We Stand with Women
In light of International Women's Day I have been reflecting on the importance women have had in shaping me into the person that I am today. In addition, I have been thinking about all of the strong, talented female artisans whose work is the reason Casa Verde exists. I wanted to highlight a few of them so we can all acknowledge the role they play in making our world a better place.
When traveling in Africa as a teen, Joelle McNamara encountered a number of women who had to resort to prostitution as the only way to feed their children because their husbands had died or abandoned them. Instead of asking for handouts the women she met were simply seeking opportunities. Joelle founded Badala and had these women make jewelry and housewares that she then sold in the US. Her program now provides jobs for women in Kenya, Rwanda, Honduras and domestic sex trafficking survivors.
Matr Boomie is a fair trade supplier that works with artist collectives throughout India. A small group of women artisans in a dry, limited-farming region of western India make their embroidered products, mostly from their own homes or huts. Local organizations formed groups like this to preserve the beautiful embroidered art forms and create sustainable employment. In addition to fair living wages, Matr Boomie supports the women in health care, sanitation and human rights.
Members of the artist collectives that work with Mayan Hands are all Mayan women, living in rural areas, in adobe houses, with outhouses, running water in the pila (outdoor concrete sink used for everything), and electricity.They are no longer among the poorest of the poor because of their work with Mayan Hands. Most of the women who work with Mayan Hands have had no more than a third grade education, and many none whatsoever. One of the most important things that working with Mayan Hands does for them is make it possible for them to send their children, including their daughters, to school. Through scholarships and school supplies, Mayan Hands has been able to support the next generation.
Color Amor is one of our newest partners supplying a number of products for our Spring/Summer 2017 collection. Getting to meet with Cristina on a recent trip to Mexico, we were able to see the passion she has for Mexican craft especially that of the Yucatan state where she is from. She visits artist collectives all over Mexico and is able to find products that mix traditional techniques with a modern design sensibility. In addition, she provides employment opportunities for women working in remote villages.