If you search for Trades of Hope products made by artisans in the Philippines, you will learn that they are very skilled in using Capiz shells to make gorgeous earrings. I want to share a little bit about the Philippines and one of our artisans, Grace, with you.
Currently, almost 33% of the population in the Philippines lives below the poverty line. Local artisans are often forced to try and sell their products to tourists for very low compensation because they lack access to foreign markets. The artisan group Trades of Hope is partnered with is changing lives in the Philippines by helping artisans develop skills to sell their products to the world! These artisans are benefiting through micro-financing, technical training, product development assistance and special incentives for their quality craftsmanship. They now have this steady income to help the provide for their families.
One of the artisans in this group is Grace. When she applied for employment in the group, she did not know the skill required for working with Capiz, but was determined to learn. Grace knew that, “with determination, nothing is impossible.” She soon overcame her obstacles and has now been with the group for over 13 years. She has advanced in her position and receives legal benefits, training seminars, group retreats, and loans so she can send her children to school! She also has been able to purchase the home and lot where her family is living.
My Capiz Earrings have a special place in my heart now that I’ve heard Grace’s story! I’m glad to see we are empowering these women to be heroes of their own stories with a sustainable income.