Employment = Empowerment

October 15, 2020

Employment = Empowerment

We were designed for work. We were all born with certain talents and abilities intended to help us forge a path in life that would bring us opportunity to support ourselves and our families.  Work gives us purpose. Work gives us a feeling of accomplishment. Work provides the opportunity to grow and excel in the areas in which we are skilled. Work affords us the ability to have more choices in life. 

In good times finding work in North America is generally not a difficult task.  Whether we’ve found that dream job position or we’ve taken a job to simply pay the bills, work for the most part is available. While some parts of North America do struggle with unemployment and poverty, most people are fortunate to have found employment that not only pay the bills, but also provides extra to enjoy life.

In Eswatini, and in many other parts of the world, it’s a different story.  “Eswatini has one of the highest unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan Africa at 22% (Statista, 2019). “Over 70 percent of the country’s total population (just over a million) rely on subsistence farming, and under current conditions, many survive on only one dollar per day.” (FOA, 2019)

While unemployment is a dire situation in Eswatini, the situation is even more difficult for women in Eswatini.  “Women, youth and those less educated are more vulnerable to unemployment than other groups.” (http://ftp.iza.org/dp10455.pdf) When there is no work, women often fall prey to men promising to take care of them in exchange for sexual favors. Out of desperation,  many women in Eswatini resort to prostitution to make money to feed themselves and their children.

No work. No way to feed your family. No HOPE.

Ncamile is one of our female artisans working at Khutsala™ Artisans. Ncamile understands the desperation and hopelessness that comes from unemployment. Ncamile was able to leave a poverty-stricken and abusive home life because of her employment at Khutsala Artisans.  She has worked hard and advanced within the business and is now thriving.  You will be able to ready more about Ncamile in an upcoming blog.

Then there is Leo.  Leo came to us in 2013.  He was living on his homestead in a neighboring community with many other family members.  He also came from an abusive situation.  Because of his employment with Khutsala™ Artisans, Leo has been able to build his own one-room home and fully support himself. 

At Khutsala™ Artisans we understand the importance of employment and that employment means empowerment.  Providing valuable employment opportunities to people in our community (many of whom are women) gives them a sense of purpose and dignity.  Employment empowers people by helping them to escape desperate situations.   It empowers people to acquire adequate shelter, clothing and even things we take for granted like clean water or electricity for their homes.  It empowers them to provide their children with educational opportunities.  Employment offers people a chance for a hope-filled future.

Employment equals empowerment by lifting people out of poverty, desperation and hopelessness.  We are proud to be a part of empowering the people of Eswatini.  We are proud to be restoring HOPE.

Our mission depends on you as well.  At Khutsala™ Artisans we do not give a hand out. We believe in giving a hand up.  However, if there are no customers to purchase the beautiful, handcrafted pieces our artisans create, then we cannot continue to provide employment.  We cannot continue to empower these people.  Please shop with purpose today, knowing that you are part of empowering people and bringing HOPE to the beautiful people of Eswatini.

Shop with Purpose.

 




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