Classic charity seeks to help people, generally through handouts. Classic business seeks to fill a niche in the market and make a profit. But what if these ideas are combined? Social entrepreneurship seeks to help people--not with humbling handouts, but through empowering, profit-generating business ideas and training for the people who need it most.
We latched onto this philosophy and opened up a sewing school for widows and single mothers who struggle to provide for themselves and their families. Rather than handing them food or money, we train them in a skill that will permanently alter the course of their lives. We call this branch of Equip Mozambique “Restoring Hope”, because poverty is more than just a lack of physical livelihood, it is a lack of meaning, dignity, and hope. We aim to restore all three, while at the same time equipping the poor to meet their physical needs on their own.
The results have been phenomenal! With their newfound skills, these women are now able to afford food, school materials for their children, home improvements, and medical care. You can read some of their stories here.
We started the first class with one church in September 2015, and in 2017 we expanded to including partnerships with several local churches. Some send the neediest ladies in their congregations to come and learn, and others send women with a heart to teach others to be trained in how to start up their own schools in their churches, reaching many more women than our lone school ever could! As of December 2017 we have 6 daughter schools operating and empowering women all over our community!
We now have a number of partner stores and retailers in the States that sell our schools’ products, but we are always looking for more! Let us know if you can order in bulk or connect us with someone who would be able to help us sell these beautiful items and change these ladies’ lives.
You can read our complete business and education plan for Restoring Hope here.