“Nobody wanted to hire us!” we were told by women struggling to generate income here in Hong Kong. For those who are older or who live with disabilities, finding a stable job can be challenging in today’s competitive world. Happily, though, the story has a good ending for a group of women who have been trained and employed to cook and clean by a social enterprise group: one committed to creating employment and giving women a salary. They now work at a canteen near Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University and Crossroads donated the pots, pans and utensils they use. We provided not only the quality kitchen equipment but also the tables, chairs and other furniture required to run the new canteen. We were only too happy to supply what was needed to help empower more disadvantaged women.

Moldova: Supporting elderly and people with disabilities

Supporting elderly and people with disabilities This shipment feedback has arrived! Click here to read more. Despite dramatic improvements in poverty rates in...

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Benin: Empowering women and youth

Shipment feedback: Benin, bordered by Togo and Nigeria in West Africa, is rich in natural beauty but is one of the world’s...

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Cameroon: Caring for communities in conflict

Shipment feedback: Recent conflicts in some parts of Cameroon in recent years have not only caused devastating loss of life and trauma...

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Tanzania: Education and job training

Shipment feedback: Youth unemployment is a serious problem in the Northern region of Tanzania where much of the population rely on subsistence...

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“Those were the years of violence,” said Juliana, a Peruvian woman who works with craft collective Kuyanakuy. She reflected on the bloody internal conflict that raged in parts of Peru in the early 1990s, leaving at least 70,000 people dead. At the height of the violence, Juliana was sheltering 12 families who were forced out of their homes to flee the terror.

Although the conflict has now settled in Juliana’s community, it left deep scars. Women who lived through that time lost husbands, children and beloved neighbours. Many found themselves impoverished without their breadwinner or another steady source of income.

Out of these ashes, a group of women banded together to form Kuyanakuy, a name that means ‘Let us love’: a place where today women survivors of the conflict can meet, support each other, cry together, and work together to create beautiful handicrafts drawing on rich Peruvian artistic traditions and imagery. All the craftswomen are from low-income families and most are illiterate when they join, with little chance of a decent, steady job. Through Kuyanakuy, though, they are now learning to read and write alongside their new-found handicraft skills. As well, of course, this work generates income for them as they care, single-handed, for their families.

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Browse Global Handicrafts’ full online range here or visit our shop at Crossroads Village to walk through our colourful global marketplace, with even more handmade delights from around the world, all of which care for the people who made them.

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Moldova: Supporting elderly and people with disabilities

Supporting elderly and people with disabilities This shipment feedback has arrived! Click here to read more. Despite dramatic improvements in poverty rates in...

read more ...

Benin: Empowering women and youth

Shipment feedback: Benin, bordered by Togo and Nigeria in West Africa, is rich in natural beauty but is one of the world’s...

read more ...

Cameroon: Caring for communities in conflict

Shipment feedback: Recent conflicts in some parts of Cameroon in recent years have not only caused devastating loss of life and trauma...

read more ...

Tanzania: Education and job training

Shipment feedback: Youth unemployment is a serious problem in the Northern region of Tanzania where much of the population rely on subsistence...

read more ...

Extreme taboo surrounds the process of menstruation in some parts of India, says local NGO, Goonj. What options do women have, then, without access to feminine hygiene products? In rural India, millions of women improvise with rags or, unthinkably, sand, ash and the like. As a result, they meet infection and disease, not to mention a crippling lack of dignity.

Goonj is doing what it can to restore that dignity to Indian women. In a project they call ‘Not Just a Piece of Cloth’, they produce pads and underwear out of cleaned, recycled textiles. They distribute these in packs to rural women, teaching them how to sew pads of their own. For the women, this simple provision is proving liberating and empowering.

This creative organisation also supports its women with another of their innovative enterprises. They train women to make paper bags out of recycled newspaper so they can earn income based on fair trade principles. These bags are sold all over the world, including Crossroads.

Any time you buy something from our Global Handicrafts shop, you will be given your purchase in one of Goonj’s recycled paper bags.

Moldova: Supporting elderly and people with disabilities

Supporting elderly and people with disabilities This shipment feedback has arrived! Click here to read more. Despite dramatic improvements in poverty rates in...

read more ...

Benin: Empowering women and youth

Shipment feedback: Benin, bordered by Togo and Nigeria in West Africa, is rich in natural beauty but is one of the world’s...

read more ...

Cameroon: Caring for communities in conflict

Shipment feedback: Recent conflicts in some parts of Cameroon in recent years have not only caused devastating loss of life and trauma...

read more ...

Tanzania: Education and job training

Shipment feedback: Youth unemployment is a serious problem in the Northern region of Tanzania where much of the population rely on subsistence...

read more ...