ARTISANS 
HANDICRAFTS
Solid Crafts is a social enterprise that makes unique handmade products that bring joy to customers while empowering women in disadvantaged rural communities in Peru, India, and Kenya. This is the essence of our social impact. Because we know that  supporting our artisans means uplifting the communities they live in.
 

Every day we hear personal stories of what the decent work and fair employment mean to our artisans and their families. We see them blossom into confident, strong women. For many, working at Solid's workshop is the first time they feel valued, and their self-esteem is growing. Bringing these women together, away from their domestic, often harsh lives, has created a wonderful sisterhood. Our workshop is their safe place. This connection is an integral part of Solid, which is touching the hearts of brands and consumers around the world.   

 
PERU

Solid's knitting workshop in Peru, called Manta,  is located in the city of Ayacucho. A city, tucked away in the Andean highlands, where a majority of the population comes from indigenous Quechua communities, with Quechua as their mother tongue.  These indigenous communities are disproportionally hit by poverty, having its roots in high rates of illiteracy, particularly in women, and a lack of essential services such as education and electrical power.

Over 80% of our artisans, most with a Quechua rural background, didn't finish their primary school. In 2009, UNICEF calculated that 78% of children whose first language was Quechua or Aymara lived in poverty, compared to 40% of those whose mother tongue was Spanish. UNICEF also reported that only 32% of indigenous children between three and five attend school, with the number being 55% for non-indigenous children.

The workshop therefore has a big social objective, to improve the living conditions of the over 150 underprivileged women we work with, by generating a fair income and new opportunities. Much more then employment is provided. Social work is woven into the workplace, providing coaching, workshops, and free childcare on site. A team of 4 employees, accompanied by volunteers, support the knitters in different areas.

 

 

FOCUS POINTS
Most of the knitters working at Manta, live in the poor neighborhoods surrounding Ayacucho. Additionally the workshop collaborates with a few, more remote, rural communities with a tradition in handicrafts. Although knitting is a skill they learned from their mother or grandmother, being part of the Peruvian culture, regular training and follow-up is given, so all our knitters become world class hand knitters.

Health 
Emphasizing safe working conditions, regular keep fit sessions and annual health campaigns. 

Wellbeing
Providing individual coaching and group sessions on personal wellbeing and social skills.

Prevention of violence    
As sexual and family violence are still very present, these women are strengthened in the recognition and application of their rights.
Education 
In collaboration with a local adult education program, the knitters are given the opportunity and support to resume their studies, as most didn’t finish primary school and are therefore limited in the support they can give to their children.
Childcare and positive parenting 

78% of the knitters are mothers, and 24% even single mother. Therefore childcare is integrated in the workplace, to provide a safe and stimulating environment for the children and peace of mind for the mothers .


 

INDIA

With Paces Crafts, Solid has a hand-weaving workshop in the heart of India’s northern region, Jharkhand, the second poorest state of India. Jharkhand’s social indicators such as literacy, enrollment, infant mortality and child nutrition are below the all-India average .  

Our artisans live in rural communities where jobs are scarce, and people at risk for trafficking, poverty, uncertain day labour and violence. In this environment our artisans have shown the courage to choose hope, and we are privileged to walk alongside them as they transform their livelihoods.

Currently, we support 60 artisans. It is our goal to continue to grow this powerful community and break the bonds of poverty. Each member of our team truly brings something special and valuable to the table. At Paces crafts they have found a meaningful community with each other, a steady income to keep their families together, and learned the craft of weaving and crocheting. But most importantly, they learned to believe in themselves and new
  opportunities, growing as an employee, weaver, woman, mother, community member, etc.  

Together with the artisans, we mapped their social needs to step out of poverty. Reflecting on many aspects of their living conditions, these women were most eager to work on the following topics:

FOCUS POINTS

Health 
Providing access to basic health services and health screening

Human rights
Growing in their self confidence and broadening their views, these women want to learn more about their basic rights.

Family planning & prevention of violence
Although still being taboo in their communities, there is a growing awareness on these topics.
Savings and entrepreneurship
Working for the first time in a company, these women have access to a steady and fair income. Managing this budget and their expenses is an exercise at first.

Childcare
With the majority of the artisans, being young women between 25 and 35 years old, half of them are mothers. Lacking childcare services in the village, this had to be integrated in the workplace, providing a safe and stimulating environment for the children and peace of mind for the mothers.

KENYA
 
Hadithi Crafts, Solid's partner in Kenya is based in the South-East of Kenya, in the Kasigau region, located between the Tsavo East and West National Park. A region where families struggle to live from their land, as climate change has led to recurring droughts making farming, traditionally the primary source of income and sustenance, an unreliable foundation for a stable livelihood. Many of the artisans we work with face this dilemma. The income they earn from the basket weaving helps ensure their families are fed and cared for when crops can no longer provide security. Hadithi means ‘a story’ in Swahili, the local language, as each basket tells the unique story of the powerful woman whose hands braided it. Every basket sold directly supports its maker and their families, ensuring a fair income, in a region where employment is scarce.

Hadithi's artisans are women between 19 and 92 years of age. The majority of these women are married (67%) or widowed (23%). Organized in approximately 60 basket weaving groups,  Hadithi is reaching over 1700 low-income families. And the number is rising every year. As families have five members on average, Hadithi positively impacts the lives of some 8,500 women, men and children in the region. Additionally, Hadithi supports 2 training programs for youngsters, in welding and leather tanning, setting up equipped workshops in remote villages and providing a market for their end products. 

Many of the basket weaving groups are organized as self-help groups, where women save money collectively so that members can take out a loan, to invest in a new business or education of their children. Women support each other and learning new skills, from basket weaving to entrepreneurship, with their new found confidence, new paths towards empowerment open up for these women. 

 


FOCUS POINTS

Health:
Emphasizing safe working conditions, with the provision of masks, soap & buckets for all the weavers. During the pandemic, the provision of smartphones to each weaving group was also of great help.


Training:
Strengthening the skills of all weavers, in quality, design and coloring of the baskets, so they can get more out of every basket. In addition, Hadithi seeks to train new groups from scratch every year.


Entrepreneurship: 
With workshops on business skills and chicken farming, these women want to explore new possibilities of earning an additional income and be less dependent on one source.
Savings:  
All the weavers got workshops in financial literacy, improving their budget and debt management, by learning the basics of accountancy. 

Giving back:  
Providing extra training material for the Buguta Disabled group. Hadithi also supports two training programs for youngsters, in neighboring communities, strengthening their skills in welding and leatherwork.  


OTHER SOCIAL PROJECTS





Young entrepreneurs


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Teenage mothers

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