In 2011, Women of Hope International facilitated the development of a women’s fair trade cooperative comprised entirely of women with disabilities in Sierra Leone. Currently, over 25 women have organized themselves in specific handicraft guilds where they work together to produce, promote and sell hand-made products. Women of Hope International staff work closely with the team of artisans to generate new ideas, resource materials, add value to existing products, promote quality control and expand market opportunities in West Africa and the United States.
All products sold are individually assessed by staff, and each artisan is paid according to Sierra Leonean fair market value. Women of Hope International staff work directly with the women’s cooperative to regulate prices for each item and to ensure each woman makes at least 25-50% profit per product. Women of Hope International purchases fair trade items up front and then sells them in the U.S to generate income for the ministry. All Fair Trade Initiative revenue is put back into wholistic development programming for women with disabilities in West Africa.
Women of Hope International’s Fair Trade Initiative is committed to empowering the financial stability of women with disabilities in Sierra Leone, while promoting dignity and health.