Artisans from India
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.