Thursday, February 5, 2009

MarketPlace: Handwork of India

MarketPlace: Handwork of India is an innovative fair trade, not-for-profit organization increasing economic opportunities for low-income women in India and empowering them to bring about changes in their lives, their families and communities. MarketPlace works with 14 co-operatives consisting of 480 artisans in India who produce high-quality women’s apparel.

MarketPlace: Handwork of India is not a strategy, a program, or an academic exercise. Rather, it is a way of life that brings about change in the lives of the women artisans, in their families, and in their communities. Earning a living and supporting their families have given these women the independence and self-confidence to explore different aspects of their lives. They have found the courage to question age-old traditions and beliefs and to develop their own opinions, values and dreams. Combining the old and the new, they have fashioned new lives incorporating self-respect, ambitions, and strength. And at the center of each woman’s new life is family. Above all they will not compromise their absolute belief that they want a better life for their children and that they will do anything in their power to accomplish this.

Social change ripples into the community as leadership building initiatives give the artisans tools for action.