewelry is handcrafted by young women like Thiri, who was sold to over 20 men per day during the three years she was trapped in sexual slavery. Thiri said that before arriving at Eden, her heart felt like it was shattered into thousands of pieces. But now, Thiri knows that her heart is being sewn back together by the love she receives at Eden.

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Starfish Project

Starfish Project’s mission is to restore hope to exploited women in Asia. Through its holistic care programs, Starfish offers formerly exploited women the opportunity to heal their physical and emotional scars through vocational training, healthcare, shelter, counseling, and educational grants.

Since its inception, Starfish has employed over one hundred women and has served thousands of others through its community outreach services. Starfish Project serves women like Mae Lee, whose poverty-stricken mother sold her to traffickers when she was only 15. Mae Lee was enslaved in another country for six years. When she escaped she had no education, no opportunities, and no hope. Starfish Project offered her a new beginning by providing a sustainable income and an education. Mae Lee now sees the beauty of her world as she trains to become a professional photographer.  

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Bangladesh

Light of Hope

An estimated 700,000 beggars live in Bangladesh. Young women from impoverished families are vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. The Light of Hope Learning Center is a day shelter that provides girls with an education, life skills, health care, and moral training. Each girl learns that she is wonderfully made and that she has great potential for living a transformed life.

One such girl is Bushra. At five months old, Bushra became an orphan. Her grandparents took her in and cared for her without any outside help, but now they are elderly and sick. They can no longer provide for her because their illnesses require expensive treatments. Bushra has begun creating handcrafts at the Light of Hope Learning Center. Her salary gives her the opportunity to help her family and to continue her education.

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Peaceful Creations

In a small village in southwest Bangladesh, widows frantically search for work in order to take care of their young children. Because the widows are uneducated, they don’t possess marketable skills, and this leaves them with a bleak view for their future.

Peaceful Creations has partnered with several widows to sell their handmade items. Through their partnership with Peaceful Creations, many widows have been able to earn an income while they stayed at home with their children.

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Cambodia

Sak Saum

Sak Saum in Cambodia believes in change because they see it every day. Sak Saum’s mission is to see people set free and empowered for their future. Sak Saum focuses on helping former victims of sex trafficking and those who may be vulnerable to exploitation. They see how by helping one woman, they are in turn helping her family and her community.

One woman says that before she came to Sak Saum she was reminded every day that she was a burden and had no value. She says, “I felt hopeless and stupid.” But now her life has changed. “Sak Saum believed in me. I want to be a good example in my community. I am not slow and stupid. I am talented. I am smart. I have dignity.”

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China

China Ethnic Crafts

In some rural areas of China, impoverished women are forced to work in faraway sweatshop factories to earn money needed for their children’s school fees. China Ethnic Crafts is a caring, compassionate employer that provides women an opportunity to earn an income with dignity. In addition to providing an education for each artisan’s children, China Ethnic Crafts also offers spiritual training and medical care, including regular dental and eye checkups.

The artisan group ensures that each woman can earn an income by providing them with jobs that match their skills. The different jobs include embroidery work, finishing, hand-sewing, cleaning, ironing, and quality control. The compassion and community of China Ethnic Crafts brings daily hope and stability and security.

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Dominican Republic

The Lily House

The Lily House offers healing to women who have been sexually trafficked and those who are at risk of being trafficked. With high levels of poverty, illiteracy, and physical abuse, Dominican women are exceptionally vulnerable to traffickers.

The Lily House teaches the women teamwork, opportunity, faithfulness to quality, and commitment. Through their fair-trade enterprise, women are encouraged that there is hope. They have new light in their eyes because they now know they have value and talent and are worthy of love. As The Lily House artisans earn a living wage, they are able to purchase medicines, obtain a higher level of education, and provide for their children. These women are now able to think bigger and dream again.

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India

Channapatna Handicrafts

Artisans employed at Channapatna Handicrafts hand make wooden products using a more than 200-year-old craft tradition unique to Channapatna in southern India. The hale wood used is unique to the area. Each product is dyed with natural, nontoxic vegetable dyes. This craft was handed down by generations and was in danger of dying out because people had to move to larger cities to care for their families.

Through its partnership with WorldCrafts, Channapatna Handicrafts is reviving the craft while they improve the lives of the artisans and their families by creating employment opportunities in their community.

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ConneXions

In cities such as Kolkata (Calcutta), India, many women live in traditional patriarchal communities and are not allowed to work outside their homes. ConneXions offers these women the opportunity to collect the raw materials for their quilts and scarves and take them home to produce. This opportunity to work from home and earn a living wage opens the door to economic empowerment for the artisans. With the income received through their employment with ConneXions, the artisans are able to increase the educational opportunities for their children (especially their daughters) as well as help their families survive setbacks, particularly when illness or unemployment strikes.

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Himalayan Tapestry

Within each stitch of the Himalayan Tapestry artisans’ handiwork is a story of illiteracy, abuse within marriage, and culturally conditioned gender discrimination. While these Indian women suffer quietly, they are expected to carry the financial burden of their families. The women come to Himalayan Tapestry with little education and no basic skills, but here they learn to quilt, tailor, read, and manage money. Working with this organization enables women to make money from their new talents, and it enables them to receive crisis counseling, which brings financial and emotional comfort to their troubled lives.

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Love Calcutta Arts

The scarring influence of the sex trade does not affect only one generation in India. Desperate mothers often leave a legacy of poverty and prostitution to their daughters who are forced into the same predicament because they know no other lifestyle.

Enter Love Calcutta Arts. This artisan group’s handicrafts unit enables young women to support themselves with dignity and help their mothers leave the sex industry. These hardworking women make high-quality handmade paper products, including journals and cards, in a loving environment where they learn of their heavenly Father’s love for them.

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Rahab's Rope

The mission of Rahab's Rope is to give hope and opportunity to women and girls who are at risk for or have been forced into the commercial sex trade in India. Rahab's Rope provides a safe, loving environment that will enable the women to grow and develop both physically and spiritually. At Rahab’s Rope, at-risk women see the Father’s love in action. They are cared for emotionally, physical, and spiritually, and then they are given a basic education and training in vocational skills. The goal of Rahab’s Rope is to train these women so that they can be successful in their own communities, or so that when they are married, they are able to provide for themselves.

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White Rainbow Project

The White Rainbow Project is transforming lives by sharing love with the widows of India. It provides vocational training, food, and medical care to destitute widows in Vrindavan, India. Vrindavan, known as the City of Widows, is home at least 20,000 widows who have been abandoned by their families. White Rainbow Project is recycling hope for these widows by helping them create beautiful handmade products out of donated saris and old magazines. Recycling takes on a whole new meaning, as this is one of the only options widows have to support themselves. They have been told they have “bad karma” and are blamed for the death of their husband. They are shunned, exploited, and denied any sense of dignity. Earning their own money gives them freedom to choose their own destiny, many for the first time in their life.

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Indonesia

Ayu Sewing Project

Impoverished Indonesian mothers struggle to provide basic necessities for their families. In their culture, mothers are expected to stay at home and not work. So, if the husband doesn’t make much money, the families struggle with poverty. They struggle to feed their families, and an education for their children may be out of the question.

Ayu Sewing Project began to help Indonesian women learn a trade to support their families. The artisan group allows mothers to stay at home while they make extra income. By making only a few products each week, these women increase their monthly income by as much as 40 percent! This income provides for their children’s education and medical expenses, covers their rent, and allows for some conveniences such as functional bathrooms.

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Jordan

Glad Tidings

In Jordan, people with disabilities are often in the position of living as “takers" and search for whatever handouts they can persuade someone to give them.

Through Glad Tidings, people with disabilities are transformed into artisans who work with dignity to provide for themselves and their families. These artisans are thankful to continue to the age-old tradition of carving olive wood. The sale of their handcrafted products provides the artisans and their families with precious commodities, such as food, clothing, shelter, and an education. These artisans do not despair of their disabilities; instead they rejoice that Glad Tidings values them and does not turn them away as so many others would.

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Kenya

Back to Africa

Back to Africa began in 2008 as an offshoot of Heart of the Bride Ministries, Inc. The primary objective of Back to Africa is family preservation and care for families at risk in Kenya. The artisans, most of whom are single mothers or refugees or both, lived in extreme poverty before they began creating Back to Africa jewelry.

Mama Faith, pictured here, has been working with Back to Africa since 2008 as a bead artisan. A mother of 4, her income from Back to Africa enables her to consistently feed and clothe her children, send them to school, give to her local church, and help her family and neighbors who are not as fortunate. She says, “I have seen God in these necklaces. My husband got saved and baptized! I am a very happy woman. He used to drink and now he goes to church, and helps with the beads.”

The Back to Africa project has benefited more than 400 people. They have seen firsthand how a small paper bead or simple ceramic pendant can profoundly impact a community halfway around the world.

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Mother Care Handcrafts

Mother Care Handcrafts helps disadvantaged artisans earn a fair wage by using their skills in the centuries-old traditions of carving, jewelry making, and basket weaving. Many women have been rescued from prostitution thanks to the jobs Mother Care offers. Mother Care shares that orders of its WorldCrafts products have lifted the living standards of the artisans. They are now able to provide shelter, educate their children, and have access to medical care. Most importantly, many of these artisans now have eternal hope.

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Mully Children’s Family

Mully Children’s Family developed the Yatta Vocational Training Centre to help alleviate poverty by providing young women an education, job skills training, and mentoring in parenting. This two-year training program rescues an average of 100 exploited young women every year. The training center liberates girls who live on the streets, are victims of abuse, or are orphans. A group of young women at the training center hand-painted necklaces and quilted purses in order to earn a fair wage. All of these young women are being discipled to develop lives shaped by the assurance of eternal hope.

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Sasa Designs

Sasa Designs works with women and men who face exceptional physical challenges in in obtaining safe, sustainable work. This artisan group is committed to provide long-term employment and empowerment to those who face the most extreme hardships in supporting themselves and their families. Through their partnership with WorldCrafts, the artisans are able to provide nutritious food, shelter, and education for their families. Each piece of jewelry is a reminder of an artisan who once faced utter solitude but has now found a voice as they create jewelry that is shared around the world.

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Sema Leatherworks

The men who create the leather products of Sema Leatherworks say that their partnership with WorldCrafts enables them to help their communities and the surrounding areas. These artisans are fully focused on serving in the kingdom. Through their fair-trade partnership with WorldCrafts, these artisans have lives filled with peace and hope. They are able to educate their children, provide housing for their families, and share food with their communities.

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Kyrgyzstan

Master's Handicrafts

Throughout central Asia, cultural and artistic traditions have been preserved through the generations as women work with their mothers and grandmothers creating masterful crafts. Master’s Handicrafts is helping to preserve these traditions by employing women who would otherwise be forced to work in miserable, inhumane conditions. Through Master’s Handicrafts, women are able to stay home with their children, do something they love, get paid a reasonable wage, and continue to learn new skills and techniques.

The partnership between Master's Handicrafts and WorldCrafts enables these women to pay their bills for food, electricity, and other needs. Some have even been able to buy freezers to store food for winter. These women have expanded their worldviews and spend time thinking about the offer of eternal life.

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Mauritius

CraftAid

CraftAid, founded in 1982, provides jobs for people with disabilities (about 46 percent of current employees have disabilities.) Many of the artisans are hearing-impaired. CraftAid also employs many women responsible for providing for their families. CraftAid changes lives. Raima, a hearing-impaired artisan for CraftAid, found friends and contentment through her work. She also found Tana, her husband. Now they are married and have a son. Through their work, they can provide for their young family in Mauritius.

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Myanmar

Mogok Inklings

A native of Myanmar’s infamous mining town began Mogok Inklings. Like most children, as a little girl she played in the dirt. But, unlike most children, among the rocks and pebbles in her yard, the earth yielded fragments of rubies and semiprecious stones. Ironically, Mogok’s underground riches do not bring hope or opportunity to the residents of this town. So, the younger generations have been drawn away by the promises of a better life beckoning from the Thai and Chinese borders. Fueled by faith that has grown since her childhood, the little girl has now grown up and is creating jobs using the smaller gemstones that have been cast aside by the mining industry. Mogok Inklings now employs and shares hope with young people who are striving to finish school.

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Nepal

Blessed Hope

Blessed Hope provides creative work, skills development training, and true lasting hope to the women artisans and their families throughout the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal.

Labor and sex trafficking are both prevalent within Nepal, and the jobs and training Blessed Hope provides help eliminate the desperate situations which often lead to susceptibility to trafficking.

Through their partnership with WorldCrafts, the women artisans are paid salaries that make them able to purchase basic necessities for their families such as their children’s school fees, diapers, electricity, and propane gas to cook with and heat their homes.

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North Africa

Leather Project

In the mountains of North Africa, the Berber artisans of the Leather Project skillfully craft leather scraps from a furniture and upholstery company into smooth bags. This time-honored tradition helps them to earn money that supplements their jobs as subsistence farmers and shepherds. More and more, Berbers are forced to move to the city to look for business jobs, but this artisan group allows them to stay with their families in the mountains and provide for their needs.

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Rwanda

Igira Impuhwe

As markets open up, the women of Igira Impuhwe in Rwanda earn needed income from the sales of their eco-friendly, handwoven grass baskets. Igira Impuhwe lifts women like Mukangenzi Laurance out of desperate poverty. She now rents a home, has health insurance for her family, bought clothes for her children, and rents a garden to grow food. Each woman in the group is also presented with the life-changing offer of eternal hope. Mukangenzi thanks God for changing her life. Igira Impuhwe means “God is compassionate” in Kinyarwanda.

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More Than Sparrows

Many years ago, a benefactor of the artisans of More Than Sparrows shared a reading from Matthew 10:31: “So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." These women were sex workers and street vendors, isolated women who were considered the lowest of the low. This reading assured them that they had great value. Knowing their own worth brought them comfort and hope. Through their struggles, they have discovered a sense of identity. They have become more resilient and because of that, they now stand up and say, “We are More than Sparrows.”

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South Africa

Wezandla

Living in fear of their ancestors, the Zulu people of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, continually slaughter cows, goats, and chickens as sacrifices. They even attribute any illness, death, or calamity as a mood of an ancestor’s spirit that requires a sacrifice to appease. But, the people involved in the artisan group Wezandla, meaning “hands” in Zulu, have the opportunity to break free from this slavery. Each item they bead secures a paycheck for their poor families and the hope of freedom from fear.

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Thailand

Hill Top Crafts

Hill Top Crafts in Chiang Rai, Thailand employs Hmong women who sew unique, handmade purses. The artisans employed at Hill Top Crafts send their much-needed income home to their families in small villages in Laos and Vietnam. They are provided with shelter, as well as leadership training and discipleship courses. Their work at Hill Top Crafts helps them build self-esteem, encourage self-confidence, and provides essential hands-on skills to be successful in life. The women donate a portion of their sales to provide food, clothing, and shelter for orphans.

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Thai Country Trim

WorldCrafts’ first artisan group, Thai Country Trim provides a safe haven for battered women to receive emotional and financial support. With this provision of living wages, hundreds of women throughout the Thailand are employed by the artisan group. All of Thai Country Trim’s employees have been able to put their children through college with their earnings. The women learn the joy of working with their hands as they heal from their histories of abuse. The artisans of Thai Country Trim share that the most important thing they have learned is that they are unconditionally and eternally loved by their Father.

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The Well

The talent and tranquility of The Well artisans belie their astoundingly difficult backgrounds: one was sold into prostitution by her family as a small child; several were teenage bar workers; and another was a single mom with no resources. They have discovered their own innate talents through careful training in Thai arts, and The Well has given them a sense of hope and a positive vision for their futures. Today, these women have dreams of opening their own businesses; becoming doctors, nurses, lawyers, and teachers; and sending their children to school.

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Turkey

Anadoule

Anadoule artisan group is located in the Turkish central city of Anatolia. It provides opportunities for artisans to learn skills in handmade crafts in order to provide income for their families and to keep the Turkish culture alive.

Each artisan has a unique story. Faitma is an artisan who needed an income to provide for her family. Her husband no longer worked, and she had several children. The work of handcrafting these products provides the earnings Faitma desperately needs for her family. Anadoule makes a lasting impact on the lives of these Turkish artisans and their families.

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Uganda

Proverbs 31 Women

In many areas of Uganda, women lose everything to their in-laws when their husbands pass away. Without land, education, or job skills, widows and orphans are left without hope. Proverbs 31 Women artisan group is restoring hope and joy as HIV-positive widows are taught to create beautiful handmade paper bead jewelry.

With their incomes from Proverbs 31 Women, these widows are able to purchase homes and food. Some have bought cows so their children have milk and then they sell the rest. Some have paid off loans. Others have started new businesses. One even put a solar panel on her house!

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USA

Baptist Friendship House

Baptist Friendship House in New Orleans, Louisiana, works to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the homeless, human trafficking survivors, and those living in poverty.

They are a registered Christian Women’s Job Corps site of national WMU.

The artisans learned to create pottery as a part of the therapy provided at Baptist Friendship House. Now these women have turned their hobby into a skill they can use to rebuild their lives.

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Begin Anew Refugee Artisan Group

Begin Anew in south Nashville, a Christian Women’s Job Corps site, partnered with WorldCrafts to help refugees rebuild their lives. Begin Anew Refugee Artisan Group provides English as a second language classes, mentorships, Bible study, and handicrafts work for Burmese refugee women.

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Christian Women's Job Corps of Madison County, Alabama

Christian Women's Job Corps of Madison County, Alabama, provides intensive courses that include Bible study and computer classes, completely free of charge. Each student is assigned a mentor, and each mentor is committed to a one-on-one relationship to help build the student's self-esteem, self-confidence and skills essential to success in life and work.

Through its partnership with WorldCrafts, women are able to earn an income making leather earrings with leather donated from Holtz Leather Company, a local, family-owned business that is committed to making an impact on the lives of people in their community.

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Christian Women's Job Corps of Rusk County, Texas

Kristina came from a background of abuse and drugs. After crying out to God to save her in her early 20s, she started a new chapter in her life by joining the Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) of Rusk County, Texas. Tutors helped Kristina complete her GED, allowing her to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. CWJC of Rusk County exists to give women like Kristina a chance to get back on their feet. Participants can receive instruction in basic job skills, GED and literacy tutoring, and English as a second language courses. They also have the opportunity to earn supplemental income by working in the small jewelry and crafts business at the site.

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Graffiti 2 Works

Graffiti 2 Works coaches adults to develop the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual skills necessary to achieve their best. Learning to sew and sell products gives these artisans jobs and builds their self-esteem.

As the artisans of Graffiti 2 Works sew together, they develop relationships with each other and with our Father.

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Refugee Beads

Fleeing persecution in their native countries, such as Sudan, Bhutan, Burma, and Egypt, refugees often encounter new and threatening challenges upon arrival in the United States. Children are drawn into crime, parents are treated with disdain and overworked, and even the most basic tasks seem impossible. Refugee Beads provides hope, a sense of community, and needed income for refugees living in the Atlanta area.

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Refugee Sewing Society

Refugee Sewing Society in Clarkston, Georgia, teaches viable skills to vulnerable refugee women. The women receive payment for the products they sell, helping them earn a supplemental income. They have access to available resources including ESL and citizenship classes, which will allow them to adapt to their new home in America.

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The WellHouse

Sex trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry. Trafficked women feed a worldwide demand for sex slaves, prostitution, and pornography. Poverty and the fear of uncertain futures leave these women vulnerable to the lure of traffickers.

In the midst of this criminal world, The WellHouse fights human trafficking as it extends God’s grace and creates opportunities for restoration to exploited women. Here, trafficked victims enter a safe residential environment where they receive spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical support.

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