It’s one thing hearing about something incredible, but seeing it, that’s when your view changes completely. After interviewing a few women around the workshop here and at the shamba (where they grow fruits and produce), I’ve learned that Fair Trade has literally saved their lives. I didn’t know how to approach the interviews, unsure exactly what to ask so I decided to ask some open ended questions that the women would be able to build off of to help me understand what I should be asking and just to help me understand the change that has gone on here. I would ask the typical “How long have you worked here” and “what exactly do you do” first, followed by asking how their life has changed from before they had work to now, how their views of themselves have altered and where they saw themselves in five years. Their responses both broke my heart yet filled it with hope.
All the women here (besides a few young ones) had zero independence before being able to work. Not in the way they dressed, not in what they could eat, not even how to take care of their children. Everything was somewhat planned for them. The control laid in the hands of their husbands, which in some cases was almost lethal. Not because the husbands wanted to harm to their women, but mostly because they didn’t understand the proper needs of these women and what they valued and wanted. I had many women tell me that before they were able to have jobs, they were hopeless and lacked self confidence, feeling defeated by the world they lived in. But once they had this small control on their lives, it avalanched into control of their whole entire beings. It really struck me how much Fair Trade has helped them when one woman said with her head held high, “I was able to go from nothing to something.”
**Fair Trade Fairy**
See Your Purchase Power in Action! As part of our continuing feature where you get to know some of our entrepreneurial partners, read part of an interview that Fair Trade Fairy conducted with Kimere Nkuruna here. And watch the video introducing Kimere and Naesupat here. Come back often to find out exactly what they had to say in their videos. Make sure you also check out Fair Trade Fairy’s designs – the Pied Piper Collection. There’s a new strand this week!