Supporting Artisans to Achieve Economic Empowerment
Pakistan has seen some encouraging signs of socio-economic development: a small reduction in overall poverty in recent years and GDP growth around 5.5% for 2017-2018 according to World Bank. Yet in terms of the overall Human Development Index (HDI), Pakistan still ranks poorly at 147 (out of a total of 188 countries) There continue to be few employment opportunities for men, women and youth especially in the most vulnerable, disadvantaged rural communities that have been affected by either natural disaster such as floods or complex emergencies (conflict, humanitarian, etc.) or lack of economic activity for extended periods of time. In these marginalized communities, often the only means of livelihood for women (and some men) is related to crafts.
Traditionally, the crafts and related trades sector in Pakistan has been a significant contributor to Pakistan’s economy, providing almost 15% of formal sector employment. The contribution is twice as much in the informal sector, providing more than 30% of the jobs of which 54% are filled by women. We work with women artisans who are adept in the skill of hand embroideries. Our mission is twofold, to enhance and strengthen the skills of artisans to help them create high quality, hand crafted products, and to create a sustainable future for rural communities. The core of our work is focused on building an enabling environment that helps marginalized women artisans reach their potential and transition into entrepreneurs who can independently produce and market products. We use a collaborative business model and apply initiatives to take our work to the next level. We believe it is our responsibility to do our part to help preserve tradition, create an equal and sustainable future for the artisan of Pakistan; one step at a time.