When you talk about marginalized individuals, what kind of situations are they facing? Sophia: In India, women who make our bags have either been involved in the sex trade or were vulnerable to being pulled into it. Making our bags offers them a safe and healthy work community and an alternative to selling themselves. Kirsten: The women in Northern India who make our wood and leather jewelry, as well as our paper products, have been marginalized from their communities. Many of them were confined to their homes, and the only hope they had to escape poverty was to marry well.
How about in Africa? Sophia: In Ethiopia, all the women we help employ are HIV+. Some of them were on the verge of death before they started working with our partnership. Because of the job they have, they can now take better care of themselves and can afford healthier living options. This not only improves the life of the woman, but also her family, by preventing her children from becoming orphans.